Saturday, June 8, 2019 9:22 pm
The impression that Edo State is the hub of human trafficking in Nigeria seems to be changing as experts including an Assistant Controller, Nigeria Immigration, Mr Foluso Akintola and a Director, National Human Right Commission, NHRC, Ms Oyindamola Bamgbose, today noted that Oyo State has overtaken Edo State.
This and other facts emerged today in Ibadan at a book reading and book signing of a book, “From Frying Pan to Fire”, written by the Chairman, Olusegun Adeniyi, ThisDay Editorial Board.
The programme was put together by Bookcraft Publishing in conjunction with The Bestsellers Bookshop, Ibadan.
According to Akintola, there was a concerted effort by the government, traditional rulers and stakeholders in Edo State to fight the menace urging other state sof the federation to emulate Edo State in fighting human trafficking.
Akintola, who called on the Oyo State Government to put in more effort into fighting human trafficking pointed out that as things stand today, Nigeria has occupied the position of the source, transit and destination.
He warned the youth to be wary of agents who deceive them into getting job for them in Europe, Asia, Middle East and Italy, stressing that if they should take such offer, they may end up as a modern day slaves in another man’s land.
He stated further that if they are not that lucky, they may be trafficked for their organs to be harvested for whatever purpose adding, “Women and girls are typically trafficked into the commercial sex industry, meaning prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation such as committing sex acts for purpose of creating pornography. Men are generally trapped into forced labour. The NLO estimates that globally there are 20.9million victims of human trafficking, of these 68 percent are in forced labour of some kind, 26 percent are children and 55 per cent are women. Yearly, between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders. Half of these are children and 80 percent are female”.
The Assistant Controller stated further, “The immigration service in Oyo State has rescued several children of ages between six and ten years. These are gross minors while many minors of less than 18 years old have equally been rescued in Ibadan and its environs. These are mostly used as house-helps, shop attendants and vendors/hawkers. In 2016, we rescued 134 victims and arrested 38 traffickers, 107 end-users with 11 victims, 4 traffickers processed to NAPTIP. In 2017, 139 victims were rescued; one trafficker and one end-user were arrested and processed to NAPTIP. IN 2018, 163 victims, 27 traffickers were arrested while one victim and one trafficker were processed to NAPTIP. In the first quarter of this year 2019 between January and May, 28 victims have been rescued, 8 traffickers with 12 end-users arrested. It is important to point out the fact that most of these victims were either reunited with their families or repatriated to their home countries while the traffickers were handed over to their country’s security agents for prosecution”.
Akintola pointed out that physical injuries were not uncommon with trafficked persons and they sustain scars from flogging and other forms of punishment.
Bamgbose urged Nigerians especially the youth to consider engaging in meaningful venture rather than seeking greener pasture that is an illusion, which would lead to calamity.