Wednesday, February 25, 2009


The heart is a muscular organ in all vertebrates responsible for pumping blood through the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions. But Cardiac arrhythmia refers to the abnormal electrical activity in the heart or irregular heartbeat. Edo State is nicknamed the heart beat of the Nation for many positive reasons, but is this heart beating normally with all these reports about juvenile delinquency thriving in its land?

Did you see it in the news last night? It was an elaborate report on African Independent Television (AIT) about young girls who were arrested while trying to illegally cross the border. And of course you can guess where the majority of them were from- Edo State ! So once again, Edo people made the headline for human trafficking. It has become a stereotype. One of the young girls interviewed made an appalling statement about her parents being aware of her illegal migration. But I wonder what kind of parents will give consent for their children to be trafficked? Has the value of parenthood depreciated so much to the extent that these elders entrusted with our future now openly shirk their responsibilities and sell them off into modernized transatlantic slavery?

These young people go to the extreme process of engaging in illicit acts such as drug trafficking, premarital sex and abortion, prostitution, arm robbery, 419, abusive servitude etc. which are very traumatic. I do not know if this is linked to youthful exuberance but why do young people wake up one morning, pack their bags and decide to leave home? Is it a spiritual or psychosomatic phenomenon? I know most people blame it on underlying social and economic problems in Nigeria. But is it really worth it?

The Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, must adopt a strategy that works to curtail the negative impact such vices as human trafficking is having on Edo State , the heart beat of Nigeria . We must not remain passive while the Nation’s heart suffers from Cardiac arrhythmias or its likes. The future must be salvaged. Quality Education and Employment opportunities should be created for the youths in the State. Other stakeholders- Parents, religious bodies and NGOs everywhere should support the government’s efforts by discouraging the culture of materialism and the attitude of get-rich-quick our youths are adopting. The media must not relent in its efforts of exposing such dehumanizing acts and sensitize the public to eradicate it.

“For those of you who think it cannot happen to you, I want to let you know that the dragnet of the traffickers is so wide that only God knows who is safe.” the wife of former Vice President, Titi Atiku Abubakar once said. We must not wait until it happen to people close to us before we take action to eradicate all forms of human trafficking.

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