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HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Over 300 Victims Rescued By NAPTIP Lagos Zone In 2021.

No fewer than 300 victims of human trafficking to several countries have been rescued by the Lagos Zonal Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons since the beginning of year 2021.
The Zonal Commander of the Agency Mr. Agaran Alao made the disclosure in Lagos during a road walk to sensitize the public and create awareness on human trafficking and its negative impact.
Speaking at the walk, Mr. Alao said the theme is apt as the voices of survivors of human trafficking, sex slavery tell a true rhetoric of the danger inherent in human trafficking. 

He said “This year’s day against human trafficking is dedicated to  victims of human trafficking. We want to ensure that the rights of the victims and survivors of human trafficking is protected. We want to use the occasion to create awareness on the situation of the  victims. The theme of this year’s day on human trafficking is that victims’ voices lead the way and  we want to ensure that whatever we are doing, the victims are part of it”. 
“We want to create a survivor advocacy group where a lot of things can be done for them. We want them to be empowered and not be re trafficked .We want them to be empowered to live well in the society”, he said. 

Mr. Alao hinted that over 300 persons have been rescued from countries they were  trafficked to  by the Lagos  zonal command this year adding that all hands must be on deck to fight the menace.

Associate Professor Iyabode Ogundiran representative of Anti- human trafficking hub university of Lagos said the scourge of human trafficking is all over the world and creating awareness of the victims’ plights should be a continuous exercise as she urges members of the public to be careful not to fall prey to the trafficking ring. 

Sister Felicia of the Bakhista foundation urged the government to address the push factors fuelling illegal migration.  

She said ” the push factor has also been poverty. People who cannot get better opportunity to get jobs, and live a good live can easily get deceived to come for job offers but on getting there, the story changes. There is no work but sex slavery. The issue of parental care for children is important so that a neighbour will not take advantage of a mother or father not being in the lives of children to deceive and traffick them”. 

The National Coordinator of the Network Against Child Abuse , Trafficking and  Labour  NACTAL Mrs. Morenike Moribeoje said all hands must be on deck to fight human trafficking and build a strong society that values the lives of young Nigerians. 

Mrs Bunmi Laja of the Live Abundantly Organisation said ” Let’s hear from the victims. They are the ones that have been through all the horror. They are in the position to tell those intending to  travel illegally their experiences so as to dissuade them from being trafficked “. 
One of the rescued girls, a 19 years old Bella John said ” I am from Delta state. I lost my dad and a neighbour we know as Mama  called me to her room. She told me she had sales girl job for me in Benin city Edo State but she said that I should not inform anyone that we are traveling”.
“I left Delta State with her and we got to Benin. She took me to Lagos where we moved by road to Mali. It was after we got to Mali that I was told it was prostitution work. I felt bad. Luckily, some girls she put me up with about fifty of them decided to  ran  away. Some of them succeeded in escaping, they were the ones who reported go the embassy. That was how I was rescued and brought back to Nigeria”. 

Another trafficked survivor Becky John said she is happy to be back in Nigeria. She said ” There is no job outside the country but sex slavery. It is horrible and I suffered all the time I was there in Ghana. I was lucky to escape and rescued to Nigeria. 
“I am going about preaching to young girls to be patient in Nigeria and not be received that there is good job in other countries. What the traffickers are taking you to do there is prostitution”. 

One of the rescue agencies in the United Arab Emirate Abigail foundation urged the government to provide jobs for the teeming youth especially those who who have completed their secondary education. 

Mrs Abigail said, ”Nigerians are the traffickers. They seize their passports and visa and threaten the girls that if they are not sleeping with men, they will kill their parents and other family members in Nigeria. The trafficked  girls are called  Okada riders and they have what they nicknamed as pit where these girls sleep with these men.  
“They beat them up when they refused to work. This pit  can be a construction site, a forest, bush, anywhere. The madam is very cruel and there are cult boys who also participate in the trafficking ring and are used to threaten the girls to meet with men for money“, she revealed.
 
The agency joined the world to commemorate the 2021 world day against trafficking in persons with the  theme ” let the voices of victims lead the way”. 
 
As part of activities lined up to mark the day, NAPTIP officials and stakeholders from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Lagos chamber of commerce, legal hub university of Lagos, Live Abundantly organization, among many other non governmental and government agencies were led by the NAPTIP Lagos State Zonal commander Mr. Agaran Alao on a road walk to sensitize the public and create awareness on human trafficking and its negative effects. 

The walk which started from the NAPTIP Lagos office in GRA, Ikeja to the Allen Junction in Ikeja and other places within Lagos, saw NAPTIP officials distributing leaflets and contacts to members of the public to become aware of the danger  of human trafficking.