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Published On: Thu, Aug 23rd, 2018

Human trafficking: Edo govt, Nollywood take advocacy to rural dwellers

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By Osaigbovo Iguobaro Benin

Members of Edo State Task Force Against Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration and a Nollywood movie director and producer, Lancelot Imasuen yesterday took advocacy against human trafficking and illegal migration to Orhionmwon Local Government Area of the State.
The State Chairman of the Task Force, Professor Yinka Omorogbe who spoke at a Town Hall Meeting, assured of the government commitment to stem the tide of illegal migration and human trafficking through creation of job opportunities across the state.
She urged residents in the various Communities not to involve trafficking which she said has given the State “a bad name”.
Professor Omorogbe, said the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki was not only worried about the scourge of human trafficking and illegal migration, but determine to stamp out the menace with the Local Government which contribute more than half of Nigerian returnees from war ravaged Libya in North Africa.
According to her, “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.
The Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Osazee Osemwegie-Ero said the government was working 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, said the taskforce will sustain the advocacy.
He called on parents, religious bodies as well as international communities to partner Edo State Government in the fight against human trafficking and illegal migration.
“We have over 4,00 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.”
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 programme also featured question and answer session, drama and other activities to expose the dangers of human trafficking and irregular migration.
The Chairman of Orhionmwon Local Government Area, Mr. Sylvester Okoro, representative of Immigration, Mrs. Josephine Etaluku and Secretary toEdo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, Barr. Abieyuwa Oyemwense.

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