The Federal Government has been urged to declare a state of emergency about human trafficking, illegal migration, unemployment, and other causes driving Nigerians out by a faith-based organisation called Symbols of Hope Project, a global programme of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
The organisation lamented that the challenge of irregular migration and human trafficking affects all regardless of one’s religious, social, and political status.
At an empowerment programme for potential and returned migrants, the Archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN). who is also LWF president, Most Rev Musa Panti Filibus noted that many young people have lost hope in African nations which have made them embrace the option of travelling abroad illegally without minding the dangers attached.
Filibus noted that it is important for churches or individuals to support and complement the government in its efforts to provide livelihood support to citizens as they can’t tackle it alone.
The Archbishop also emphasised the need for the government to prioritize the well-being of its citizens and make life more simple and easier for them.
He said: “A lot of young people have travelled through the wrong routes which have made a lot of them to die in the Mediterranean Sea and the desert.
He added that the church has been supporting potential and returned migrants for the past years which has discouraged a lot of young people that are contemplating traveling elsewhere in search of greener pastures.
“The Lutheran church has so far empowered 700 returned and potential migrants in different areas of life such as plumbing, pipe fitting, cake baking, carpentry, vulcanizing, mechanicals, hairdressing, electricals, computer accessories, fast food, cake baking, catering services, barbing saloon, tailoring, fashion designing, and photography. Today, 65 young people have also been empowered”.
In his remarks, the Country Director Symbols of Hope Project, Rev Emmanuel Gabriel said, combined efforts are needed to tackle the issue of human trafficking and irregular migration.
He noted that the lack of job opportunities has made a lot of youths consider traveling through illegal means which has subjected a lot of them to all kinds of inhuman treatment at the hands of their host or traffickers.
While noting that the government alone cannot do it, he said religious institutions are duty-bound to protect the sanctity of human life which irregular migration and human trafficking’s target is to destroy.
He however advised youths not to give in to any form of pressure to travel without following the due process laid down by authorities.