By Henry Uche
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Defence Headquarters are to partner in the fight against human trafficking.
A statement from the Agency’s Head, Press & Public Relations, Stella Nezan confirmed that the partnership would be in the areas of training of NAPTIP personnel in relevant tactical areas, joint actions and logistics amongst others.
According to the statement, this was the crux of discussions when the Director-General of NAPTIP, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim paid a courtesy visit to the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Leo Irabor recently at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.
The Director-General had at the meeting requested greater partnership from the Armed Forces in the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria especially with the rate of insecurity in the country.
‘’Human Trafficking has become a huge Security problem to the global community including Nigeria and if we do not properly harness our efforts in fighting it, we will not be able to deal with the problem adequately’’, she stated.
She that Nigeria which has always been a champion in Africa in the fight against human trafficking must do everything possible to win the war. Stressed that, “The need for the Armed forces and other Law Enforcement Agencies to see human trafficking as a big national security problem just like illicit drugs and proliferation of Arms and pay proper attention to such issues in the course of their operations is Paramount. I therefore call for better synergy between the Agency and the Armed Forces to deal with the problem,” she implored.
In his response, the Chief of Defence Staff who explained that human trafficking goes hand in glove with other organised crimes stated that the new slavery must be properly situated as a very serious crime within the nation’s defence and security plans to be adequately dealt with.
‘’All efforts must be taken to support NAPTIP. We pledged the Defence headquarters readiness to partner with the Agency in various areas including training of personnel in relevant tactical areas, joint operations when needed and other logistics support. When we join in strengthening NAPTIP and the fight against human trafficking, it will help in our efforts to secure Nigeria’’, he added.
He also pledged the Defence’s resolve to reduce the rate of vulnerability in the country through recruitment of young people into the Armed Forces whenever the opportunity comes, commended the Director-General for her efforts towards galvanising support and collaboration in the counter trafficking efforts of the present administration.
Meanwhile, the Nassarawa State Government has donated 200 acres of land to NAPTIP for the establishment of a Regional Training Academy on Trafficking in persons in line with an earlier promise by the State Government as part of its support in the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria.
The notice was conveyed on yesterday by His Royal Majesty, Alhaji (Dr) Ahmed Abdullahi Hassan, the Yakanaji of Uke Kingdom of Nassarawa State when the Director-General of NAPTIP, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim led the Management team of the Agency on a courtesy visit to the Royal Father to thank him and take possession of the land provided to the Agency by the Nassarawa State Government for the establishment of the Academy.
The Royal father used the opportunity to confer the traditional title of ZINARIYAN YAKANAJE Uke Kingdom (The Gold of the Uke Kingdom) on the Director-General.
Speaking on the reason for the title, the Royal father explained that the Director-General as a Princess of the Kingdom has always been their pride and that the title is aimed at pushing her to do her best for the country in the fight against human trafficking. “We have no doubt in your ability to discharge your function appropriately. Go to the world and exhibit the good home training you have received’’, he said.
In response, the Director-General expressed appreciation to the Royal Father for finding her worthy of such a title. She however, pledged not to disappoint the people of Nassarawa State and President Buhari in discharging her duties. She also thanked the Nassarawa State Governor for providing the large expanse of land to the Agency to build the Regional Training Academy on Trafficking in persons.
She also called on all stakeholders to join hands with the Agency in the fight against human trafficking and to ensure the actualisation of the Regional Training Academy in Nigeria.