Edo government vows to move against human trafficking cartel
By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City
06 December 2017 | 12:39 am
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday vowed to deploy the state powers and resources to break the human trafficking cartel and end the illicit trade in the state.
He described human trafficking as the greatest security challenge facing his administration.
Obaseki said this when he received a delegation of the management and members of Edo Forum of Patriots (EFP), led by its chairman, Aiyamenkhue Edokpolor, who paid a courtesy visit to the governor at Government House, Benin City.
“Human Trafficking has become a security threat in the state, as over 10,000 young men and women were trafficked within 12 months and more than 30 per cent of them lost their lives in the process.
“Human trafficking is one disaster that has befallen us as a people since the European invasion of 1897. Even before the invasion, Edo people were never sold to slavery because we had a very powerful army” he stated.
He added that for Edo people to start selling themselves into slavery, meant that something fundamental has happened and much has gone wrong.
“We cannot fold our hands and keep silent, as if nothing is happening. As a government, we took actions and some persons on social media are condemning our actions. I think those people should be arrested for aiding the crime,” he added.
Obaseki further said that the tales of the returnees are disheartening as “one cannot but weep for their harrowing experiences, who are deceived and moved from Nigeria by a cartel and syndicate who trade these people like common commodities.”
He assured that his administration will not relent in the fight and would mobilise the state’s resources to make sure the scourge is brought under control.
Earlier, Edokpolor, said since the governor assumed office, he has demonstrated extraordinary commitment towards the progress and wellbeing of Edo people and the state at large.
“We have set up a security and economic summit central planning committee to consult and seek collaboration with the Edo State Government and relevant agencies of the Federal Government for solutions to our socioeconomic challenges,” Edokpolor said.