In an effort to integrate rural communities into the campaign against human trafficking, the Edo State Government in collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Concerned Citizens of Edo State (CCES), have called on opinion leaders and relevant traditional institutions to dissuade young people in rural areas from embarking on dangerous journeys to Europe through land and the Mediterranean Sea.
This was the message officials of the state government and the NGO took to communities in Esan North East, particularly Uzea and neighbouring communities and markets, where they cautioned the people against irregular migration and human trafficking.
President, CCES, Mr. Ogbewi Aghedo, who spoke with journalists, said that the campaign has been stepped up in Edo Central Senatorial District of the state to ensure that the sensitisation campaign gets to everywhere in the state.
He said that the state government’s sincerity in the fight against human trafficking is a huge morale booster, adding that such commitment is needed to take the message to the hinterlands, engage the people directly and share with them the horrors young people go through to get to Europe by land, and illegally.
According to him, “We are very worried about the trend of human trafficking and irregular migration and would want to see to its end. This is why we are with the government on this fight and it is one we are sure that we would win.
“As our name suggests, we are truly concerned about the scale of the menace. It is hitting on our hard-won dignity and prestige as a people. So, we want to take the message to the rural areas, showing and telling them all they need to know about the horrors of human trafficking.”
He said the campaign will help in drastically reducing the menace as the state government strengthens structures and mobilises people to invest in human capital so that youths can remain in Nigeria and contribute to the country’s development, in the long run.
An indigene of Uzea, who identified herself as Madam Okojie, said that government’s effort was commendable, sincere and should be supported, as it is clear that the people face more risks in travelling illegally abroad.