The Director General of National Agency For the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs Dame Julie Okah-Donli, has revealed that the Ogun State of Nigeria, had been the most prevalent of cases of Human Trafficking among other States in the Agency’s Operational activities.
NAPTIP’s Director General, who was speaking at Ake Palace, Abeokuta, on Friday, 11 September, 2020, during a Courtesy Visit to the Egba Apex Monarch, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, noted that almost all the States in Nigeria were affected by migration and Human trafficking but disclosed, with serious concerns that, the Agency had rescued a total of 529 indigenes of Ogun State, adding that the local Governments, mostly affected were, Abeokuta North and South, Ipokia, Imeko-Afon, Ado-Odo, Ota, and Ogun Waterside Local Government Areas.
Dame Julie Okah-Donli also explained that, the aims, policies and achievements of the Agency included rescuing and empowerment of victims of Human trafficking as well as prosecution of Human trafficking suspects.
She further disclosed that NAPTIP had rescued and rehabilitated a total of 16,100 victims of human trafficking, adding that the Agency had also birthed State Task Force on human trafficking, which had been in 11 States of the Federation including Ogun State.
Mrs Okah-Donli commended the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for inauguration of the State Task Force on Human trafficking on Friday, 11 September, 2020.
She further said that the Agency was willing to Create more Task Forces across all States in the Country which would carry out sensitisation programmes within the rural and local areas of each State and enhance collaboration and mutual support among Local authorities.
The Director General also revealed that NAPTIP had partnered with the Oba of Benin, the Paramount Ruler of Edo State, to stop the administration of oaths of secrecy by traditional priests on victims of trafficking.
She added that the Agency was aiming at mobilisation of traditional rulers to look critically at the cultures and traditions that were hostile to women.
Mrs Okah further urged Ogun Citizens to be very vigilant and precautious so as not to become a victim of human trafficking.
In his response, the Alake and Paramount Ruler Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, noted that 85 percent of Black girls in Italy were from Benin and were mostly victims of human trafficking.
Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo commended the NAPTIP for the proactive steps which the Agency was taking, especially in Benin, where it was a pride for their daughters to be in Italian Cities for the prostitution as a business.
He pledged the total cooperation of Egbaland in NAPTIP’s fight against this almost endemic human trafficking and prostitution for total eradication.
The Egba Apex Monarch also pointed out that the issue of human trafficking and rape, should not be heard of among Nigerians because it is a Country that respects human dignity.
Oba Gbadebo charged the Director General to reach out to all the market women and men and enlighten them on Child labor, domestic servitude, and human trafficking as well as the precautionary measures to be taken when such cases are discovered.
The Alake emphasised that a principle of, “Do to other children, what you would want to be done to your children,” should be adopted in all sectors of the society.
He further pledged support and mobilisation of the Egba people against such illegal acts of human trafficking and prayed that the Agency would continue to succeed in all its endeavours throughout the Country.
Appreciating the Alake, the Special Adviser on Women Affairs, Mrs Kumurat Oritoke, noted that, the Egba Tradition and indeed the entire Ogun State, was protective of the girl child and rights to good education and life worth living.
Mrs Oritoke thanked the Alake and his Chiefs for pledging unflinching cooperation towards the eradication of the inhuman and barbaric business.
Egba High Chief present at the occasion included the Aare of Egbaland, Chief Ganiu Babayeju; Baagbimo, Chief Akanni Akinwale; Baajila Egba, Chief Olowookere; Asiwaju Baamofin, Chief Sunday Oduntan; Aare Bobagunwa, Chief Victor Abiodun; Bada AsojuOba, Chief Wole Odekunle; the Baajiki of Egbaland, Chief Bayo Harold Sodipo; the Aare Baaroyin, Chief Layi Labode, and the Awise of Egbaland.
Also, Women High Chiefs present at the occasion included the Iyalode of Egbaland, Chief (Mrs) Alaba Lawson; GbegbaAje of Egbaland, Chief (Mrs) Tejumade Bakre; Otun Iyaloja, Chief Mrs Kemi Oloyede; the Erelu Baamowe, Chief (Mrs) Aminat Adelekan; the Seriki Iyalate, Chief (Mrs) Veronica Atobatele; and the Seriki Iyaloja, Chief (Mrs) Modupeola Labode.