A Benin-based Non-Governmental Organisation, the Initiative for Youth Awareness on Migration Development and Reintegration (IYAMIDR), led by Comrade Solomon Okoduwa, has urged human trafficking cartels to give up the illegal trade as a show of respect for the public condemnation of the ugly business by the Oba of Benin, Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, or face the wrath of the ancestors.
The group said that the Benin Monarch’s pronouncement is law and has cleared the way for all Edo people to come out en masse to fight against the criminal trade in human beings.
“Nobody goes against the words of the highly revered Oba of Benin, and we wish to call on all Edo people who are into human trafficking to desist from it forthwith. No excuse is good enough for the trade in human beings and not even the flimsy excuse of poverty is sufficient basis for such inhuman exploitation of our people,” Okoduwa said.
He maintained that Edo people are very industrious, creative and courageous “and the time has come for the few people who are into human trafficking to give it up as many Benin parents are raising great children from their small and medium scale businesses.”
“We urge one Mr Eranomigho Edegbe and his cohorts in Europe and other parts of the world to renounce their trade and support for human traffickers or face the wrath of the ancestors. History is replete with the tragedies that befall people who go against the pronouncements of the Oba of Benin. In the past, those who went against the declaration of the Oba were either banished or faced a series of misfortunes.”
The anti-human trafficking campaigner urged adherents of the traditional religion, some native doctors and priests who collaborate with the human trafficking cartels, using charms, oaths and other means to keep the victims in perpetual servitude, to release all such victims of human trafficking as a show of respect for the words of the Oba of Benin.
“Prostitution was and is still a socially disapproved practice that gained popularity when society started celebrating easy money and later assumed the status of a profession in many dysfunctional homes and families.
“We are proud of the several hardworking Edo women who dominate the oil and gas industry, the creative or entertainment industry, many in the academia, banking and finance, media and several other sectors of the economy. For example, we have Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru who has made Edo people proud in administration. Professor Ameze Guobadia is a prominent law professor, Senator Daisy Danjuma has made us proud in politics and business, Mrs Adesuwa Oyenekwe, is clearly the most versatile television presenter around. Anne-Marie Imafidon, who was decorated by Queen Elizabeth II, with the prestigious honour of Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to young women with specialty in Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), recently in England, is a Benin lady.
“Author and wife of former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Arese Carrington, is a proud Edo woman same with Professor Osayamen Yinka Omorogbe, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Edo State; Sandra Aguebor of the Female Mechanic Initiative and Professor Helen Asemota, to mention a few,” the organisation said.
Recall that the Benin Monarch, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, on Wednesday during the inauguration of the Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs by Governor Godwin Obaseki, threw his weight and that of the Edo State Traditional Council behind the fight against illegal migration and human trafficking, which have claimed the lives of thousands of Edo youths.
Oba Ewuare II expressed disappointment in the Nigerian Embassy in Libya and the Libyan government for their inability to tackle the crisis.
He said it was particularly frustrating that it had to take a news report by the Cable News Network (CNN) for the government and other stakeholders to respond to the crisis.
The Benin Monarch said the crisis could have been better managed if the relevant authorities lived up to their roles, instead of allowing it to fester. He commended the governor for his efforts at resettling and reintegrating the Libyan returnees through various skills acquisition programmes.