Irregular migration and human trafficking will no longer exist in Edo, state Deputy Gov. Philip Shaibu, has observed.
He said that the feat could be attributed to the long-term initiatives put in place to address the menace.
Shaibu spoke on Saturday in Benin during the opening ceremony of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM)–Laliga-Nigerian Women Football League (NWFL) Football tournament in Benin.
He noted that the state had continued to collaborate with stakeholders, including IOM to strengthen the girl-child education in the state.
He said that the state government had to protect the girl-child through the domestication of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law.
Shaibu commended IOM and the wife of the state governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, for championing the fight against irregular migration in the state.
He also said that the sport event came at the right time when the state government was redefining the sports management in the state
“We are bringing the potential of the girl-child and for them to have that confidence to know that God created them and planted something in them.
“Every woman has a natural gift as a mother and in management affairs.
“As far as sports is concerned, it is awake today, Edo has been on recess for decades in terms of sport. But today, Edo is back and its heart is beating,” Shaibu said.
Earlier, Besty Obaseki said that the state government was concerned with wellbeing of girl child in the state.
She promised that the initiatives to raise awareness against the scourge of irregular migration would be sustained beyond the present administration.
Earlier, Cyprine Cheptepkeny, IOM Awareness Raising Officer, said that the essence of the football tournament was to enlighten potential migrants on the dangers of irregular migration.
Cheptepkeny said that the state as well intended to use sports as a unifier because of the stigma most returnees face.
“We are partnering with the Edo government in this IOM– NWFL Football tournament to create awareness on issues of human trafficking and also promote safe migration.
“We are partnering to sensitise the youth of the state to the right value because Edo has the highest number of returned migrants.
“We have carried out some intervention that have impacted positively on the lives of returned migrants.
“With the establishment of community-based pineapple factory that is currently being managed by the returnees and fish farming businesses in communities in Edo, the zeal to engage in irregular migration will die,” she said.
Cheptepkeny also noted that the government had provided mental health support services and shelter for the returned migrants to integrate them to the society.(NAN)
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ROYAL NEWS eCopy March 28, 2022
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