The Edo State Government on Thursday decried the high rate of human trafficking, claiming that returnee migrants were responsible for the ugly trend.
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Anti-Human Trafficking, Solomon Okoduwa, stated this during a town hall debate on migration, human trafficking and jobs organised by Channels Television and DW.
He said, “Those returnees of last year, last two, three years who have seen demands in Libya, who have seen Cephas in Niger, who have seen Dollars in Europe now come to Nigeria to see that they don’t have a home to stay.
“They don’t have room to stay, they don’t have food to eat. You see the depression (in them). They used to feed at least two times a day when they were in Libya even though they were in the mess of these hostilities going on there and they say the road is open, let’s go.”
Okoduwa further stated that the government is worried about the activities of human traffickers and has set up a task force that would collaborate with relevant agencies of government to curb the menace.
“That is what the governor has identified. He set up a task force against human trafficking, then he domesticated the federal laws to deal with those people – the offenders here in Benin.
“He also gave us a mandate which is to intensify advocacy in the rural areas to ensure that the potential migrants don’t fall victim,” he said.
In the past few months, the Federal Government has evacuated over 2,000 Nigerians trapped in Libya as the increased trend of illegal migration and inhumane treatment of the migrants sparked global reactions.
The migrants have been returned home in several batches through the help of relevant agencies of government.