In the last couple of years, the avoidable deaths of hundreds of asylum seekers, including Nigerians, who perish while taking dangerous routes to Europe have dominated public discourse. This is the issue being explored in this week’s edition of TV drama series, Professor Johnbull, sponsored by telecoms giant, Globacom.
The episode airing at 8.30.p.m. on Tuesday on NTA Network, NTA International on DSTV Channel 251 and NTA on StarTimes highlights the desire by young people to travel abroad by all means and the attendant consequences.
Entitled I Must Travel, the series gives a clear picture of how people take dangerous routes and do all sorts of things in a bid to travel to America or Europe, where they believe the pasture is greener.
As usual, Professor Johnbull (Kanayo O. Kanayo), who summarises the lessons in the series, cautions viewers on the dangers involved when people stow away in the cargo sections of planes and ship decks, or travel through the Sahara Desert, saying that such ventures amount to ‘signing agreement with death.’
I Must Travel also looks at the reasons people, especially youths, go abroad and how desperate some of them can be in their bid to leave the country by all means.
Samson (Ogus Baba) plays the role of a fake travel agent, who makes unrealistic promises to intending travelers. Jumoke (Bidemi Kosoko) abandons Flash (Stephen Odimgbe) to propose marriage to Churchill (Jnr. Pope Odonwodo) whose father, the professor, has secured for him authentic travel documents and genuine admission placement in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, in the United States of America. Her motivation is to use that as passport to travel to America.
Also, Olaniyi (Yomi Fash-Lanso) opts to patronise the smooth-talking Samson, who promises travel without visa instead of going to a genuine travel agent, who had earlier been contracted to organise his cousin’s travel papers to Europe.
The interesting drama reaches a climax at the send-off organised by the scholar for his son, when Flash storms the party to pay the travel fee, but Samson, who has also promised to take Ufoma (Bimbo Akintola) abroad is caught up in the web.
Olaniyi tells Professor Johnbull his travel plans, but the academic counseling him that shortcuts including stowing away in aircraft and going through the Sahara Desert are never safe routes to Europe, as many have died in the process. He urges those willing to travel abroad to do so through safe routes or ‘stay at home and stay alive.’There will be a repeat broadcast of I Must Travel on Friday at 8.30 p.m. on the same NTA channels.