The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in Oyo state disclosed over the weekend that 131 children were rescued from human traffickers in the last four months.
The Comptroller of the service in the state, Mrs Victoria Isang, made the disclosure when she addressed members of the Correspondents Chapel of the Oyo State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ibadan, the state capital.
She said that 56 of the victims had been reunited with their Nigerian parents, adding that 144 of the traffickers involved were arrested. She said the suspected traffickers included 75 Nigerians and 69 non-Nigerians.
“We have arrested 144 traffickers since February. Out of this figure, 75 of them are Nigerians while the remaining 69 are non-Nigerians.
“Also, 131 children have been rescued from various human traffickers. Seventy-five of them are minors and 56 of them have been reunited to their parents because they are Nigerians.”
Isang explained that the minors, under the age of 18, were suspected to have been lured from their parents by persons who wanted to use them for child labour within and outside the country.
The NIS boss also said that over 2,000 illegal immigrants living in the state have been arrested and deported in the last two months.
According to her, the illegal immigrants were all nationals of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) who neither registered their entry nor renewed their three-month ‘rights to stay’ in the country after its expiration.
She explained that the service does not waste time in deporting those arrested because of the security threat they might pose.
She explained further that the arrest of illegal immigrants was aided by the efforts of the Border Corps of the Service who were specially trained to mount surveillance on unregistered borders as well as men and officers combing various communities.
According to her, the command has registered 7,300 foreigners within the last two months.