ABUJA- Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Abuja, has urged the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to do its work as mandated by the law, and without fear and favour.
The Bishop gave the admonition on Sunday in Abuja while speaking during a thanksgiving outing to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the agency’s existence.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that event was also part of the activities lined up for the celebration of 2023 World Day Against Human Trafficking, observed annually on July 30.
“This is the kind of habit we are praying for Nigerianleaders to possess; to do their work with all sense of responsibility.
“The utmost priority of our lives is to serve God.
“I urge NAPTIP to work closely with other law enforcement agencies.”
According to him, the church is where we have the bulk population of worshippers, and they listen whenever the word of God is spoken to their hearing.
“We speak the word of God to them, we also speak to them on contemporary social issues.
“Trafficking in human being is one of those vices that we tell our worshippers; ours is to enlighten them and as they go home they inform their people.
“In our schools, we have many children, we talk to them on how to detect those who are going to use them for trafficking.
“We will do our best to collaborate with NAPTIP in dissemination of information,” he said.
Earlier, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Prof Fatima Waziri-Azi, told the congregation that staff of the agency were in the church to give thanks to God for fighting human trafficking scourge for the past 20 years.
She said: “We felt the church is a very big allied capable of discouraging human trafficking in our society, and that it was important to come to the church in addition to giving thanks to God.”
Waziri-Azi said that the was also in the church to use the opportunity to let the parishioners know more about the issue of human trafficking, and to let them understand what the Red Flag on the issue of human trafficking.
She said that the coming of NAPTIP would enable the congregation protect and empower themselves with the right information about human trafficking.
“Our intervention with the church will do a lot. All faith-based organisations are strong institutions. Members and communities look up to them so if they speak, if they sensitise members, they will definitely listen.”
When asked how she felt about the tier-2 ranking of Nigeria on the human trafficking index, the D-G stated that the position was not a bad one, and that U.S. ranking was not what involved Nigeria alone.
According to her, the ranking simply means that Nigeria has not fully complied with the Trafficking in Person Act of the United States, and that the agency is making effort to do more on the fight against human trafficking.
“If you read the report in totality, it categorically states that Nigeria had more conviction than ever before, more rescue last year, it put together the preventive measures of not just government but also civil society organisations,” she said
She, however, said that the theme for 2023 World Day Against Human Trafficking- “Reach every victim of human trafficking, leave no one behind” was very relevant with what NAPTIP was doing.
According to her, what the reemphasise is that we should keep on taking care of victims as they are not criminals.
She stressed that victims need solidarity.
“They need support and not judgment,” she said. (NAN)