Iduozee Paul, Benin
A coalition of NGOs known as Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour, (NACTAL), has staged a peaceful protest to the premises of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, to say no to human trafficking, slavery, irregular migration and other social vices in Edo State.
Addressing the media at the in NUJ Centre to mark the International Migrants Day, the Edo State coordinator of NACTAL, Evans Ehiremen, said their aim is to create awareness against irregular migration, modern slavery, human trafficking and smuggling of migrants to other nations.
He said the essence is to reduce the number of people who die on daily basis in the desert, at sea and the land in search of better job opportunities. He called on all stakeholders to come together to solve the problem.
Also speaking, former South-South zonal coordinator of NACTAL, Roland Nwoha, lamented that many migrants faced rejection by their host countries due to ideological differences whereas they also add value to society.
“The International Migrants Day aims at raising awareness on the problems of international migrants, also highlighting their gains to the hosts, and their countries.
“We lend our voices to celebrate and honor the gains of migrants across the world especially, as we have witnessed in this year of pandemic, how migrant workers have risked their lives in caring for the sick and providing essential services, many of them contracting the virus and even death in the process”.
He noted that lives have been lost in the process.
“These gains of migration no doubt have come with a cost; a huge cost for that matter as countless number of valuable lives have been lost in the Sahara Desert, in the Mediterranean Sea and, also in the destination. Thousands and millions of others are stranded in transit unable to reach their destinations and unable to return back home,” he added.
The Edo State chairperson of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Adesuwa Ehimuan, on her part, called on all stakeholders to join hands to fight human trafficking, sexual violence and slavery, irregular migration and child trafficking to reduce the menace.
Comrade Adesuwa promised that NAWOJ would support any NGO campaigning on the way forward on how to address the mentioned problems affecting the state and society generally.
Responding to the NGO network, the Edo State NUJ secretary, Comrade Titus Ahkigbe, assured the protesters that the media will ensure their demands are well escalated.