Gabriel Chy Alonta
The director general of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah-Donli, was in Awka on Monday for the inauguration of the Anambra state task force against child, girls and boys trafficking and abuse.
The task force membership is jointly constituted by the agency and the Anambra state government and involves all traditional rulers and town leaderships in the state.
Prior to the inauguration, the DG made a courtesy call on the traditional ruler of Awka, Obi Gibson Nwosu, Ezeuzu II to ask for the Obi’s blessings and support.
The Obi, represented by the traditional prime minister of the Awka kingdom, High Chief Benjamin C. Okoye, expressed the unflinching support of Awka indigenes and residents for the activities of the agency. Chief Okoye, while condemning in totality, all acts of human trafficking – whether of children or boys and girls – conveyed the royal father’s blessings for NAPTIP. He went further to call on governments at all tiers to give the agency all and every support necessary for the most effective discharge of its duties. He, specifically, implored the governments to provide increased funding for the agency in order to make its task easier.
NAPTIP was created by the federal government in July 2003 through the instrumentality of a statute known as the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2003 as a response to the crime of trafficking in persons. It is also a fulfilment of the country’s international obligation to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Transnational Organised Crime Convention (UNTOC).
Nigeria became a signatory to the Transnational Organised Crime Convention and its Trafficking in Persons Protocol on December 13, 2000. Article 5 of the Trafficking Protocol enjoins states, parties to criminalise practices and conduct that subject human beings to all forms of exploitation which includes in the minimum sexual and labour exploitation.