The Delta State Taskforce on Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration has taken its sensitization campaign to the grass root with an appeal to faith-based organizations whom the Chairman of the Taskforce regards as the greatest influencer of minds to join hands with the Delta State Government in its fight against the illegal trade.
Chairman of the Taskforce, Mr. Peter Mrakpor who is also the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice led other members of the Taskforce to Saint Peter’s Christ Army Church of Nigeria, Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area on Sunday to sensitize people of the area on the dangers of the obnoxious human trafficking business which he said has become prevalent in the area.
It would be recalled that the Chairman of the Taskforce promised to take its sensitization campaign to the 25 Local Government Areas of the State when it hosted Attorneys General Alliance/Africa Alliance Partnership Symposium penultimate Wednesday where he raised alarm on the spread of the activities of human traffickers in the State which he succinctly described as “evil and one of the greatest crime against humanity”.
The Chairman of the Taskforce while exposing the modus oparandi of recruiters of young and energetic innocent girls and boys whom they lure into embarking on the dangerous and life threatening journey to Europe and other Africa Countries with a promise of greener pasture, gave a gory accounts of the kind of inhuman treatment meted on those who fell prey to their schemes.
He disclosed that the State Governor, Senator Dr. 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 State Taskforce, had underestimated the prevalent rates of the crime in State but was shocked when the D-G told the Governor of the number of persons trafficked from Ika South and Ika North East alone which was very disturbing.
Peter Mrakpor who conceded that enforcement of the law alone against offenders was not enough in preventing the crime, stated that the steps already taken by the Taskforce in embarking on the campaign to every nook and crannies of the State were part of measures to nip the crime in the bud.
While appreciating the clergy who mobilized members of the church to attend the sensitization campaign of the Taskforce which was taken to the Church, Mrakpor enjoined faith-based organizations whom he referred to as the greatest influencer of minds to join hands with the Delta State Government to use the pulpit to preach against the menace, noting that the crime was becoming more rampant.
He assured that the Delta State Government was not leaving any stone unturned in curtailing activities of human traffickers in the state even as he charge parents to be alive to their responsibilities.
Earlier, the Edo Zonal Commander of the National Agency for Prohibition in Persons (NAPTIP) Mrs. Ijeoma Uduak who spoke through Mr. Obi Onyebuchi disclosed that the Agency has secured 1,450 convictions and recovered 14,000 trafficked persons back to country, and disclosed that some of the returnees were battling with different life threatening diseases because of the horrible lifestyle they were exposed to.
The Edo Zonal Commander charged parents to be vigilant as December period appears to be the peak period for recruitment of persons with false promises of greener pasture in Europe.
The Taskforce also visited Ark of Testimony Redemption Ministry, Okpanam in Oshimili North Local Government where the Chairman appealed to the Church to partner with the Taskforce in confronting what it called modern slavery.
He disclosed that the Delta State Government has put in place more stringent measures in regulating the operations of Orphanages in the State and assured that the state Government will not rest on its oars in protecting and safe guarding the rights of the people irrespective of creed, gender or ethic nationality.
High point of the event was presentation of Awards and golden cups to the Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and to the Chairman of the Taskforce for exemplary leadership by the Diocesan Bishop of St. Peter’s Christ Army Church of Nigeria.