BENIN CITY: Edo State Governor Mr. Godwin Obaseki has resolved the commitment of his administration to deal with the godfathers and those aiding human trafficking in the state.

He disclosed this yesterday while delivering his closing remarks at a 2-day workshop on Human Trafficking with the theme: “Human Trafficking – Plight, Plan And The Way Forward” organized by the Edo State government.

Obaseki said human trafficking has assumed a worrisome dimension and the trade is flourishing because some unpatriotic Nigerians are aiding it due to the benefit they derive from the act that is destroying the image of the state. “Human trafficking is an issue we must deal with, it is no longer a political issue any more and am not afraid to deal with the issues head on as we are ready and have the political will to fight those behind the act.

“We will deal with this trend with the support of relevant security agencies. We are prepared to eradicate this scourge and help victims of this shameful. We have the political will and we will use it effectively to put an end to it.

Obaseki said his administration is taken this decisive step to correct the wrong of this act because the issue is a major crime not only against the victims but against humanity at large. “This is beyond prostitution and we need all the seriousness’ it desires to curb it because it is as bad as kidnapping and should be treated as such. We are working as a government to domesticate the law that will help fight against the scourge. The traffickers are not from this state; they are not ghost but human and live with us and explore our people and dehumanize our them”.

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He said statistics made available to him shows that out of 37,000 migrant that travelled to Italy 15,000 of them are from Nigeria and majority of them are from Edo and Delta state. “People move enmass and pass through difficult times and a lot of them die while trying to reach Europe.

Obaseki stressed the need to strengthen the system to discourage the trend in the state as we are ready to work with other Federal Government agencies as well as international agencies to ensure the trend is nip in the bud.
“I am going to set up fund for victims so that those who have challenges of paying back what is demanded for the trip, we will help them achieve it. We will work hard to create awareness against the scourge. This is a major issue in the state we must stand to work against it.

“I have demanded for data of returnees or victim of human trafficking as we will give them priority in our Edo State Government employment scheme to encourage them and re-integrate them in to our communities. I call on traditional rulers, religious leaders and concern authorities to join hands with our government to restore dignity and pride of our people and the state” he said.

Presenting the recommendations during the break out sections participant unanimously agreed that human trafficking is an issue that should be tackle with all seriousness’ to eradicate scourge as they call on Federal government to extend the whistle blowing policies to human trafficking as this will help expose the cabal and the promoter of this scourge that has eaten deep into the annals of the state and nation