No fewer than 100 students of Idogbo Secondary School, Benin, were lost to human traffickers in the last four months.
This was disclosed in Benin on Sunday during an advocacy programme by Solomon Okoduwa, the Senior Special Assistant to Gov Godwin Obaseki on Human trafficking and illegal migration.
Okoduwa said this fact was disclosed to him by some teachers in the school, concerned about how the institution has become the harvesting ground for traffickers.
Okoduwa said the government will not allow the evil to continue to thrive in the state. Government will step up its campaign against trafficking, he said, and the state Task Force Against Human Trafficking will be on the trail of the human traffickers.
He warned the students to be wary of the antics of the traffickers who are bent on deceiving them into embarking on the dangerous journey.
“Henceforth, report anyone who tells you to travel to Europe. They are simply taking you through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea and you may eventually end up in Libya.
“The number of students that have been trafficked from your school in this short period is overwhelming.
“The truth is that many of them might have been imprisoned there or facing one challenge or the other.
“Taking the route of the Sahara Desert and other illegal routes is hellish.
“Many died of hunger, many were drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in search of greener pastures.
“Worst still, the families of those people that died on their journey were made to pay for the travel expenses, when unknown to them their loved ones have gone to the great beyond.
“If anyone tells you to travel abroad through Libya, tell him or her capital ‘NO’. If you must travel for any reason, travel the right way.”
NAN reports that the state government had received no fewer than 3,400 Libya returnees within the last six months.