… Takes advocacy programme to Orhionmwon

Edo State Government has restated its commitment to stem the tide of illegal migration and human trafficking through creation of job opportunities across the state.

The state Chairman, Task Force Against Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration, Professor Yinka Omorogbe was speaking at a Town Hall Meeting at Abudu, Orhionmwon Local Government Area headquarters where hundreds of locals were sensitized against the scourge of human trafficking.

Professor Omorogbe, also Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state was emphatic that the Governor Obaseki led administration’s disposition was clear towards addressing the menace of human trafficking which she said has ‘given the state bad name’.

She equally said Governor Obaseki was worried that more than half of Nigerian returnees from Libya, were from Edo while Orhionmwon takes the lead in the state.

According to her, human trafficking is a bad business. “Don’t involve or allow you to be trafficked by those looking for young men and women to be exploited. We’re informing you so that you won’t learn the hard way. Many others who have gone and returned are gnashing their teeth now.

“Our children undergo slavery there. We have records of thousands of Nigerians who were killed or missing at the Sahara Desert, Libya or Mediterranean Sea. But the traffickers don’t tell you the hard life your children undergo there; how they’re kidnapped in connivance with the with them and parents and other relations end up sending money from here to Libya, they only tell you the ‘success stories’ that are not true. Beware of the antics of the traffickers,” she warned.

Professor Omorogbe however admonished the locals to report anyone who woos them to embark on such journeys abroad to the office of the state task force against human trafficking for investigation and subsequent prosecution.

The Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Honourable Osaze Osemwegie-Ero who was at the advocacy programme expressed appreciation to Governor Obaseki in his continuous support to rid off the scourge of human trafficking.

He said the governor was working round the clock to change the narrative by investing massively in human capital development and engaging youths through the Edo Job Portal.

On his part, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Obaseki on Anti Human Trafficking Issues, Comrade Solomon Okoduwa who said the taskforce will sustain the advocacy called on parents, religious bodies as well as international communities to partner Edo State Government in the fight against human trafficking and illegal migration.

According to him, “We have over 4,000 Libya returnees as I speak, but we are saying this must not allow to be continued.

“What we are saying is that the government cannot do it all alone, we are appealing to religious leaders and the traditional institutions to help mount vigorous campaign against this menace.”

Earlier, some returnees including Rosemary, Blessing and Efosa gave vivid account of how they were deceived and the tribulations  they went through during the fruitless journeys abroad.

The advocacy programme also featured question and answer session, drama and other activities to expose the dangers of human trafficking and irregular migration.

Among those in attendance were the Chairman of Orhionmwon Local Government Area, Mr. Sylvester Okoro, representative of Immigration, Mrs Josephine Etaluku, Nollywood Producer and Director, Lancelot Imasuen, Secretary to Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, Barr. Abieyuwa Oyemwense.

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