By Florence Ugbem
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has assured of the state government’s support to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Human Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), in its fight to totally eliminate incidences of human trafficking, rape and other forms of human degradation in the country.
Speaking recently at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi while receiving the Director-General of NAPTIP, Mrs Imaan Suleiman-Ibrahim, Governor Ortom commended the federal agency for its intervention in the safe return to Benue State of several indigenes of the state who fell victim to human trafficking.
Represented by his deputy Engr Benson Abounu, the governor also inaugurated the Benue State Task Force on Human Trafficking. He explained that outside kidnapping, the worst offence that could be committed against a human being is that of being denied freedom, as is the case with child trafficking, where children are taken away from their parents and transferred to other places far from their original homes, and sold to strangers.
The governor further described human trafficking as a national embarrassment, and a source of concern, particularly that Benue state features as one of the endemic states for human trafficking in the country. He also disclosed that the state government has put in place measures through legal and policy frameworks to ensure the improvement of the quality of life for the people and to keep Benue children in school.
The Director General NAPTIP, Mrs Imaan Suleiman-Ibrahim commended Governor Samuel Ortom for his continuous support to the agency in its drive to minimise or totally eradicate human trafficking in the state.
She stated that the state government is instrumental to the success story of the federal government agency in the state. She mentioned the setting up of the task force as one clear pointer to government’s commitment in tackling the menace of human trafficking.
The task force chairman, state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr Mike Gusa, speaking on behalf of other members, promised to put in their best, in order to win the war against human trafficking in the state.