By Simon Ebegbulem & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
BENIN CITY—On a day the Federal Government inaugurated Migration Resource Centre, MRC, established by International Organisation for Migration, IOM, in conjunction with the Federal Government in Benin City, Edo State, the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 11, summoned all Benin chiefs and native doctors in the kingdom for an emergency meeting with a view to tackling human trafficking, kidnapping and other security challenges in the state.
This came as Edo State House of Assembly, yesterday, began consideration of a bill for a law to prohibit human trafficking and establish Edo State task force against trafficking in persons.
It would be recall that the revered monarch, had penultimate week expressed concerns over the activities of human traffickers in the state and called for concerted effort to fight the scourge.
According to a statement by Secretary, Benin Traditional Council, BTC, Frank Irabor, the meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 9, 2018. Similarly, officials of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, are also invited.
The statement said: “I am directed to invite the underlisted groups to an emergency meeting with His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, Oba of Benin on Friday March 9, 2018 in connection with the issues of human trafficking, kidnapping and other security challenges in the state.”
Those expected at the meeting include “all senior and junior priests of Okhuaihe, referred to in Benin language as Igie-Ohen Okhuaihe; all senior and junior priests of Ovia, referred to in Benin language as Ohen-Ovia N’khua and N’khere.
“All the priests of Benin traditional religion in Iyekogba, referred to as Ohen-Iyekogba; all the Priests of the Benin traditional religion in Isi, referred to as Ohen N’Ikhuo.
“All native doctors of different spiritual manifestations, referred to as Obo, all Benin chiefs, all Enigie, all Edionwere, all other traditional religious groups recognised by the palace that may wish to contribute their quota in the promotion of peace and development in the state.”
Edo House considers bill to prohibit human trafficking
Similarly, Edo State House of Assembly, yesterday, began consideration of a bill for a law to prohibit human trafficking and establish the Edo State task force against trafficking in persons.
Majority Leader, Roland Asoro, the member representing Orhionmwon South constituency, moved the motion for the House to dissolve into a committee to consider the bill.
Chief Whip of the House, Iyoha Osaigbovo, member representing Oredo East constituency, seconded the motion.
The committee, consequently, considered sections one to seven of the bill.
The Speaker, Kabiru Adjoto, directed the majority leader to schedule further consideration of the bill for the next sitting day.
FG inaugurates Migration Centre in Edo
Meanwhile, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, at the inauguration of MRC, in Abuja, said the Federal Government was stepping up efforts to save millions of Nigerian youths from mishaps and exploitations inherent in irregular migration and further widen the windows of organised labour migration in view of its significant contributions to the nations socio-economic growth.
In a statement by Samuel Olowookere, Director, Press, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ngige said: “Migration poses a growing challenge to Nigeria. We, therefore, recognise the need for a better management of organised labour migration because of its numerous contributions to the economic and social development of the country, while also combating rising challenges from irregular migration with its attendant exploitative practices, human trafficking, forced labour and smuggling.”
According to the Minister, the Benin MRC would complement the centres in Lagos and Abuja as an authentic one-stop shop where potential and returnee migrants would access relevant migration information on a wide range of services.