CHINEDU WOSU, YENAGOA
The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Wednesday said Bayelsa communities are the major sources of supply and transit points for human traffickers in the country.
The agency however said it is seeking the partnership of the Bayelsa state Government to reduce the high rate of human trafficking in the state.
Director General, NAPTIP, Mrs. Julie Okar-Donli said that the collaboration was crucial because Bayelsa was a source, transit and destination points for human trafficking.
Okar-Donli, who spoke at a courtesy visit to Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state at the Government House in Yenagoa noted that human traffickers were in the habit of using the maritime routes to transport victims to other West African countries.
She said that NAPTIP recently rescued 16 girls trafficked from Bayelsa for sexual exploitation in Ivory Coast while the suspected human traffickers are being prosecuted.
Okar Donli said that the agency also got reports that the presence of Migrant oil workers posed a higher risk to girls who were being exploited sexually.
‘NAPTIP discovered that human traffickers were now using their victims who they lure abroad under the guise of seeking greener pastures for organ transplant which she described as organ
The DG said that in view of the development, there was need for all stakeholders to close ranks to stem the tide of human trafficking which she described as the third largest crime in the world.
Responding, Dickson who expressed surprise at the high prevalence of human trafficking in the state as source, transit and destination points, said that the state government would put an end to the illicit activities of human traffickers.
Dickson said that the government would immediately provide an office accommodation for NAPTIP to ensure that the agency commences operation in the state, adding that the various law enforcement agencies in the state would also be supported to curb the menace.
“The government of Bayelsa is worried at the skin chilling revelation from NAPTIP that human trafficking has taken a new dimension of organ harvesting in addition to the sexual exploitation and forced labour dimensions.
“As a government that works to ensure law and order, we will ensure that the laws of Nigeria with regards to prohibition of human trafficking is enforced and we shall be collaborating with NAPTIP, ” Dickson said.
The NAPTIP D-G also led the delegation of the agency’s officials to pay an advocacy visit to King Alfred Diette-Spiff, Chairman of Bayelsa Council of Traditional Rulers.