The Chairperson of Edo Taskforce Against Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, has said the state received 4,764 migrants who illegally left Nigerian.
Omorogbe, also the state Attorney General, unveiled the figure at a one-day workshop for female journalists organised by the Edo State Chapter of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ).
Of the number, Omorogbe said 3,261 were male, 1,322 female and 181 children.
She disclosed that a survey showed that about 80 per cent of those who migrated overseas did that independently, while 18 per cent were recruited by sponsors and two per cent for other reasons.
She also said that the survey showed that the major causes for irregular migration included gender inequality, poor working conditions and unemployment.
Other major causes, she said, were ignorance, decay of societal morals and values.
The Edo Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu, who spoke at the event, had described human traffickers as people driven by greed.
Shuaibu, who was represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Musa Ebomhiana, said the theme of the workshop, “Best Strategies to Report Human Trafficking/Modern Slavery and Irregular Migration”, was apt.
He said that in recent times, human trafficking and irregular migration had become a menace and source of worry.
According to him, it is on record that the cartels behind the modern day slavery are unpatriotic elements in the society who capitalise on the ignorance and resolve of people to seek greener pastures abroad.
He called on all well-meaning citizens to join in the fight against what he called “evil against humanity”.
Earlier in her remarks, Ms Flora Bossey, the state Chairperson of NAWOJ, said human trafficking had given the state a bad name.
Bossey, who said the issue was a global problem, also stressed that coordinated effort was required to curb it.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that a paper on ”Solution Journalism: A tool for Changing the Narrative on Human Trafficking in Edo” was presented by Dr. Dan Ekhareafo of the Mass Communication Department, University of Benin (UNIBEN).
Also, Mr Nduka Nwanwenne, the Benin Zonal Commander of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), delivered a lecture on “Strategies to Report Cases of Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration”. (NAN)