The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe has said effective partnership between all tiers of governments, especially wives of state governors and other relevant stakeholders will enhance Nigeria’s fight against human trafficking.
Akande-Sadipe stated this on Thursday in an interview with newsmen, as part of activities marking the 2020 World Day Against Trafficking Persons.
The lawmaker expressed worry over the high-level of trafficking going on in the country, urging the first ladies to rise against the menace and other vices against the female gender.
“This is another form of violence against women. The best way to eradicate this evil among us is to work in unity. Wives of Governors should use their offices to advocate against this act.
“The traficking agents and their collaborators are not more powerful than those who mean well for the people of this nation,” she said.
Akande-Sadipe revealed that her recent meeting with the wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, yielded positive enthusiasm and shows that there could be fruitful collaborations with first ladies to bring the embarrassing scourge to an end.
“This action will ensure that we build awareness in our various states. We need to educate parents and our girls on the risk of foreign domestic servitude and the lies of agents who end up trafficking them into dangerous situations.
“We would ensure that the collaboration focuses on rehabilitation, effective sensitisation, workshops and seminars across communities, schools, churches, mosques markets, and other public places and to the remotest parts of our nation,” she stated.
The lawmaker also thanked the Nigerian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ambassador Goni Modu Zanna Bura, who recently came to the aid of thirty Nigerian girls in Lebanon, who were forcefully ejected by their landlord.
“I spoke to the Nigerian Ambassador in Lebanon yesterday and his response was inspiring as he had put in place some emergency palliatives for the girls in Lebanon.
“We also want to encourage Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministries of Women Affairs in each state, local government authorities, relevant government agencies and other stakeholders to partner with us, so that this trafficking menace would be a thing of the past,” Akande-Sadipe said.
She reiterated her commitment to ensuring legislation to discourage human trafficking, adding that is working auspiciously with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is an annual event to fight against trafficking and modern day slavery.
According to reports, about 80,000 Nigerians are currently held as sex slaves and in forced labour a in countries like Lebanon, Mali among others.