Campaigners against human trafficking and sexual exploitation have thrown their weight behind the forthcoming Okpekpe 10km Road race to raise awareness for the scourge in Nigeria particularly Edo State where young females fall victims. The effects of human trafficking are debilitating to the individual involved and the society at large. It robs victims of self worth, dignity and pushes them into a life of grime.
The campaigners, Dr Uyi Lawani Oduwa-Malaka, Lady Mechanic, Sandra Aguebor and Social Media influencer, Gloria Adagbon have signed on to run at this month’s Okpekpe international Association of Athletes Federations (IAAF) Bronze Label Okpekpe international 10km road race to raise awareness about human trafficking and sexual exploitation in order to highlight the dangers and plight of young women who are victims and encourage their rehabilitation and support them in skills building and self empowerment.
With this awareness initiative, the campaigners who have international and local links will be engaging victims of trafficking and young vulnerable ones in Edo state initially and Nigeria at large, to support, counsel and teach them self worth, confidence, skills acquisition in partnership with government and non governmental agencies, under the aegis of Women in Governance (WIG)
In Edo state, the Lady Mechanic Initiative (LMI) has embarked on this worthy cause to provide young women with new skills, entrepreneurship abilities, rehabilitation and integration into the world of work successfully. The campaigners saw this incredible impact and how public awareness of human trafficking can help protect vulnerable people and stem the scourge of human trafficking in Edo and neighbouring states.
“We are very excited about the prospects this awareness against human trafficking can have in Edo state especially as most vulnerable young people will benefit from knowing the warning signals of being bandied and trafficked in the guise of seeking greener pastures overseas”
“Awareness will equip our people that they can engage themselves in trade here, work hard and be successful and that in Nigeria and in deed Edo, you can find opportunities and can excel in them.” There is no need to sell yourself into this modern day slavery. We say no to human trafficking and sexual exploitation, we call on all government agencies responsible for this to be alive to their duties and help bring the perpetrators to book” they said.
Other celebrities and /or government institutions who have embraced the Okpekpe platform as a credible and veritable platform to create awareness about their projects include the Federal Road Safety Commission who raised awareness about safer roads and the immediate past First Lady of Edo state, Mrs Lara Oshiomhole whose non-governmental organisation raised awareness and funds for the orphanages.
In this 5th edition of the race, there will be awareness campaign about Orphanages with the Governor of Edo state Godwin Obaseki as the anchor, Cancer being championed by Edo state First Lady and the Deputy Governor Rt Hon. Philip Shaibu; , Anti-Cultism in Schools campaign by Professor Ignatius Onimawo Violence-Free Elections awareness by Dr Mustafa Lecky, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Commissioner for Information Technology representing the South-South region of Nigeria.
The Okpekpe international 10km road race is powered by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, leaders in sports marketing and hospitality business in Nigeria. The race is taking place on May 13th and it is the first and only road race in Nigeria whose race course has been measured by an IAAF/AIMS accredited measurer and has been granted full membership of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).