By Ajibola Abayomi,
Edo State Government’s continued war against human trafficking is being consolidated as catch them young campaign at schools. The Governor Godwin Obaseki led administration is leaving nothing to chance on advocacy against the menace considered inimical to the future of the youths.
Worried about the activities of the criminals, the state government told students to be wary of being trafficked abroad for sexual exploitation and urged report of anyone trying to take advantage of them.
Solomon Okoduwa, the Senior Special Assistant to governor on Anti Human Trafficking Issues further loud the drum against human trafficking and irregular migration at Samuel Ogbemudia College (formerly known as New Era College) in Benin City recently.
The SSA stated that the state government would not fold its arms to allow illegal activities to thrive within its territory no matter what. According to him, the government would beam its search light on colleges where human traffickers could harvest students and take advantage of their innocence.
“The Governor Obaseki led administration is interested in your future. And he wants you to fulfill your dreams. Therefore don’t listen to those telling you about traveling abroad. They could use your parents or even your pastors to convince you to embark on this perilous journey. The traffickers don’t care what you become in future but they want to use you to make money for themselves.”
“The traffickers or their agents make unrealistic promises to attract you. Every trafficker knows that if they tell you the truth you will not want to go, they rather make great promises. They tell your parents beautiful things.
“They tell you, you’ll work in supermarkets whereas it is prostitution they intend to introduce you into. They tell you, you will get to Europe in two days whereas they’re taking you through the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea and eventually get to Europe after two months or two years as the case maybe.
“Many have been reportedly missing or dead while traveling through the unauthorized routes. Some of their (victims) organs including kidneys and other vital parts have been harvested in connivance with their sponsors. Many others are imprisoned. They only tell you success stories” said the SSA.
Okoduwa advised the students to rebuke and report parents and guardians or any other close relatives luring them to embark on a journey through the Mediterranean Sea and Sahara Desert to Libya to relevant authorities including their teachers.
He said many of the sponsors are already standing trial, assuring that they will be prosecuted accordingly. Some of the students including Osarugue Isibor and Gift Ogbeide took turns to ask questions.
The Vice Principal of the college, Mrs. Veronica Obasuyi, said the sensitisation exercise was a great blessing to the college. She thanked the state government for the advocacy saying the exercise has exposed the students to the dangers of human trafficking. Chidi Nnajinwa popularly known as Chi-One’s anti human trafficking campaign song titled “SAY No To Illegal Migration” thrilled the students.