Edo State governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has vowed that his administration, in collaboration with stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking and illegal migration, will ensure the ugly trend is reduced to the barest minimum, declaring that there is no hiding place for traffickers in the state.
Obaseki made the vow at a conference organised by the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, to examine and proffer solutions to the root causes of human trafficking in the state.
According to him, the major reasons people take to irregular migration are economic pressure, family pressure and unemployment, and assured that his administration is working tirelessly to create jobs for Edo citizens.
“As governor, I have vowed to reduce irregular migration in the state to the barest minimum before the end of my tenure with your help.
“My administration has put in place measures which include resettling victims of human trafficking after they are rescued. We provide medical assistance to the returnees as well as training to assist them to acquire skills,” he said.
The governor restated that his administration is committed to taking governance directly to the people to provide them with opportunities, which was one of the reasons people embarked on illegal migration.
He listed Uhunmwode and Orhionmwon as the local government areas with the highest numbers of persons engaged in irregular migration, and assured that measures have been put in place to boost economic activities in the areas.
The governor commended the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, for his support in the fight against the menace and stressed that the Royal Majesty’s intervention has in no small way, discouraged many Edo people from embarking on the risky journeys.
Social justice activist, Dr Ayode Alakija, in her keynote address, said that a total of 1,037 people travel from Kano State to Tripoli, Libya, daily.
She urged governments at all levels to show commitment in solving the humanitarian crisis in areas that have high numbers of persons who embark on irregular migration.
The deputy head of European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr Richard Young, assured that the EU would continue to support Nigeria in tackling irregular migration and human trafficking.
Young commended Governor Obaseki’s efforts at leading from the front, in the fight against human trafficking and illegal immigration in the state.