With characteristic thoughtfulness, the government of the State of Osun has laudably embarked on the rehabilitation of 25 indigenes of the state that were among those evacuated from Libya by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) and security agents. 12 of them were received by the government in January, while another set of 13 were received on Sunday.
Osun has not been associated in the media with the issue of Libya returnees. And for a sensible reason. The low poverty rates in the State has mitigated and blunted the hustle in search of the elusive golden fleece and illusory greener pastures. The landscape created by the government led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has also not given the space for criminal gangs and human traffickers to operate with impunity. This is a clear indication of the efficacy of the social intervention programmes of the administration which have resulted in keeping hope alive.
It is all very instructive and we commend the Osun framework to all the States in Nigeria and right across West Africa. Social intervention initiatives are a veritable anti-poverty mechanism. The various social intervention programs such as Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme (OYES), Osun Ambulance Scheme (O’ Abulance), Free School Feeding (OMEAL), Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Programme (OREAP), Destitute Rehabilitation (O’REHAB), Osun School Infrastructural Development (O’ School), Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QUIP) and Care for the Elderly (Agba- Osun) amongst many others have definitely blunted the allure of the human traffickers and the con- artists and scammers peddling an elusive Eldorado. It shows very clearly that poverty is the trajectory that has created the framework for the human traffickers.
We commend the government of the State of Osun for its far- sightedness in initiating and sustaining these programmes in a harsh economic climate.
Very correctly, one of the returnees, Jimoh Aisha, who claimed to hail from Ikirun appreciated Mr. Aregbesola for the fatherly role played for her and other returnees by sending government officials to bring them back home amidst all odds.
She promised that the memory of this goodwill of the state Governor shall continue to be evergreen in their lives.
The Commissioner for Special Duties, Honourable Oguntola Toogun who received the second batch of the returnees in Osogbo said the government has camped the returnees and is attending to their welfare.
It is commendable that the government has reunited the first set of 12 returnees with their relation.
The next step must now be full rehabilitation of the second set and their reintegration back into society, so that the returnees having seen the futility of their actions can now be midges back into leading productive lives.
Once again, kudos to the government for its pro-active social sustainability measures which has largely shielded Osun from the worst of the human trafficking scourge.