From Esther Akaa, Lafia
The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) is to establish a regional training academy in Nasarawa State, aimed at training citizens on how to respond to issues of human trafficking in the country.
The Director General of NAPTIP, Hajiya Imaam Suleiman-Ibrahim disclosed this recently during the inauguration of the Task Force on Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons held at Government House Lafia.
According to her, the establishment of the academy which would serve the whole of West Africa, will fulfil the agency’s mandate of making Nigeria a trafficking free nation and safeguard the fundamental human rights of citizens.
She noted that Nasarawa State was endemic for trafficking of children for domestic servitude, child abandonment, sexual abuse, sale of babies, child labour and sexual exploitation in brothels among others.
“Currently, the Makurdi Zonal Command of NAPTIP covers Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, Plateau and Kogi States. In the year 2020 alone, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic, NAPTIP rescued about 20 indigenes of Nasarawa State from traffickers. This comprised of 14 females and 6 males, mostly from Keana, Keffi and Karu Local Government Areas.
“Apart from the hundreds that continue to die in the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean sea, last year, reports emerged about human farm in some parts of Libya where black African migrants are allegedly kept in cages like animals and organs like eyes, kidney, lungs are harvested to service the medical sector of European and other parts of the world,” she said.
The NAPTIP boss explained that the agency, in collaboration with various state governments was establishing task force offices against human trafficking, under the supervision of the state governors, in order to consolidate its effort in the fight against human trafficking in the country.
She therefore, solicited support from the state government in order to salvage the future of young people especially women, children and youths.
Responding, the Governor of the state, Engr Abdullahi Sule, commended the agency for its efforts in protecting the lives of citizens as well as choosing the state as the site for the proposed NAPTIP regional training academy.
“Nasarawa has already signed the Anti-Rape Law. We have also signed the child protection law and finally we have also signed the Violent Against Persons (VAP) law in the state. With all these laws in place, we are ready to work with you.
“Nasarawa has the longest boundary with Abuja and we are already looking at a site in Karu LGA that has boundary with Abuja and once we obtain it, Nasarawa State government will fence the site for the agency,” Governor Sule said.