By Benjamin Njoku
Following the alarming rate at which Nigerian girls and particularly, Edo girls are steadily being trafficked as sex workers in Italy and across Europe, popular film maker, Lancelot Imasuen, has offered to help the state government to tackle the prevailing social ill, saying ‘the antics of the traffickers must be exposed to the people.’
The celebrated film maker, however, is proposing an intensive public enlightenment and sensitization programme at the grass-roots, noting that through this way, the people can be exposed to the dangers associated with human trafficking.
A proud promoter of Edo language movies, Lancelot recalled that in 2008, he produced a movie titled, Ëbuwa”, which recaptured the sorry-story of Edo girls who, out of greed were trafficked into Europe for prostitution in the hope of becoming very rich.
The movie, which he said was a true life story ended tragically for most of the victims, thereby sending a strong message to other young women hoping to travel to Europe for prostitution.
For him, African leaders have not taken advantage of the motion picture for social reformation.
“In 2008, I made a film called Ebuwa, having travelled to 20 to 24 cities in Italy, gathering information as to why a lot of Nigerian girls are in the business of prostitution. I travelled to the length and breadth of Italy and had discussions with our girls there. Ebuwa captured the story of a girl who was trafficked to Italy. I was looking at the story from the girl’s family; the role her parents and siblings played in this business of trafficking.”
“If the parents of these girls have not consented to the idea, it would be difficult for an outsider to traffick their daughters into prostitution in Europe,” he stated.
While calling on the Edo State government to embark on aggressive social mobilization and reorientation of the people, the popular film maker proposed the need for government to employ the instrumentality of television to educate the masses on the dangers of human trafficking.
“I can help government create indigenous language project, television series that will help to enlighten the people so that they will understand the consequences that is associated with human trafficking. That’s what I am proposing to the Edo state government. I’m not only going to use the instrumentality of television, I will also go to the grass-roots to sensitize the people about the consequences associated with human trafficking, using all the languages spoken in Edo to enlighten the people and expose the antics of the traffickers to them.It’s the mothers that instigated and forced the girls into prostitution. They insist that the girls must be trafficked in order to savage the family from poverty. Most times, it’s the greed of their mothers that make human trafficking thrives in Edo. They sacrifice their daughters happiness, freedom in order to savage their families from poverty,”Lancelot added.