DG NAPTIP Frowns At Spate of Child Trafficking In The Country: Lauds Military For Inter – Agency Collaboration
Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, has warned parents against giving out their children under any guise saying that such children are always subjected to all forms of abuses and exploitation.
She stated this in her office while handling over the 22 Children rescued by men of the Nigerian Military to officials of the Kaduna State Ministry of Human Science and Social Development.
It would be recalled that in the early hours of Friday, 8th January 2021, officers of the Nigerian Military intercepted a Peugeot J5 bus carrying 22 under-aged children and handed them over to NAPTIP for appropriate action. The children were being trafficked from Kwasalo village in the Ikara Local Government Area of Kaduna State to Nasarawa State for exploitative labor.
These children were crammed into the luggage carrying vehicle without windows and were weak and tired at the point of rescue. They were also without any face masks which is against the Covid-19 protocols.
In a practical demonstration of the tenet of inter – Agency collaboration, the victims were promptly transferred to NAPTIP for further investigation.
The Director-General who was not happy with the recurring unhealthy development of child trafficking across the Country stated that “The Agency frowns at the increasing rate of child trafficking, employment of children for begging and other exploitative labor. Parents should desist from this nefarious abuse of children, as perpetrators will be severely punished. I also enjoin State Governments to kindly provide effective strategies in dealing with child trafficking issues as such matters impact negatively on the youth population and the country at large.
“With the new wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, all hands must be on deck in containing it. The protocols of wearing of face masks, hand washing, and social distancing should be encouraged by all”.
On the status of the case, the NAPTIP boss disclosed that “Investigation into the case is on-going but owing to the age of the children, the Agency deems it necessary to reunite the children with their families through the Kaduna State Government. This is important to ensure their production in furtherance of investigation and possible prosecution of their traffickers. The driver of the bus is in custody as efforts are being expedited to ensure the arrest of other accomplices implicated in the case.
She expressed gratitude to the Nigerian Military for what she described as highly professional conduct in the interception of the children and handing them over to the Agency for appropriate actions.
“I appreciate the existing collaboration between the two institutions.
“In a similar vein, we are thankful to the Kaduna State Government for the prompt response and demonstration of love to its citizens by coming to the rescue of these children. This type of collaboration should be emulated by other States to rid the country of the crime of trafficking in persons”, Imaan Sulaiman Ibrahim said.
In his response, an official of the Kaduna State Ministry of Human Science and Social Development, Mr. Usman Hassan assured that while efforts would be made to reunite the children with their parents, all those that are connected with the recruitment and trafficking of the victims would be prosecuted in line with the existing law of the State.
He thanked NAPTIP for taking adequate care of the children through proper feeding and comfort sheltering.