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NAPTIP rescues over 900 victims of human trafficking in Katsina
By Faith Awa Maji, Katsina
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), says it has within the year, rescued over 900 victims of human trafficking and repatriated to the Katsina State Command.
The Director General (DG) of the agency, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, gave this indication at a border community sensitisation programme on Wednesday at Babban Mutum community, in Baure Local Government Area of the State.
The exercise was funded by the Netherlands and implemented by NAPTIP, Nigerien National Agency for the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and Illicit Trafficking of Migrants (ANLTP/TIM) and International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
Waziri-Azi, represented by Mr. Josiah Emerole, the Director Public Enlightenment of the agency, said the success was recorded in collaboration with other security agencies.
“We know that the Immigration Service here and the police have been intercepting people who are being moved, and they are also getting people repatriated from Niger Republic.
“I must tell you today that it is on our record that within this year, not less than 900 of such intercepted and repatriated people have been sent through the immigration and police to our office in Katsina,’’ she said.
Waziri-Azi said that the exercise was to interact and enlighten members of the border communities on the dangers associated with human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.
“In 2003, the Federal Government established the agency based on the number of Nigerians that were destroyed in various part of the world by criminals who traffic them to European countries and forced them into prostitution and hard labour.
“Since then, we have been going from one State to the other campaigning against trafficking, enslavement and exploitation of young people especially.
“Realising that today, most of these people are being taken away by these elements through the borders, that is why we came up with this idea to enlighten border communities on the ills of human trafficking.
“And the good thing is that ICMPD came to support us together with Niger Republic to come up with a project, which we already embarked upon with the aim to tackle the menace,’’ he said.
The Head Region, ICMPD West Africa, Dr Mojisola Sodeinde, said the exercise was part of activities implemented under the project, with the theme ‘Strengthening Niger-Nigeria Cooperation on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings’.
Represented by Adeniyi Bakre, ICMPD Programme Assistant, Sodeinde said the exercise was also conducted in Niger Republic and Maigatari in Jigawa State.
Sodeinde said that the programme was targeted at various stakeholders like the local population, especially children, young girls and boys, women, youths, transporters and Law Enforcement Agencies within border communities in Nigeria and Niger Republic.
In his response, the District Head of Baure and Dan-Iyan Daura, Alhaji Haruna Abdullahi commended the organisers of the event, and assured them of all the necessary support towards its success.
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