My names are Dr. Emmanuel Brasca Ifeadi. I represent a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) by name ‐ Conflict Resolution And Migration Awareness Initiative (CRAMAI). Our NGO which operates majorly in Nigeria with partners all over the world, aims to promote REGULAR MIGRATION the world over, by working in synergy with relevant stakeholders in engineering peace and harmony, human development in all climes, total eradication of illegal/irregular migration and human trafficking and the establishment of safe, beneficial and REGULAR MIGRATION regimes in today’s global dynamic society.
We began partnering with The Real Picture Project since 2019; whose activities in disseminating MARSA wonderful programmes on all conceivable positive aspects of the struggle to combat the heinous crimes of illegal/irregular migration, human trafficking, child labour and cross border crimes, have begun to achieve remarkable success in Nigeria and Europe.
CRAMAI with a superlative team of seasoned professionals effectively keyed into The Real Picture Project immediately after my humble self, being its Chairman Board Of Directors (BOT) and Director /International Coordinator, came back to Nigeria from TRP Team’s inaugural meeting which took place between 16th ‐ 19th October, 2019 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Amongst the major strategic steps CRAMAI took in order to effectively kick start its partnership with The Real Picture Project were:
1. To strategically establish Returnee Migrant Groups in three (3) central locations in Nigeria, starting from Abuja the nation’s Capital City; Lagos the nation’s Business Central Hub; and Benin City the nation’s most notorious arena for Human Traffickers and Irregular Migrants. We began each group with at least ten to twenty (10‐20) members.
These Returnee Migrant Groups were to form the base line upon which convenient interactive windows would be created for effective liaison with Nigeria’s exceedingly restive Youths who want to illegally/irregularly migrate to Europe, the Americas and other viable parts of the world community.
2. Consequently, on 6th November 2019, I held an elaborate meeting with the Returnee Migrant Group in Abuja. During this presentation, I lectured members of the group about the advantages and benefits they would derive by keying into the robust re‐orietational and entrepreneurial programme of The Real Picture Project.
It is important to note that all members of the newly established Returnee Migrant Group became emotionally fired up and vouched to be actively involved in The Real Picture Project efforts to create a better and more socio‐economic sustainable status for Returnee Migrants in Nigeria.
3. CRAMAI also used this golden opportunity to thoroughly educate and raise the awareness of the public and members of the three (3) Returnee Migrant Groups in Abuja, Lagos and Benin City on all perspectives of llegal/Regular Migration; the fraud and awful risks associated with illegal migration through the dangerous routes, the Sahara Desert, the Libyan death traps and the morbid Mediterranean Sea beds in their criminal attempts to enter Europe.
4. On 2nd December, 2019 CRAMAI held its planned Lecture and Meeting with the newly constituted Returnee Migrant Group which was established in Lagos, Nigeria.
Also, on 16th December, 2019, a similar Meeting and Lecture with the same formidable objectives as was assiduously executed in Abuja and Lagos, was held with CRAMAI’s third Returnee Migrant Group which it constituted in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
In line with my earlier statement, it must be generally recalled that Edo State remains the most notorious arena where Irregular Migration activities are rife and worse in Nigeria.
5. CRAMAI in its tenacious efforts to maintain, promote and sustain the positive results of The Real Picture Project, also joined a coalition of so many other NGOs and Civil Society Organisations, such as, NACTAL, to lead a Mass Campaign against Irregular Migration and Human Trafficking in and around the Community Areas within Seme Border area which is located near Badagry, Lagos State; and Idiroko Border frontiers in Ogun State, Nigeria.
The Campaign and Public sensitisation and mass awareness initiative on the hazards of Irregular Migration and Human Trafficking at Seme Border was held on the 21st and 22nd of November, 2019; while the one at Idiroko Border was executed on the 25th and 26th of November, 2019.
These Lectures and Mass Campaigns which involved Road Walk and Distribution of Flyers, Town Hall Meetings with Community Leaders and all Border Security Agencies on how to tackle emerging Irregular Migration trends were extremely successful.
6. Moreover, our interactive meetings with members of these three Returnee Migrant Groups in Abuja, Lagos and Benin City revealed fresh dimensions of the extreme hardship and inexplicable atrocities which were committed against these migrants as they spiritedly made fruitless efforts to gain entry via death infected routes, into any of the European Front-Line States, such as, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Cyprus, Malta and Greece.
It was very sad to hear stories of extreme dehumanizing and morbid life-threatening experiences, such as, Severe Torture, Slave Labour, Forced Sex Trade/Labour, Sales of Human Beings as Commodities and Harvesting of Human Organs, which led to the untimely death of a whole lot of Africans especially our Nigerian brothers and Sisters.
7. In line with The Real Picture Project, CRAMAI’s Joint Campaigns around these Land Border Communities also helped to directly sensitize many Community Leaders and their subjects about the unknown and untold dangers of Irregular Migration through illegal routes along the Sahara Desert, the exceedingly hostile Libyan environment and the Mediterranean Sea.
It is interesting to note that in the process, we engendered the massive support of these Community Leaders against major nefarious Crossborder Crimes, such as, Prostitution, Child Labour, Human Trafficking and most importantly, Irregular Migration.
It is important to state here that the awful experiences, these Irregular Migrants faced gave immense life and relevance to the Real Picture Project through CRAMAI’s serious Campaigns and Lectures, which were all geared towards discouraging would be Irregular Migrant Vulnerables from venturing into unnecessary dangerous journeys across the Sahara Desert, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea.
8. These Lectures and Campaigns also provided a unique space for CRAMAI to physically reach out to these devastated Returnee Migrants and in the process, we made them to understand and appreciate The Real Picture Project’s strategic entrepreneurial initiative as their futuristic beacon of hope and survival.
In addition to the well-established activities of Conflict Resolution and Migration Awareness Initiative (CRAMAI) towards reactivating and expanding the horizons and activities of The Real Picture Project, which was stalled by the Corona Virus (Covid‐19) pandemic, all members of CRAMAI took time out to re‐visit members of its three (3) Migrant Groups in order to sustain the tempo of the gains The Real Picture Project has laboriously accomplished.
9. In order for CRAMAI to fundamentally expand the magnitude of The Real Picture Project and MARSA successes within the Six Geo-Political Zones of the Nigerian State, a sizable contingent of its staff made several trips on a Pre-Formation drive and eventual establishment of additional Returnee Migrant Groups in Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi, Maiduguri, Owerri, Calabar and Port Harcourt. With these Seven (7) additional locations added to Abuja, Lagos and Benin City, CRAMAI successfully implanted The Real Picture wonderful activities in a total of Ten major city centres and in all the Six (6) Geo-Political Zones of the country, through intensive entrepreneurship training, admonitions through regular public lectures, massive campaign programmes, distribution of flyers, warnings through CRAMAI’s website/instagram windows and via numerous social media outlets.
With all sincerity, through these multiple efforts and accomplishments, the robust and unique synergy and partnership between CRAMAI and The Real Picture Project/MARSA, numerous lives of possible vulnerables have been miraculously saved; and the reorientation and resettlement of several returnee victims significantly enhanced.
Sir Dr. Emmanuel Brasca Ifeadi.
Deputy Comptroller General of Immigration Service (Rtd);
President SKI-N; and Chairman BOT & Director/International Coordinator ‐ CRAMAI.