By Iduozee Paul, Benin
The deputy executive director, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice ( ANEEJ), Comrade Leo Atakpu, says the highest number of migrants from Nigeria to Europe are from Edo State.
Comrade Atakpu who made the disclosure in a press conference entitled: “Migration and Related Issues In Edo State’s 2020 Governorship Election,” in Benin city, said the reason people migrate is because of lack of infrastructural development.
“The fact shows that a disproportionately high amount of all emigrations from Nigeria to Europe are from Edo State with the state contributing an estimated 50 per cent of all Nigerian migrants in the European Union.”
“In March 2020, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said 70 per cent of all illegal immigrants from Nigeria identified Edo as their state of origin. There seems to be lack of infrastructure in the state that enables such migration.
“The International Organizations for Migration said Edo State alone accounted for 52 per cent of the 7,012 stranded migrants it received from Nigeria from the period of April 2017 to 2018.”
He said the lack in infrastructure results in poverty and unemployment.
“Edo State faces development deficits in the crucial areas of the economy, poverty reduction, employment and investments in the social sector with reference to the main education and healthcare,” the ANEEJ executive stated.
He recommended a holistic approach such as development of policies and programmes that will improve the economy be adopted. Others are; transparent budgetary allocations, adequate security, social norms and government reforms.
Expressing his views on the just concluded Edo governorship polls, the ANEEJ deputy executive director expressed worry over high cases of intrigues, shooting, and threat that characterized both APC and PDP campaigns.
Comrade Atakpu said, “The 2020 governorship election in Edo State has been preceded by the usual political intrigues and drama that have become a regular feature of electoral cycles in Nigeria.
“There have been regrettable numbers of issues around the internal democratic practices within the two main political parties- APC and PDP. There have been divisive verbal utterances leading to the concerns about violence at the polls,” he pointed out.