…‘Benin Monarch’s curses, final blow to traffickers’
The wife of the Governor of Edo State, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, has reiterated the need for collaboration among relevant stakeholders to ensure that the incidence of human trafficking comes to a stop in Edo State.
Receiving the Face of Oba Ewuare II Foundation, and the Secretaries to the Oba of Benin and the Benin Traditional Council at the Government House, in Benin City, the Edo State capital, Mrs Obaseki said she was ready to partner with Oba Ewuare II’ s foundation to boost the fight against human slavery.
The First Lady harped on the need for young girls in Edo State to develop their untapped talent and skills, instead of leaving the country for greener pastures illegally.
She said the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II’s stance on the issues and the subsequent curse placed on traffickers and others connected to the ugly practice was a welcome development.
She said the move will go a long way in liberating Edo girls that are still in Libya and other countries, and give them the courage to come back home and shun the threats of the traffickers.
She explained that one of her pet projects, the Betsy Obaseki’s After School Club, is an initiative geared to empower young girls and provide them with requisite skills to become self-reliant.
This, she said, will ensure that the girls do not succumb to the deceitful tactics of traffickers, who give them the impression that life will be better in foreign countries.
She added that the workshops would be held across senatorial districts, where secondary school girls can build capacity in automobile repairs and shoemaking, after school hours.
The First Lady expressed readiness to partner the Oba Ewuare II Foundation in the fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery, adding that the partnership will positively impact the Edo girl-child.
“It is good to know that you are planning to take up the most important problem we are currently facing in the state. This initiative will add to efforts to reduce the scourge of modern-day slavery in Edo State. It is such a huge problem that the federal and state governments cannot solve alone,” she added.
Noting that the Oba Ewuare II’s curses on traffickers were pertinent, she said, “All hands must be on deck to solve this problem and it is so gratifying to find out that the Oba is so supportive of the present government. What the Oba has done is the biggest blow against the perpetrators of human trafficking.
“The Oba’s action will open the eyes of the people because when people hear that Oba intervened in this manner, those that were supportive, one way or the other, will now have a rethink and wake up.”
The Face of the Oba Ewuare II Foundation, Miss Ifueko Aideyan, explained that the foundation is focused on rehabilitating and reintegrating trafficked girls into the society.
According to her, this will be done through capacity building in bead making, sculpting and carpentry.
She stated that most of the trafficked girls are between the ages of fourteen and twenty years, hence the need for seminars and awareness programmes for youths.