The Edo Taskforce Against Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration said it had received 4,764 trafficked human returnees since its inception more than two years ago.
Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, Chairperson of the taskforce and the State Attorney General disclosed this recently at a one-day workshop for female journalists.
The worskshop was organised by the Edo Chapter of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ).
Omorogbe said of the figure, 3,261 were male, while female and children were 1,322 and 181 respectively.
She disclosed that a survey showed that about 80 per cent of those who migrated overseas did that independently, while 18 per cent were recruited by sponsors and two per cent for other reasons.
She also said that the survey showed that the major causes for irregular migration included gender inequality, poor working conditions and unemployment.
Other major causes, she said were ignorance as well as decay of societal morals and values.
Meanwhile, the Edo Deputy Governor, Mr Philip Shaibu had described human traffickers as people driven by greed.
Represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Musa Ebomhiana, he said that the theme of the workshop “Best Strategies to Report Human Trafficking/Modern Slavery and Irregular Migration” was apt.
He said that in recent times, human trafficking and irregular migration had become a menace and source of worry to government at all levels.
According to him, it is on record that the cartels behind the modern day slavery are unpatriotic elements in society who capitalise on the ignorance and capability of the people who seek greener pastures abroad.
He, therefore, called on all well-meaning citizens of the country to join in the fight against what he called “evil against humanity”.
Earlier in her opening remarks, Ms Flora Bossey, State Chairperson of NAWOJ said that human trafficking had given the state a bad name.
Bossey who said the issue was a global problem also stressed that coordinated efforts were required to curb it.
She added that to achieve success in the fight, partnership was inevitable and that NAWOJ had a moral responsibility to help clean the image of the state.
Similarly, Mr Roland Osakwe, State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) said that the initiative showed a sense of NAWOJ’s dedication towards the fight against human trafficking.
He said human trafficking must be condemned by all and the fight against it must be collective.
A paper on ” Solution Journalism: A tool for Changing the Narrative on Human Trafficking in Edo” was presented by Dr Dan Ekhareafo, of the Mass Communication Department, University of Benin (UNIBEN).
Also, Mr Nduka Nwanwenne, the Benin Zonal Commander of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) delivered a lecture on “Strategies to Report Cases of Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration”.