By Abiodun Lawal
Abeokuta – The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Friday inaugurated the Ogun Task-force on human trafficking to stem the tide of human trafficking and irregular migration in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the task force is chaired by the Ogun Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Gbolahan Adeniran.
Mrs Dame Okah -Donli, the Director-General of NAPTIP, at the inauguration in Abeokuta said that human trafficking represents a clear present danger to human and national security which must be addressed boldly and frontally.
Okah -Donli explained that the state task force on human trafficking had a pivotal role to play in ensuring adequate sensitisation at the grassroots and among vulnerable groups on the dangers associated with human trafficking.
She added that the task force also had a role to play in providing services and support to victims who had been rescued and returned as well as information sharing and law enforcement.
Okah -Donli stated that it required strong political will and budgetary provisions on the part of the state government, in addition to the commitment of traditional institutions, religious and community leaders.
“The challenges ahead of us are quite enormous and new initiatives must be developed to ensure adequate resources for the rehabilitation of returnee victims of human trafficking and irregular migration to mitigate the phenomenon of re-trafficking.
“From 2004 to July 2020, a total of 529 indigenes of Ogun state have been rescued by NAPTIP, consisting of 432 females and 97 males, mostly from Abeokuta North, Abeokuta South , Ipokia, Imeko Afon, Ado Odo Ota and Ogun waterside local government areas.
“Between March and August 2020, NAPTIP repatriated 355 young women from domestic and sexual servitude in Lebanon, out of whom, 15 were from Ogun.
“NAPTIP is collaborating with state governments to set up task forces against human trafficking under the supervision of the state governors in order to consolidate the efforts of the agency and other stakeholders.
“NAPTIP requests the collaboration of your government to stop these criminals and their cohorts, “she said.
Inaugurating the 42-man task force, Gov. Dapo Abiodun, said that government must ensure adequate security of lives and property for any nation to experience development.
Abiodun, represented by the Deputy Governor, Noimot Salako – Oyedele, explained that human trafficking remained a great violation of human rights, saying government must expedite action to stop the menace in the society.
“Our women and children are still vulnerable to this dastardly act and I want to say that the inauguration of the task force team is symbolic and timely,” he said.
The governor urged the people to support and cooperate with the task force, adding that all the requests made by NAPTIP DG to make the task force succeed would be addressed accordingly.
The Chairman of the task force, Adeniran , said that the task force would adopt victims centre approach, saying that it was important to support victims that were trafficked and also suffered violence.
NAN reports that other members of the task force were drawn from the Nigeria Police, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), traditional rulers and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).