•NGE launches book on menace
President Muhammadu Buhari has described human trafficking as one of the worst forms of slavery known to humanity.
He said it was unacceptable for traffickers to exploit the natural quest for employment and search for better economic opportunities by the youths in an increasingly complex and competitive world.
The President spoke at the public presentation of the book, “Eight Evils of Human Trafficking”, authored by Steve Osuji, member of the Editorial Board of The Nation and Boniface Opute.
Represented by the Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development Senator Aisha Alhassan, he said all hands must be on deck to arrest the plague for the country’s growth.
Buhari expressed concern about issues that violate the rights and dignities of the citizenry and hailed efforts made by organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to compliment government’s efforts in tackling such violations.
He said: “Human trafficking is one of the worst forms of slavery experienced in the 21st century and all hands must be on deck to unveil and totally arrest this plague for growth and development.
“It is totally unacceptable for traffickers to exploit the natural quest for employment search for better economic opportunities by the youth, especially young girls, in an increasingly complex and competitive world.
“Riding on the ignorance, insecurity, poor livelihood options, spirit of adventure, nativity, lack of education and skills of victims, traffickers lure unsuspecting citizens into slave-like existence, shattering their dream of a better life. Such criminal activities must be exposed and dealt with so that the rights and dignity of our people can be better protected.
“I believe that the ‘Eight Evils of Human Trafficking’ will help to throw additional light on the style and techniques used by traffickers. This will help to create greater awareness among the populace and I believe that the Guild of Editors will help to circulate the ills and dangers of trafficking.
“On our part, government has taken several steps to deal with the challenges of this modern form of slavery, especially as thousands of Nigerians, mostly women and girls are trafficked annually.”
The president added that the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons was established to address the problem.
Presenting the book, Rivers State Governor Nyeson Wike described human trafficking as one of the greatest social vices impacting negatively on the lives of citizens in Nigeria.
He hailed the Nigeria Guild of Editors for taking the bold initiative to fight against human trafficking.
Represented by his deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, Wike said human trafficking was a disgusting and despicable human act targeted at the poor and vulnerable in the society.
“For us in Rivers State, security and ending all forms of criminality is the bedrock of our administration. Within few months of being sworn in, we have given assent to the Anti-kidnapping Bill.
“The most significant aspect of this law is the introduction of stiffer penalty, including the forfeiture of assets or profits derived either directly or indirectly from kidnap operation,” he said.
Former Anambra State Governor and chairman of the occasion Peter Obi described human trafficking as the modern slavery, adding that many people might not know or understand the evil of human trafficking globally.
He said: “While slavery has been abolished, it now comes in form of human trafficking which is illegal trade in human beings, which we all know deprive them of their human right, using them for cheap labour and prostitution. It is actually believed to be the third biggest form of criminality in the world today. People are making billions from it.”
Nigeria Guild of Editor President Funke Egbemode said parents and the society were culpable in the evil of human trafficking.
She said the neglect of human, natural and traditional values have conspired to give the nation a bad name over trafficking. (The Nation)