As parts of the plans to tackle irregular migration and its impact on citizens, IOM, the UN Migration Agency in Nigeria has launched ‘Abroad Mata’, a radio programme target at addressing the perils of irregular migration and opportunities to migrate safely.
The radio show is a 13-episode series consisting of a radio drama titled Waka Well (‘travel well’, in Pidgin English), returnee testimonies, an expert panel and live phone-in sessions. The feedback segment of the show seeks to encourage dialogue about irregular migration and human trafficking.
During the launch, IOM presented the first episode of Waka Well, which follows the story of Patricia, a young Nigerian trying to reach Europe through Libya.
Each episode will include commentary from IOM staff and government officials about corresponding migration issues in Nigeria – such as the social factors behind migration, the role of traditional and religious leaders and the role of the Migrant Resource Centers (MRCs) to inform migrants about safe migration pathways.
Speaking on the development, Charles Anaelo, the Assistant Director, Migration Division of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) said; “The idea is to create awareness through the candid testimonies of returnees who have gone through the harrowing journey both at sea and through the Sahara. The programme will also promote social cohesion and deal with the issue of stigmatization of returned migrants.
“The best way to take migration to the public is through radio due to its wide coverage and following.”
The awareness raising initiative is part of the Migrants as Messengers and Aware Migrants projects in Nigeria. The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Edo State Task Force on Human Trafficking, as well as several local radio stations, joined IOM to co-produce the series.
‘Abroad Mata’ is one of IOM’s many Communication for Development (C4D) initiatives, a people-centered and evidence-based approach that uses communication methods, media and other tools to promote social and behaviour change.
The number of Lagos Mainland residents and Nigerians jeopardizing their lives, losing money and sources of income and cutting ties with all that is familiar at home in a bid to attempt to migrate irregularly to Europe via Libya is becoming alarming.
The Migrant Corner is part of InsideMainland’s efforts to address irregular migration among youths across various communities in the Lagos metropolis.