By Jacinta Nwachukwu
A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), African Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF) has cautioned Nigerians against irregular migration so they don’t fall into the hands of organ harvesters, fraudsters and human traffickers.
Dr Arome Salifu, AYGF Executive Director, gave the warning in Abuja on Friday during the grand finale of debates and essay competitions organised by the group for undergraduates and secondary school students.
According to Salifu, dangers of organ harvesting, death in the Mediterranean sea, Sahara desert, slavery, dehumanised conditions and so many others too numerous to mention are the dangers of irregular migration.
“As an organisation, we believe that every young person has the right to migrate, live where you want to live, right to aspire and meet up with those aspirations within the confines of the law.
“To this extent, we introduced the Migration Information Communication Campaign (MICC) to enlighten critical minds of young Nigerians and adults to appreciate the regular pathways.
“And also appreciate the dangers inherent in embarking on irregular pathways leading to their vulnerability to being trafficked,’’ he said.
Salifu said that the group was ready to partner with relevant stakeholders to possibly end irregular migration and human trafficking in the country.
He said that the programme which was for MICC, Nigeria project was aimed at creating more awareness on irregular migration and ways of curbing the menace nationwide.
Salifu said that the group organised an essay competition for undergraduates and debate for secondary school students in which winners went home with N250,000, N150,000 and N100,000 cash and other consolation prizes.
The AYGF boss noted that out of 168 participants, six people went home with cash prizes, while 14 others went away with different consolation prizes.
He explained that the project was a continuous programme and would be carried out in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Edo and other states.
“Two million naira was budgeted for the 2020 edition, FCT and Edo were the main focus but the second phase will commence in 2021,’’ he said.
Salifu also said that the group was ready to partner with relevant stakeholders to possibly end irregular migration and human trafficking in the country.
Mr Orakwue Arinze, the Director, Public Enlightenment, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) said that the agency was not against anyone migrating but it should be done rightly.
“During this yuletide period, you will meet all sorts of people in the village. They show you all manner of pictures and cars they borrowed to deceive you into believing they came from the UK and everywhere else,” he said.
The NAPTIP director called for collaboration among stakeholders to combat human trafficking and irregular migration, saying these ills could only be tackled if the whole society and government were involved.
“From time immemorial, man has always migrated but you have to migrate right, there is nothing as dangerous as irregular migration. Be careful, don’t fall victim to fraudsters and organ harvesters,’’ he said.
Arinze said that MICC, Nigeria was a programme introduced by the Africa Youth Growth Foundation with funding support from the German government, through the foreign office.
“We established a full-fledged training centre at Idiroko border in Ogun and we have empowered more than 100 people in different skills,’’’ he noted.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Foundation which was founded in 2003, is deeply into communities, youth, social, economic and political development within the country and around the sub region. (NAN)