More than 100 Nigerians lost their lives through irregular migration in 2020, Rarduja International, a group known for its campaign against irregular migration has said.
It said that 74 persons out of the number drowned while trying to cross through Libya to Europe on the Mediterranean sea on Nov.12.
The leader of the group, Mr Eddy Duru, said this at a press briefing in Owerri on Friday while re-educating the public on the risks and dangers of an unplanned journey abroad and reviewing the group’s activities in the year.
He advised individuals, especially the youth, against irregular travels outside the country, saying that they portended dangers, sufferings and loss of lives.
“74 lives drowned in the sea on Nov. 12 while trying to migrate. This figure may not have been reported. In all, we lost over 100 migrants this year to the sea who were trying to cross through Libya to America,” he said.
Duru said that his group had engaged in many activities in schools and NYSC camps and had visited some states to create awareness on the best way to travel without incurring pains and lost.
He said the media should be stakeholders in propagating the message that Nigerians should begin to do things right and differently to succeed.
Mrs Comfort Agboko, the Zonal Commander, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in South East, said the agency had been working with Rarduja as partners to sensitise people against irregular migration.
She expressed displeasure at the rate Africans, especially Nigerians, got themselves drowned in the Mediterranean sea and advised the people to travel properly.
“Victims of irregular migration are victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation, sexually transmitted diseases and death,” she said.
Cecelia Osakwe, the Special Adviser to Imo Governor on Diaspora Affairs, called on all stakeholders to come together with one idea and one mind to curb irregular migration, saying the government could not do it alone.
She said that 71 per cent of human traffickers were women and commended Rarduja for the good work it had been doing.
Osakwe said her office was absolutely committed to the objectives of Rarduja.