EBONYI, Nigeria – The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) at the weekend said it has rescued over 292 females and males from Ebonyi State from child labour and sexual exploitations.
The Director-General of the Agency, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, made this known during the inauguration of a taskforce to prohibit human trafficking in state, which took place at the Old government house Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
She noted that the taskforce will assist the agency to clampdown offenders, especially in Ebonyi where numerous children are been abused on daily basis.
Okah-Donli stated further that the purpose of establishing the taskforce was to ensure adequate collaboration between Ebonyi state government and the Federal government in times of fighting human trafficking.
According to her: “From 2004 to July 2020, a total of 292 indigenes of Ebonyi state have been rescued by NAPTIP, consisting of 205 females and 87 males, mostly from Izzi, Ezza, Ikwo, Afikpo north and south, Onitsha.
Others include; “Ohaukwu, Ohaozara, Ishielu, Abakaliki, Ivo and Nkalagu local government areas.
“These victims were subjected to child abuse, child labour, sexual exploitation and sale of babies.
“Between 2017 and 2020, the international organization for migration (IOM) returned 11 indigenes of Ebonyi state various parts of the world, Libya, Mali, Niger, the Middle East and parts of Europe. This comprised 9 females and 2 males,” she stated.
Responding, the governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi expressed dismay that some of Ebonyi children who are taken as house helpers are sometimes exploited sexually by those who took them.
Represented by his deputy, Barr. Eric Kelechi Igwe, the governor said that the state government as a result of the development, will no longer allow any Ebonyi children to be taken away as house helps to avert the numerous inhuman treatment melted on them.
He said: “We want to commend the efforts put in place by the agency to ensure that our daughters and sons who were rescued and returned to Ebonyi in the past.”