By Lucky Isibor
The Benin Zonal Commander of the National Agency for Prohibition in Human Persons, NAPTIP, Mr. Nduka Nwanwenne has likened human trafficking to eating of seed yams farmers as youths who are leaders of tomorrow are being trafficked into slavery.
Nwanwenne was speaking at an event to mark this year’s United Nations Day Against Trafficking in Persons in Benin City, Tuesday, appealing that every stakeholder must collaborate with it to curb the menace which he said was becoming a monster that has expanded into drug abuse, human part sales and no longer restricted to females.
“Human trafficking is like eating our seed yams, if we eat our seed yams, there is nothing to plant tomorrow and we will not have anything to reap so we must not eat our seed yams so that we will have something to plant and something to eat tomorrow”
He said the agency has rescued not less than 500 victims of human trafficking in 2018 alone just as it said about 5,000 have been rescued by the agency since inception.
Part of the event was a 5 Kilometres walk from NAPTIP office to the premises of the Nigeria Union of Journalists secretariat.
According to him, “Human trafficking is a global issue and so we need a global solution t be able to solve the problem. It is an issue that one agency cannot do alone. NAPTIP as the focal agency cannot do it alone, we need the collaboration of every stakeholder to fight the fight and so if we come to together, we can join our hands to make sure that human trafficking is brought to an end.
“The Benin Zonal command over the years have rescued over there thousand victims of human trafficking, this year alone, we have rescued almost 500 victims of human trafficking. Some persons have been sent to jail. We have so many cases that are pending in court and so today is an awareness raising day with the theme ‘say no to human trafficking.’ We must say no to human trafficking, it has gone to the point where we cannot say I am not affected and so I cannot do anything about it.
“We are all affected as a society and it is not an issue that concern only females, it is now all encompassing, now organs are being harvested and both male and female organs are being harvested, there is the issue of child labour, there is the issue of forced labour, there is the issue of begging, there is the issue of money laundering, they are all connected in one way or the other to human trafficking, there is even the issue of drug abuse, there are a lot of victims that cannot do what they are asked to do without taking drugs, so it is important that we must join hands together. when you sweep with one broom, it cannot sweep the house but if the brooms are combined, we can do it together.”
In his goodwill message, Zonal Commandant, Nigerian Immigration Services, Mr. Kayode Eniolohunda who was represented by Ehijele Esohe said the command has been in the forefront of the fight against irregular migration in the country adding that those who want to travel should equip themselves with the required documents as the agency is not against anyone travelling out of the country but it must be carried out in a legitimate manner.
Also commending NAPTIP for its fight to end human trafficking in the country, President, Conference of Non Governmental Organizations (CONGOs), Comrade Abiola Dazzy Idufueko said the agency deserves more commendations for its good work in the country.