Ajibola Abayomi, the President of the Journalists International FORUM for Migration (JIFORM), has been honored with the Champions of Migration Award during the Oyo State maiden Diaspora Day in Ibadan on April 20.
The president of the global media foundation with over 300 members spread across the continents was honored by the state government for his contributions to the global advocacy on migration matters.
Speakingon the occasion, the Senior Special Assistant to the Oyo State Governor on Diaspora Matters, Hon Bolanle Sarumi Aliyu, described Ajibola as a foremost migration advocate with passion for migrants and developmental issues over the years. She said JIFORM has raised the bar of journalism with dedication to the course migration, migrants and economy.
Ambassador Bolaji Alade, former Nigerian envoy to Singapore, applauded the JIFORM President for his unrelenting efforts on advocacy for safe, regular and orderly migration and urged him not to relent.
The Ambassador, who represented the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, said the ministry would collaborate with JIFORM especially to ensure that Nigerians reap benefits of labour migration in due course in order to put an end to the slavery of African migrants in the Middle East.
Responding, Ajibola thanked the Oyo State Governor for the honour, saying: “I dedicate this award to the over 300 JIFORM members trying night and day to promote regular migration across the world.”
Ajibola noted that the Oyo State Diaspora Office has assumed the position of leadership in Nigeria especially in the South West region by being the first to put up an event to showcase investment, safe migration and anti-human trafficking and called on other states to emulate such.
“Oyo is already blazing the trail by opening her doors to economic prosperity with unbeatable offers for both the Diaspora and home investors. I commend Governor Seyi Makinde for this.”
He pleaded with the media to cover migration matters with human face and stop using the word “illegal migrants” to qualify migrants but instead described them as irregular migrants.
The event was attended by Chief Bisi Ilaka, the Chief of Staff, who represented the state governor, Seyi Makinde; Diaspora officials from the South West; Attorney General of Oyo State, Professor Oyewo Oyelowo; the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP); Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), and others.