By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta
The Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has described Human Traficking as a serious crime and a grave violation of Human Rights which must be collectively nipped in the bud for the development of the society.
Abiodun stated this at the inauguration of Ogun State TaskForce team on Human Trafficking in his office, Okemosan Abeokuta.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me observe that for any society to develop, the Government has much to do in ensuring adequate security of lives and property. This is to say that no development can take place in an atmosphere of insecurity where criminal acts such as child abuse and human trafficking have become a free business. Apart from being one of the most illicit acts of criminality across the globe, human trafficking is a serious crime and grave violation of human rights” Prince Abiodun stressed.
The governor however, commended the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for its persistent efforts at curbing the menace at the national level.
According to him,it is the high time everybody, at different capacities, nipped human trafficking in the bud. Government and other stakeholders, at all levels, all around the world must expedite actions to stop the growing record of human trafficking in the society.
“According to the Year 2017 NAPTIP Reports, human trafficking exists in every State of Nigeria. And, Ogun State is not an exemption. In fact, on yearly basis, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of these traffickers. It is a fact that, till today, many of our people, especially our women and children, are still vulnerable to this heinous act as being perpetrated by the crime-minded people who are against the free will of humanity.
“For us in Ogun State, measures are already in place to stem child abuse, human trafficking, and other acts of violence against humanity. In this aspect, while we have continued to deploy resources to ensure security of lives and property, it is also a matter of policy to continue to provide conducive environment for our people to nurture and harness their potentials. It is our belief that a well educated populace will not only be easy to govern but they will also contribute positively and meaningfully to the development of the society.
“Our Administration has put in place various social intervention programmes designed towards increasing individual prosperity of our people and improving the economy of our dear State. I am happy to report that the results have been massive and positive” Governor Abiodun explained with emphasis.
Abiodun further explained that as a direct approach, relevant Government’s Agencies have been empowered and supported to be more proactive in the campaign and action towards eradicating the menace of child trafficking in Ogun State.
He said for instance that, the Ministries of Justice; and, Women Affairs and Social Development, have been collaborating with other Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) and relevant local and international agencies as well as Civil Society Groups in the fight against this menace.
He said also that the regular sensitization, and advocacy programmes put up by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to all stakeholders (Women groups, religious organization and others) are already giving positive results.
“Furthermore, The Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP Law) that we have in Ogun State is aimed at eradicating all forms of violence including human trafficking. In addition, our Administration has enacted the Child Rights Law to protect our children against all forms of violence that may be perpetrated which may hinder their optimal development.
“Therefore, the inauguration of the taskforce team on human trafficking, today, is very symbolic. This will further strengthen our machinery against the menace, but to further express our Administration’s commitment towards the discharge of good governance to the people of our dear State. In doing this, we will continue to provide platforms and other avenues for our people to contribute their quotas in the decision making processes towards the continued development of our sear State.
“Let me also note that this inauguration is apt and timely particularly at this time of our national life. The increasing rate of forms of violence such as child trafficking, child abuse and ritual killings in the country, occasioned by global emergency as posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, is already taking its toll. Therefore, inauguration of this taskforce team is to ensure that all our people, including the most vulnerable, are secure” Governor Abiodun stated.
Meanwhile, governor Abiodun gave the scope of work for the Task Force Team to include,
(1) Develop strategies and State Action Plans on counter trafficking issues;
(ii) Carry out programmes for effective reintegration of trafficked victims into the society; and (iii) To work with the State Ministry of Justice on how to protect, assist and provide access to justice for victims of trafficking among all others.
Meanwhile, the Ogun State TaskForce Team of Human Trafficking is headed byBarr. Gbolahan Adeniran- Chairman and Mr. Daniel Atokolo- as Co-Chairman.