The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency says it is committed to collaborating with agencies to end the menace of trafficking in Nigeria.
It made this commitment at an event where the Lutherian Church provided empowerment for twenty two returnees to ensure they are properly reintegrated into society.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, Assistant Director, NAPTIP, Gav Festus said the basic tactics used by these traffickers to lure unsuspecting victims is on the basis of jobs.
“They’ll tell you they have a job for you. And then they can also tell you they want to place you in a football club abroad. They also tell you they want to put you in school while you’re working for them, but there are no jobs anywhere.”
Success (not real name), a returnee, described her ordeal as follows: “My friend met me and told me that there’s this auntie that told her about empowerment in Cote’ d Ivoire, she said we will be taught a skill and we will be empowered but the problem was that we will not inform our parents because if we do, they will say the place is too far for us to go.”
“We were made to work as prostitutes while the woman collected the money from us,” Success added.
According to reports, 73% of persons trafficked are usually exploited sexually.
Deputy Commander, NDLEA FCT Command, Ibrahim Ohida while addressing newsmen in Abuja said usually drugs are used as weapon to put these people perpetually into the act they employ them to do.
“Those who are trafficked are usually enticed into prostitution, even if some of them do not want to. They go out into the unknown looking for greener pastures. This is the line they have been made to follow. And in order for them to do so, the traffickers usually introduce them to drugs.”
Ignorance is an instrument used by many traffickers to lure their victims. And emotional damage is always multidimensional as it affects not only the survivors, but other family members as well.
After she escaped and contacted her parents, efforts were put in place to repatriate her, she says. With the help of the Nigerian Embassy in Cote D’ Ivoire, she returned to the country.
The second phase for returnees is usually how to reintegrate them back into the society so they can have the semblance of a normal life.
A faith based, non-governmental organisation, Symbols of Hope, is taking the lead in this. It urges other religious and organised bodies across the world to join in the fight against human trafficking.
Spokesman Lutheran World Federation, Geneva, Ashenafi Haile said the organisation so far has financed about €600,000 for this program.
He noted that this was part of its contribution to nation building in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, NAPTIP and the Immigration.
” As a church, we believe that if religious institutions can consciously or be deliberate in humanitarian activities, then we will have a better Nigeria, this is according to Emmanuel Gabriel, country director, Symbols of Hope.
In the past, the organisation provided only skills training for returnees, but now it is providing empowerment, a business startup of choice for them, saloon services to sales of Pet drinks and operation of POS centers.
Another area that also needs increased effort in the areas of human trafficking is apprehending the traffickers.