The 2018 Aquinas day Symposium held on Tuesday January 30 is the first public symposium held by the Dominican university. This symposium which took place at Carolyn Walker Hall of the Dominican University was titled SEARCHING FOR GREENER PASTURES IN THE DESERT: Ambition, Frustration and Adventures of young Nigerians. The program was graced by several discussants from different fields of academia including Dr. Emmanuel Akubor, Lecturer, Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife; Dr. Augustine Ifeanyi Uddin, Chief Economist, First Bank; rev. Fr. Prof. Dokun oyeshola, O.P., Department of International Relations, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife; Prof. Oka Obono, Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan; and Prof. Isaac Ukpokolo, Department of Philosophy, University of Ibadan.
Migration of people is phenomenon as old as humanity. People move from one place to another for various reasons. Sometimes they settle in their new location and gradually loose contact with their former habitation; other times it is simply to make a living. Thus, Immigration by its nature is a welcome movement. The economic situation in Nigeria, more than ever before has become a catalyst for migration. Youths seek for a greener pasture outside the shore of their home land not minding the dangers involved. Concrete examples are those who get drowned in the Mediterranean trying to cross from Morocco to Spain; or those who die in the Sahara desert, enroute Europe; or those who are trapped in Libya and sold as slaves. Some end up in Europe and America as prostitutes and drug peddlers. But a lot of them make it big and return home to improve the quality of life of their families.
The discussants spoke extensively on the topic, beginning from the historical background of human migration. They talked about the factors that engender migration from the financial, socio-cultural, religious and political angles. Government and not the people are can curb migration in search of greener pastures. A stable economy and financially attractive society will pull people in rather than stimulate migration. An enabling economy will lead to a change of orientation of the youths and foster the “think home philosophy.”
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