As part of the effective counter – trafficking strategy to minimize incidence of human trafficking and irregular migration in Nigeria, the Director – General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah – Donli, has temporarily relocate to Edo and Delta States to intensify awareness creation and sensitization on the dangers of human trafficking and irregular migration.
It would be recalled that during the recently held 6th Interpol Global Conference on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling which took place in Abuja, the NAPTIP boss had disclosed that the Agency had perfected plans to launch sustained aggressive sensitization programme in all rural communities within the endemic states and regions of the country.
In the first phase of the reloaded awareness creation programme launched recently, the Director – General, embarked on advocacy and sensitization programme to Edo and Delta States during when critical stakeholders which included the Chief Judge of the Edo State, Honourable Justice Esohe Ikpomwosa and the Olu of Warri, His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli were visited.
In what seems as the first of its kind, the NAPTIP Director – General personally led Officers of the Agency to sensitization programme at the crowded Warri main market moving from one store to the other talking to market women and other traders on the need to protect their children and wards to avoid being trafficked for sexual or labour exploitation.
Sections visited by the NAPTIP enlightenment team included the perishable line, textile line, meat section, fresh fish section and the provision section.
Speaking with newsmen, one of the Warri market women, Mrs. Onome Omoghene, commended the NAPTIP team led by the Director – General for coming to the market saying that it was the first of such visit.
“When someone came to call me that one woman entered the market to talk to traders, I just thought it was one of those politicians seeking for votes, but as I moved closer to her, I quickly recognized her as NAPTIP oga, I shouted for joy because I did not expect to see government office holder like her in this place. She did not even mind the dirtiness of the market or the smelling rubbish around the market.
“ We are all happy to see her, this woman is very unique and she is doing what government appointed her to do. We commend her and her officers. I think other people in high position should emulate her” the visibly elated market woman said.
Other rural communities visited during sensitization are Mosogar, Ajagbodudu, Koko, Oghara and other villages in Delta State.
Speaking at the end of the exercise, Director – General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah – Donli, said the exercise was strategically planned to address issues of human trafficking from the rural perspective.
She said , “We are determined to change the narrative about human trafficking by going to the endemic areas and talking to the vulnerable people on the need to protect themselves, their children and their wards.
“It is painful to note that these heartless traffickers feed on the vulnerability and ignorance of the people especially those in the far flung rural communities, and harvest their children for exploitation. This is why we have decided to bring our sensitization train to these rural areas. I am personally leading the campaign because the life of every Nigeria children is so precious to me and the present administration. This is going to be a sustained exercise and we shall continue to monitor happenings within these rural communities.
“This is just the beginning of our newly launched grassroots counter trafficking sensitization programme aimed at bringing awareness to the door post of all Nigerians”, the NAPTIP boss said.
Highpoint of the exercise was the distribution of large quantity of information leaflets and other materials round the target areas.
Press and Public Relations Unit
15th October, 2018