The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has called on Edo people in the Diaspora to join forces with his government in the fight against human trafficking, noting that such a synergy is required to rescue the image and future of the people.
The governor, who made the call in his address at the 27th Edo National Association Worldwide (ENAW) Convention, themed Youth Empowerment, a Necessity for Edo State Development held in Toronto, Canada, called on Edo people in the diaspora to deploy their expertise in developing the state.
Obaseki, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Political Matters, Chief Osaro Idah, said that the state has “the potential of becoming a high-income economy with the possibility of generating over 200,000 jobs if we embrace necessary structural changes in education and training system, prudent fiscal management, right infrastructural investments and redress our rather lopsided orientation.”
He said the state government has opened the state up for development which has led to the influx of investors for a number of big-ticket projects being promoted by his administration, which include the Benin River Port, the Benin Industrial Park and Edo Modular Refinery, among others.
Calling on members of the diaspora community to join the fight against irregular migration and human trafficking, he said, “prolonged indifference or lack of concerted efforts on the part of government to address the challenges of our youths and get them meaningfully engaged on a sustainable basis had snowballed into tales of perilous irregular migration and human trafficking.”
He said that the state government has curbed the activities of Community Development Associations (CDAs) in order to set the state on the path of progress.
According to him, “the CDAs were made up of youths who did everything possible to unleash mayhem or any other activity that undermined progress of physical development of the communities they ironically claimed to be developing while unknowingly scaring would-be investors from the state.
“The fallout from this was the growing rate of armed robbery and kidnapping fueled by unemployment. Thuggery got highly lucrative and elections which were supposed to serve as viable means of political successions lost credibility and pandered to the wishes of abusers and violators.”
He continued, “With these grave scenarios before us, the concerns could not just be about how to generate the jobs that would engage the youths; solutions should also involve a process of rescuing our society from the stranglehold of such nefarious acts largely perpetuated by the youths – even if it means wielding the big stick.”