Delta moves against human trafficking, takes campaign to grassroots
The Delta State Taskforce on Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration has taken the campaign against the menace to the grassroots in fulfillment of the promise of its chairman, Peter Mrakpor.
It appealed to faith-based organisations to support the state government in containing the illegal trade.
Mrakpor, who doubles as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice led other members of the team to Saint Peter’s Christ Army Church of Nigeria in Agbor, Ika South council area to sensitise the people on the dangers of the obnoxious human trafficking business, which he noted, had become prevalent in the locality.
He had promised to take the advocacy to the 25 local councils of the state when the Attorneys General Alliance/Africa Alliance Partnership Symposium held penultimate week where the commissioner raised the alarm over the spread of the illicit business in the state, which he succinctly described as an “evil and one of the greatest crimes against humanity.”
Mrakpor, who termed religious leaders as the greatest influencers of minds, submitted: “What is worrisome is the modus operandi of recruiters of young and energetic innocent girls and boys whom they lure into embarking on the dangerous and life-threatening journeys to Europe and other African countries with a promise of greener pastures that are never there.”
The Attorney General also gave a gory account of the kind of inhuman treatment meted on those who fell prey to their schemes, disclosing: “The state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, while receiving the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) prior to the inauguration of the task force, had underestimated the prevalent rate of the crime in the state, but was shocked when the DG told him of the number of persons trafficked from Ika South and Ika North East alone, which was very disturbing.”
Mrakpor, who conceded that the enforcement of the law alone against offenders was not enough in preventing the crime, added that the sensitisation was part of measures to nip the scourge in the bud.
The chairman enjoined the clerics to use the pulpit to preach against the menace, maintaining that the situation was becoming very worrisome.
He charged parents to be alive to their responsibilities.
Earlier, the Edo Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Mrs. Ijeoma Uduak, who spoke through Mr. Obi Onyebuchi disclosed: “The agency has secured 1,450 convictions and recovered 14,000 trafficked persons. Some of the returnees were battling with different life-threatening diseases because of the horrible lifestyles they were exposed to.”
She also implored parents to be vigilant as “December period appears to be the peak period for recruitment of persons with false promises of greener pastures in Europe and other countries.”
The taskforce also stopped over at the Ark of Testimony Redemption Ministry, Okpanam in Oshimili North Local Council where the commissioner again appealed to the church to partner with the team in confronting modern slavery.
Highpoint of the event was the presentation of awards to Governor Okowa and Mrakpor for their leadership virtues by the Diocesan Bishop of St. Peter’s Christ Army Church of Nigeria, Rt. Rev. Promise Dibie.