By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun State Government of on Wednesday received 15 of its citizens who were trafficked in Lebanon.
The Returnees were formally received on behalf of the State Government by the Commissioner for Women, Children and Social Affairs, Mrs Olubukola Olaboopo, and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Diaspora Matters, Mrs. Titi Fadahunsi-Ajayi.
Addressing them during the reception, Olaboopo who expressed delight that the ladies had returned alive from Lebanon disclosed that the State Government had put necessary measures in place for their reintegration into their communities and the State entirely.
Her words: “I want to assure you that you are safe in the State, and the government will do all that it can to ensure that you have a good life going forward.
“There is no harm in trying. The fact that you went abroad to hustle does not mean that you should be stigmatized. We as a state are very proud of you for taking a bold step and trying something new.
“You have had the experience firsthand, and you are going to be the state’s ambassador on issues of trafficking.
“The State Government expects you to put in diligence in serving your motherland. You have seen the other side of life, and of course, you can see that there is no greener pasture anywhere, but home.
“We want to know your qualifications to know how the government can assist you. Besides, we have organised an empowerment Programme for you, and your resource persons are on ground to take you through the training,” Olaboopo stated.
Also speaking at the reception, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Diaspora Matters, commended Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, saying that the Governor felt the pain of a father and that informed his response.
“Sometime in August, a letter came in from the Nigerian In Diaspora Commission to the Governor asking for help in evacuating some of our citizens stranded in Lebanon. It was a distress call from these ladies, who were going through hell in Lebanon and had to cry out. They had terrible experiences, which made some of them decide to run away from their masters. Immediately the Governor got the letter, he released funds that same day. He was so magnanimous, he felt the pains of a father and requested that they be brought. The process was stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic, but we thank God 15 of them are back and the others will join us later in the day.
“The Governor did not only release funds for their tickets, he also approved a token for each of the girls to empower them”, Fadahunsi-Ajayi stated.
One of the returnees, Amina Kajobola thanked the State Government and Governor Oyetola on behalf of the girls, adding that the governor was the reason they were not marooned in Lebanon.