By Ade Olu
Stakeholders in the fight against trafficking in persons, in Anambra State have expressed readiness to beef up the campaign against the scourge which is currently gathering momentum in the area.
They made their resolve known during a road show organized in Awka, the state capital, as part of a three-day sensitization campaign against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, is organized by the Anambra State Chapter of the Network of Civil Society Organizations Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour, NACTAL, under the Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria, A-TIPSOM Nigeria.
The event, which is funded by the European Union and implemented by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies, (FIIAPP), lasted for about two hours, taking the campaigners through some strategic locations within Awka metropolis including Arroma Junction, Amaenyi market among others.
Speaking during the road show, the State Commander, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, Mrs Ibadin Judith-Chukwu, noted that efforts must be sustained in the area of sensitization until all the citizens are reached with the message.
“The essence of this road walk today is in fulfillment of one of five Ps of our working strategy, which is prevention strategy. It is a way of preventing the commission of the crime. When you hear, you will not fall victim of human trafficking.
“We are to tell Anambra people that human trafficking is real and is here with us. They should understand when danger is locking at the corner and what to do to prevent. We encourage the people to imbibe the habit of reporting to NAFDAC”.
In a remark, the Zonal Coordinator, NACTAL, South East Zone, Mrs Ijeoma Nnaji, challenged the people of the zone to wake up to the reality of the crime around them, noting that some of the traffickers and their cohorts had relocated from Edo State to neighbouring states including Delta and Anambra, after the royal curse placed on them by the Oba of Benin.
“Our people must know that human trafficking is real in the zone and in Anambra State. It is our duty to ensure that traffickers do not successfully carry out their business. We must take the message to the grassroots to ensure that every person is aware of this problem and what to do to escape it.
Anambra State Coordinator of NACTAL, Miss Eucharia Onyemaobi, noted that the road show was also designed to encourage the citizens to break the culture of silence, which empowers the traffickers against their victims.
According to her, the campaign is not against oversea travels, but such migration must be regular and safe.
She said: “We want the people to know that it is not greener anywhere. There is no gold on the streets of Europe. So, anyone who must travel should do it the right way so that they don’t become victims of these smart criminals”.
The Senior Project Officer, A-TIPSOM Nigeria, Mr Joseph Sanwo, who represented FIIAAP, said the organization was poised to partner the Nigeria and Anambra State Governments to win the war against human trafficking and irregular migration.
“All that FIIAPP requires is the willingness of the government in Nigeria to partner with it. This is just one of our many interventions across Nigeria. We are poised to ensure intensified fight against the heinous crime. Human trafficking reduces the dignity of human person and must be fought to a standstill”.
A member of NACTAL, Miss Hope Okoye, noted with gladness that the state government established a task force against human trafficking two years ago, which she noted needs to be properly supported and funded to play its role in the campaign against the crime.