By Adebayo Waheed, Ibadan –
The director general, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP), Barrister Julie Okah-Donli has revealed that no fewer than 12,000 people have been rescued from human traffickers in Nigeria in the last four years.
The director general while speaking during a courtesy call on the senior special assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs, Hon Alike Dabiri-Erewa, said the agency had rehabilitated 6,000 victims and secured 325 convictions since 2003 when NAPTIP was established in Nigeria.
The special assistant (Media) to Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Abdur-Rahaman said in a statement yesterday that the agency’s director general had called for the immediate prosecutions and convictions of human traffickers in the destination countries.
The DG who stressed the collaborative need on the two agencies to start making the demands, said, “I will like you to join your strong voice with mine, Nigerians are the victims, we need to change the narratives, when they are sent back, the destination countries are telling me that their nationals are not involved. This is not true.
“There is no way Nigerians will be operating in Italy or any other countries without their nationals assisting them. Nigerians are just agents taking the consignments to them in Europe.”
Okah-Donli wondered how Nigerians would get into other countries without the collaboration of the nationals of those countries, stressing that the affected countries make it look like it was all Nigeria problems.
“It is high time for us as a country, to start making demands for the criminals in those destination counties to be prosecuted and convicted and not see it as Nigeria problems alone.
“The biggest challenge to me has been the refusal of the destination countries to prosecute their own gangs, not being able to confiscate the assets and freeze the accounts of the criminal gangs that are based in their countries’’, she added.
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