The Cross River State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs. Rosemary Archibong has tasked Media Practitioners in the State and country to do more investigative reporting in order to bring to the front burner the ills and challenges of illegal migration in the society.

Mrs. Archibong gave the charge at the opening of a one-day seminar for Information Officers, Media and Public Relations Practitioners in the State with the theme “Migration: An African Dilemma” held in Calabar at the main conference hall of Axari Hotel and Suites.

She maintained that “journalists as purveyors of information in the society need to be well abreast with the subject matter for reportage in order to be able to interpret and inform the people accurately and appropriately,” pointing out that as members of the Fourth Estate of the realm, they have pivotal roles to play in shaping ideas in the society.

Commenting on the theme, Migration: “An African Dilemma” Mrs. Archibong said “migration is traceable to the early beginning of creation and has developed into different dimensions, both positively and negatively, noting that people migrate for several purposes including for greener pastures, for socio-economic upliftment, employment, among others.”

The Guest Speaker of the Seminar, Tsumba Terna, Esq. Assistant Comptroller of Immigration Service and Officer in charge of Cross River State Command stated that there are over 244 million migrants across the world, adding that between two to four million of this figure are Nigerians remitting billions of Naira into the country.

Mr. Terna posited that Migration is as old as man from creation, adding that it is a phenomenon that cannot be eradicated but controlled, describing Cross River State as a home of cultural revival, and is in front of all other States in Nigeria on the issues of child trafficking, pointing out that the positives of migration far outweighs the negatives.

The Officer urged Media Practitioners to do more in the propagation of positive values of migration as well as the ills and dangers of illegal migration, emphasizing that it is not all roses out there abroad.

Concluding, he reiterated that “Migration has positive and negative sides but the positive side out shadows the negative, if you look around the world, great accomplishment in many countries are by foreigners who migrated or their fore fathers did. Migration is internal and external or national and international. Movement within one country is national and outside the country international. Migration cannot be stopped but controlled.”

Also addressing the Seminar, the representative of World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community, Miss Amanda Archibong, praised the initiative of the State Government under Governor Ayade to bring to the fore the issues associated with migration adding that the issues and challenges of illegal migration and child trafficking are hydra-headed and remains a strong dilemma for Africans all over the globe.

She called for more sensitization and orientation of the citizenry on the problems associated with illegal migration so that they are not easily deceived into believing fairy tales from perpetrators of this act.

Speaking in his goodwill message, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Mr. John Inyang maintained that “Let us be real, it is difficult to stop migration, all we need to do is come up with solutions and not lament over it. People migrate for many reasons which could be economic, social, academic, political, and so on.”

Also giving her goodwill message, the Climate Change Ministry Commissioner, Mrs. Alice Ekwu said, “Migration is not the way forward, we should be able to sit and think of how to contribute to the economy to make it better.”

Mr. Asu Okang, Commissioner for Youths and Sports in his goodwill message said, “All this that is happening now shows it’s time for a clarion call, we need to rise up as young people, the future is in our hands and if we choose to run away in the name of migration we are doing more harm. We need to think of what is not done right and correct it.”

Mr. Patrick Ugbe, the Chief Executive Officer of HIT FM lauded the Ministry for choosing Migration as the theme, stating further that Cross River is far ahead of others in tackling the issue of migration, emphasizing that media practitioners need to do more to inform society of the problems and challenges associated with illegal migration and human trafficking.

By Jeremiah Archibong