By Ousman A. Marong
The President of Journalists’ International Forum for Migration JIFORM, Mr Ajibola Abayomi, has said that migration is not a crime if it is done through regular means.
“We need to be more proactive in telling success stories about Africa. Mind you and don’t be deceived, migration is not a crime if done through regular means. The amount of money migrants remit home help families to survive better,” said Mr Ajibola Abayomi.
The JIFORM President has made these remarks during an exclusive interview with The Mamos Media.
According to Mr Abayomi, many European migrants in Africa who are engaged in business do send money back to their various nations.
The JIFORM President Abayomi said he is tempted to reject the usual labeling of migrants as threats to economic growth in Europe.
He was asked about the menace created by the recent media coverage of irregular migration and migrants’ stories in both Europe and West Africa.
“In analyzing your questions, I am tempted to reject the usual labeling of migrants as threats to economic growth in Europe. Apart from clear cases of irregular migration which the African number is insignificant, what the media should do is to constantly highlight the sufferings of many irregular migrants,” he remarked.
He further challenged the media to report fairly about migrants. He added: “The media should also among other things converse sympathy for migrants that are not criminals but are purely force to seek greener pastures. Those that are well behaved should be allowed to regularize their status. I am not changing position here because the reality also is that they are already in the system abroad. They are entitled to fair treatment in all ramifications,” he stressed.
Journalists’ International Forum for Migration (JIFORM) was founded in 2018 by Ajibola Abayomi. The body has been registered as a foundation for professional journalists solely interested in migration matters. The foundation currently registered over 200 journalists across the globe mainly focusing on migration reporting.
Its first international migration summit was held in Abuja, Nigeria in 2019. It was in the same year that the body becomes part of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) global summit on migration. During the summit a charter was drafted for journalists covering migration in Tunisia.
Since then JIFORM has been organizing a series of capacity building, workshops for its members severally both in Nigeria and on the international scene through the digital process.
The theme: for this year’s summit is ‘Migration Governance And Media Strategy for Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The summit will attract and connect many participants across the globe and will be virtually held on zoom.
International speaker, Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba is expected to chair the summit.
Confirming his participation, the pan-African and the Director of Kenyan law school in his official response said: “I confirm my availably and willingness to serve as PLO of Africa.”
The summit that attracts participants and speakers across the globe would also have in attendance the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, MFR who has been slated to officially unveiled the event, German migration advocate Johanna Mac, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, the Honorable Commissioner of Information, Lagos State, Nigeria, Harvard trained migration expert, Eric Chinje and United State base international lawyer, Samuel Adewusi.
“The core drive of JIFORM is to discourage irregular migration, human trafficking, and lead advocacy against crisis leading to the internal displacement of citizens in nations. Specifically, we are targeting the 2nd annual summit of JIFORM in October between 15th to 17th. Unfortunately, we are in a difficult era with COVID-19 pandemic, however we have refused to be defeated by the circumstances,” he said.
He intimated that the summit would assemble intellectuals adding that that alone speaks volumes about their intention.
“We have been doing this to develop capacity and contribute to the course of humanity from the media angle,” he concluded.