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Group campaigns against illegal youth migration in Edo, Lagos


Governor Godwin Obaseki (right); Comptroller, NIS, Edo command, Kayode Eniolorunda; Deputy Comptroller Immigration, T. Agwai; and Assistant Comptroller Immigration, Investigation and Compliance, A. Momoh, during the visit of the NIS officials to the governor.

A group, under the auspices of the Migrant Project, has embarked on a campaign in Edo and Lagos states against illegal migration of Nigerian youths to other countries.

It stressed the danger of travelling to other countries through illegal routes, saying most of the youths die in the Mediterranean Sea while those who made it never get what they bargained for.

Speaking during the campaign, coordinator of the group, Mrs. Clare Henshaw said: “I am worried about reports from local and international media on the number of Nigerian youths who die in the desert and the Mediterranean Sea, in their attempt to cross to Europe and other Western countries.

“As an Edo person, I feel touched and disturbed that majority of Nigerians, especially women, who are involved in the rush come from my state.“We have heard and read sordid stories of how those who made it to the supposed ‘land of honey’ got involved in prostitution and how many of those who could not make it died in the desert and on the Mediterranean Sea.”

Henshaw also stated that the trend was on the rise because victims lack adequate information on what awaits them before embarking on the risky journey, adding there was the need for aggressive enlightenment to get people informed on the dangers and futility of such irregular migrations.

She said: “I chose to start with Edo and Lagos states because these are the two states with the highest number of people involved in the venture.“The campaign, which has been running for about one month now, would go a long way to arrest the ugly trend. Participants in the campaign are people of like minds, who felt that something must be done urgently to arrest the ugly trend.

“For over one month now, we have been holding meetings with community development associations, churches, youth groups and market women, among others to enlighten them on the dangers of trying to migrate illegally to Europe or other African countries.

“Our primary targets are the youths, while our secondary target remains the parents, who we understand, play key role in all of these.”She, therefore, urged the media to help spread the message, so that the campaign would achieve the desired result.

Another participant in the campaign, Oyindamola Ijewere said: “We are determined to ensure that the menace is drastically reduced, even if we can’t stamp it out completely, because we are losing our productive youths and it is not good for the future of our country.”Ijewere noted that the campaign has not been easy going by the present situation in the country where most youths are ready to leave the country due to unemployment and harsh economic reality.

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Clare Henshaw
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