By Tersoo Zamber, Abuja
The Federal Government has called on those intending to embark on irregular migration to consider the dangerous encounters and have a rethink.
The Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Senator Basheer Mohammed gave the advice in Abuja during a road walk to commemorate the International Migrants Day.
Senator Basheer decried how irregular migration had claimed the lives of youthful citizens especially while crossing the Mediterranean sea and the desert.
He explained that the walk was in solidarity for those who lost their lives while on the dangerous journey in search for greener pasture.
The Federal Commissioner advocated respect for migrants, adding that they contributed to the development of society in many ways.
The Chief of Mission, International Organisation for Migration, IOM, Mr. Frantz Celetin urged migrants to embark on safe and orderly migration for the benefit of all.
The IOM in collaboration with the Nigerian government had facilitated the safe return of over fifteen thousand migrants, many of whom have been empowered with one form of business as a way of reintegration.
IOM has also assisted in the establishment of Migrants Resource Centres in Benin City, Lagos, Abuja, Asaba, Kaduna and Bauchi to enable intending migrants have first hand information on their journeys and follow the appropriate procedures in embarking on them.
In addition, IOM has trained some journalists in the country and beyond on better reportage of migration governance.
Also during the road walk, the Head of Border Management and Migration at the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Mr. Tony Elumolu noted that there were many opportunities inherent in migration.
He called on youths to explore these opportunities in safe, orderly and acceptable ways for their benefit, their families, countries of origin, transit and destination.
Similarly, a Provost at the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, Mr. Zachariah Daudu said their was need to step up enlightenment on migration which was not bad, but the irregular aspect of it which was bad.
He advised the youths to take to regular migration which was safe and acceptable.
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Mothers of the Earth International Foundation is equally collaborating with other stakeholders to encourage regular migration and discourage irregular migration.
The Founder of the NGO, Mrs. Hafasatu Bello who was also part of the road walk however called on the government to step up the campaign against irregular migration.
She challenged the government to harness the abundant opportunities in the country for people especially the youth, the migrating populace to take advantage of.
She pointed out that mostly affected by the scourge of irregular migration are those in the grassroots who are easily lured to embark on the dangerous journey, hence the need to intensify campaign at the community levels.
Many irregular migrants from Nigeria have lost their lives in the desert and the Mediterranean sea while embarking on their journey to Europe in search of better lives.
According to analysts, some of the push factors include bad governance, insecurity, unemployment, disasters and many others.