-Paul Efe, Benin Correspondent
At least 93,000 Nigerians are languishing in Libya and Germany, awaiting deportation. This was revealed at a student sensitization programme in Benin recently where the Edo State governor warned students to back-off travelling outside the country without proper planning.
Governor Obaseki charged the students to seriously work hard on their education and be good ambassadors of the state and country. He was addressing students at Maria Goretti College, Benin City during a programme organized by Re-educating Africa on the Risk and Dangers in Unplanned Journey Abroad on June 24, 2019.
Represented by his senior special adviser on Anti-Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration, Mr Solomon Okoduwa, the governor said Edo State government is passionate about their education hence the introduction of the EDOBEST in schools across the state. He said the future of the state belongs to the students and so they are duty bound to study hard and be the best they can be.
The governor thanked the the RADUJA founder and coordinator for catching the children young and helping build a better society.
Speaking on the theme, “Say No To Unplanned Journey Abroad”, the RARDUJA International founder and coordinator, Ambassador Eddy Duru explained that the danger in embarking on unplanned journey to Europe are enormous and not to be encouraged in any school by teachers or proprietors.
“Our quest is to continue to re-educate our people, Nigerians, on the risks and all the hazards that are associated with this travelling through the sea, desert, especially unplanned even through the air, air. Many who are there right now are frustrated.
“We try to re-educate Africans on the risks and dangers of unplanned journey abroad and the problems that are inherent in travelling abroad. Travelling by sea, desert, lans, boat, air, so long as it is illegal, we say no to it”.
Duru said many such migrants are begging, lamenting that government is not doing enough to tackle the issues driving the migration.
“Many of our people are begging in various streets in Italy at present. Some of them are in Germany stranded and they spread all over Europe.The level of people that want to travel out of Nigeria is very high; that is why we want to correct the plight now. It’s a very bad situation right now and we want to avoid it.
“Government has a huge role to play to curb this menace of migration. NAPTIP is expected to visit schools every week because they are empowered to carry out the talk. Most of the schools we visited in Benin-City, NAPTIP could not go with us; they attended two or three and they are here. A number of events we organized, NAPTIP could not attend. They are our partner in this struggle but they have financial issues to transport themselves to places they are supposed to be. Serious care is supposed to be given to the federal agency to tackle this problem. The agency should be funded to do it’s job”, Duru urged.
The chief ambassador of NAPTIP thanked the Edo State government , education commissioner and other stakeholders in the sector for granting RARDUWA access to meet the students as well as use of facilities.
He said, “There is a lot to achieve in Nigeria but the ability to look inward and find something meaningful to do. According to him, because of this, while Nigerians are leaving the country for fear of insecurity, foreigners , have been trooping into the country in search of business because they are able to see what others could not see in the country.
Duru said his organization is not against travelling out but it must be done through the right process to avoid losing ones life in a bid to migrate overseas.
Also commenting, NAPTIP Benin zone director NdukaNweNwene said Edo and Delta states have the highest number of persons who have embarked on such dangerous trips in the country.
He said though government has failed in the past to provide jobs for citizens, that is not enough reason, for people to embark on such risky journeys and called on Nigerians to report any case of human trafficking to NAPTIP. He said the battle can only be won collectively.