The National Agency for the
Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is conducting a Joint Border Sensitization in Jigawa Border Communities on Trafficking in Persons.
It is in collaboration with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the Nigerien National Agency for the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and Illicit Trafficking of Migrants (ANLTP/TIM).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the exercise was conducted on Monday in Maigatari town, a border community with Niger Republic in Maigatari Local Government Area, Jigawa.
The NAPTIP Director-General, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, said the exercise was to enlighten members of the communities on dangers associated with human trafficking and irregular migration.
Waziri-Azi, who was represented by Mr Josiah Emerole, the Director Public Enlightenment of the agency, said that the sensitisation would educate members of the community, particularly youth and women, who are vulnerable to human trafficking.
“We are here to educate you on the dangers associated with human trafficking. This being a border community serves as an avenue where traffickers ferry people to foreign countries.
“We want you to be very vigilant and ensure that the Nigeria/Niger borders are no longer haven for trafficking people. Some of the victims went and came back, others enslaved while some died in the desert.
“So be careful with strangers in your communities. Some of them hire houses where they keep their victims before moving them out through the borders,” Waziri-Azi said.
She, therefore, advised the residents and parents to avoid being deceived that their children were being taken abroad for greener pastures.
“Be careful of fake promises by these evil peole who are trying to bring slavery that was long abolished. It is unfortunate that even family members are involved in enslaving, selling or taking our children to cities with a promise to get money.
“They are lying to you as your children are being kept by those that enslave them while you think they are in school or living a good life. Protect your children, no matter the level of your poverty,” she advised.
The director-general urged the public to always report cases of human trafficking and other related criminal activities to the nearest security formations for prompt actions.
On her part, the Head Region, ICMPD West Africa, Dr Mojisola Sodeinde, said the exercise was part of the activities implemented under the framework of the project.
The project has the theme “Strengthening Niger-Nigeria
Cooperation on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings”.
It is funded by the Netherlands and implemented by the ICMPD, NAPTIP and ANLTP/TIM.
Sodeinde, reprensented by Adeniyi Bakre, ICMPD Programme Assistant, said the exercise was conducted between Sept. 23 and Sept. 28 in Konni and Maradi in Niger Republic.
She added that it conducted between Oct. 17 and Oct. 20 in Maigatari in Jigawa and Babban Mutum in Katsina state.
Sodeinde explained that the four-day border communities sensitisation was targeted at various stakeholders like the local population, especially children, young girls and boys, women, youths, transporters.
Also targeted are Law Enforcement Agencies within border communities in Nigeria and Niger Republic.
Noted that representatives from Police, Nigeria Immigration, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Department of State Services, traditional and religious Institutions attended the programme. (NAN)