By Nosa Obaze,
The Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has commended the initiative of the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, to engage all priests, priestesses, native doctors, traditional chiefs, market women and village heads on ways to curb human trafficking, kidnapping and other security challenges in the state.
In a press release issued by the Benin Traditional Council and published in major national newspapers, the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, invited junior and senior priests and priestesses, native doctors of all manifestations, traditional religious groups, all Benin chiefs and dukes, village heads, all market women leaders, directors and officials of NAPTIP amongst others, to an emergency meeting on Friday, March 9, 2018, at the Oba’s Palace to deliberate on ways of tackling human trafficking, kidnapping and other security challenges in the state.
According to Obaseki, “the initiative is commendable; it is a royal endorsement of the state government’s fight against human trafficking, illegal migration and other crimes in the state.
“Those who know the factors fueling human trafficking and illegal migration will appreciate the wisdom behind this meeting that His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, has called. Some traditional priests, priestesses and native doctors have valuable ideas and inputs that we need to develop a robust bouquet of strategies that we will use to finally bring an end to this modern day slavery and criminal trade in humans.”
He added that he was confident that after the meeting at the Royal Palace on Friday, “some priests and native doctors will adjust their ways because there are instances where some of these priests and native doctors have breached their codes of practice and are involved in the illegal trade.”
The governor noted that “As a government, we could not have asked for a better deal from the Oba of Benin. He is rich in wisdom and always there to offer his support to us. I am excited about the meeting, especially with the apex anti-human trafficking agency, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) scheduled to attend.”
He maintained that it was time for all Edo people and friends of the state to come out and proffer workable solutions to the crisis.
“It is time to be frank about this crisis and tackle it with all we have. We cannot continue to fold our arms and watch as we lose the most productive class of our population to human trafficking and illegal migration.”
Obaseki assured that the emerging Edo State under his leadership is committed to harnessing the human resources of the state through technical education, skills acquisition programmes and employment creation so that the people can live decent lives and do jobs that are dignifying and more rewarding in the long-run.
“We are setting the stage for socially and legally approved enterprises and ventures that will keep our creative youths at home and contribute to nation building. We have committed the last one year of our administration to industrialising the state and things can only get better,” he assured.