The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has taken the campaign against human trafficking to Rivers and Bayelsa States of Nigeria, and calls on all well-meaning sons and daughters of the state to rise up to the fight against human trafficking. This was declared by the Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, during an advocacy visit to the former Minister of Labour and a prominent son of Rivers State, Chief Alabo Tonye Graham- Douglas in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The NAPTIP boss in her presentation stated that the mission is part of her familiarization visit to partners and stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking, and enlightened them on the dangers and the gory tales of trafficking, as well as the need for the collaboration of all to curb it.
Julie Okah-Donli bemoaned the new dimensions which the crime of human trafficking have taken, which include: “mass recruitment of young girls to Saudi Arabia by some agents under the guise of providing them with gainful employment, the false recruitment of our youths by so-called sports agents, and the most frightening of it all, organ harvesting”. She further added that “the exploitative situations these young ones are faced with at the various points of destination are unimaginable, and a far cry from the rosy picture they imagined”.
According to her, research has shown that Rivers State is one of the endemic states in Nigeria in human trafficking, especially because of its coastal nature and the presence of many oil servicing companies and their expatriate employees.
She further called on the former Minister, Chief Douglas to use his position as an influential member of the ruling class and a well-respected citizen of the state to support NAPTIP as the Agency works towards the eradication of human trafficking in Nigeria.
In his response, Chief Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas extolled the Agency for its achievements over the years despite the meager resources it has had to work with; especially in the areas of awareness creation, rescue and protection of victims, as well as ensuring that traffickers receive their due punishment.
He however lamented that it is unfortunate that an Agency such as NAPTIP, that is inundated with such an enormous task as fighting human trafficking and taking care of the victims, does not receive the requisite support from the Government and well-meaning Nigerians to effectively carry out its tasks.
He pledged his support to NAPTIP and promised to use his influence to garner the support of influential and well-meaning sons and daughters of Rivers state to join NAPTIP in stamping out human trafficking from the State and Nigeria.