The Edo State Government says it will take the campaign against illegal migration to churches and schools across the state from 2018.
Mr Solomon Okoduwa, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Wednesday.
Okoduwa who described the market-place campaign against the scourge as a huge success, noted that the people, especially the women, had been made to realise the inherent danger in illegal migration.
He said the reason behind starting the campaign in market places was because it was a catchment area for women.
He said that women were mostly the ones that always encouraged their children to travel to Europe.
“We want them to encourage their children to stay back home here and realize that there is dignity in labour; if they join hands to run their little businesses, they can go places.
“We are also telling them that Europe is not a bed of roses and that majority of them are being deceived into traveling to Europe. That there is no tree that vomits money on the streets of Europe as they are being told.
“That the amount used to migrate illegally should be invested here in Benin or elsewhere in the country. If they start a business with such money they would be better off than going to risk their lives by migrating to Europe illegally.
“People are making it here in Benin and they can make it also. They should also believe in the good work the governor is doing and join hands with him to move the state forward,” he said.
He said to add bite to the campaign; the state government intended to introduce a catch-them-young system in schools in January through the formation of Anti-Illegal Migration Clubs.
According to him, “We are taking this campaign seriously in order for the people to know that illegal migration of girls has been rejected the world over and we should join forces with the world to reject it also.
“It is because of the seriousness attached to the campaign that our targets for now are public places.’’
NAN reports that Edo has been worst hit by the social problem, with no fewer than 1, 600 of its indigenes brought back home from Libya within the last seven weeks.
The state government had trained 150 of the returnees as well as started payment of monthly stipends of N20,000 to each adult and N10, 000 to each child for 600 out of the returnees. (NAN)