A former Comptroller General, of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Muhammed Babandede, has urged Nigerians intending to seek greener pastures to go through regular channels to avoid victimisation.
Babandede made the call during a two-day workshop on Sensitisation Strategy and Reportage on Irregular Migration and Trafficking in Persons in Abuja on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was organised by Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM), in partnership with the Nigerian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration.
The former immigration boss said that it was necessary to make the call to stem the tide of irregular migration and attendant consequences across the country.
He said that migration in itself was not a crime, saying that it contributed to nations’ economy and must be done rightly by getting all the necessary documents before embarking on such a trip.
He however, blamed ignorance for many woes associated with irregular migration, trafficking in persons and other related challenges.
According to him, we need to stop irregular migration and trafficking in persons by reporting the good side of Nigeria instead of focusing on the negative aspects.
“Ignorance is a very key factor when it comes to trafficking in persons and the media is a critical driver in fighting trafficking in persons.
“I expect professional reporting after this workshop. Never show the people that Europe is paradise,” Babandede said.
He urged journalists across the country to respect the rights of victims and stop showing the pictures of those exploited.
Speaking, JIFORM President, Dr Ajibola Abayomi, said that the aim of the workshop was to enhance the capacity of the journalists on evidence-based reporting.
Abayomi said that this would encourage better understanding of migrant management and rehabilitation of irregular migration victims.
He explained that the meeting also targeted promoting cooperation and evaluation of activities and the impacts of the Nigerian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration in Nigeria, amongst others.
Also, the National Press Officer, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mr Vincent Adekoya, urged journalists to observe the ethics of the profession.
Adekoya said that this included national interest and the protection of the dignity and privacy of victims of irregular migration and trafficking in persons.
JIFORM is an umbrella body for media practitioners reporting migration.
It is a non-profit organisation comprising over 300 journalists and other volunteers across the continents covering migration with special attention on matters relating to curbing irregular migration, Trafficking in Persons (TiP), Smuggling of Migrants (SoM) and other economic issues. (NAN)