The International Organisation for Migration on Friday in Benin showcased a film, titled: “Sideline,” to bring to the movie screen the dangers of illegal migration to Europe and other Western destinations.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that “Sideline” is about Moses, a former Premier League player from Nigeria, who after sustaining serious injuries, went into scouting for aspiring young Africans to play in Europe.
Moses tempted his migrants with big promises that seemed impossible to keep, and he soon found himself entangled in football’s infamous player trade, a system he once loathed.
Cyprine Cheptepkeny, IOM Project Officer, Awareness Raising, told journalists that the movie was part of a one-day film festival, tagged: “Global Migration Film Festival.”
Cheptepkeny, represented by Elijah Elaigwu, IOM Project Assistant, said the film festival would be held simultaneously in Abuja and Edo and Lagos States.
She said that IOM launched GMFF in 2016 and since then it had reached 60,000 audiences with useful information on migration annually.
She said: “The main objective of GMFF is to capture the promise and challenges of migration, and the unique contributions that migrants make in their new communities.
“GMFF in Nigeria also provides the opportunity for returned migrants to share testimonies of the harrowing journeys, by sea and through the Sahara desert, in their attempt to cross to Europe and other countries.”
According to her, the festival also enables potential migrants to make informed decisions and learn about safe migration pathways.
Meanwhile, a panel discussion, screening of video contents created by Migrant as Messengers, as well as testimonies of MaM volunteers featured at the festival as experience sharing platforms with potential migrants.
“MaM volunteers educate potential migrants on safe migration, human trafficking and opportunities to succeed in Nigeria. We create awareness in market places, schools and communities to discover illegal migration,” Happiness Obeahon, a MaM volunteer said.