The Edo State Commissioner for Justice/Attorney General of the state and Head of the State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration, Professor Yinka Omorogbe, has urged Edo people and residents in Orhionmwon Local Government Area to report suspected human traffickers to the taskforce.
The taskforce was established by Governor Godwin Obaseki in August 2017, to check the high incidence of human trafficking and illegal migration in the state.
At an advocacy programme organised by the taskforce in Abudu, headquarters of Orhionmwon Local Government Area, Prof. Omorogbe said the state government was fully committed to tackling human trafficking by creating jobs for youths in the state, urging residents in the area to report suspected traffickers to the taskforce for investigation and subsequent prosecution.
“Human trafficking is a bad business. Don’t get involved or allow yourself to be trafficked by those looking for young men and women to be exploited. We are 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 in the Sahara Desert, Libya or Mediterranean Sea.
“But the traffickers don’t tell you the hard life your children undergo there; how they are kidnapped in connivance with them. Parents and other relations end up sending money from here to Libya. They only tell you their success stories that are not true. Beware of the antics of the traffickers,” Omorogbe told guests at the event.
According to her, the state has received over 3,883 Libya returnees between November 2017 and July 2018, adding that Governor Godwin Obaseki was worried that more than half of the returnees from Libya were from the state, with Orhionmwon Local Government Area taking the lead in the state.
The Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Mr. Osaze Osemwegie-Ero, who also spoke at the advocacy programme, said the governor was working round the clock to change the narrative by investing massively in human capital development.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Anti-Human Trafficking Issues, Mr. Solomon Okoduwa, assured that the taskforce would sustain the campaign.
Okoduwa urged parents, religious leaders as well as the international community to partner with the state government in the fight against human trafficking and illegal migration, noting, “We have over 4,000 Libya returnees as I speak, but we are saying this must not be allowed to continue.”