Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
A 31-year-old Nigerian, Temitope Ariwolo, who was held hostage by her employer in Lebanon and other Nigerians held in similar circumstances, have returned to Nigeria.
Ariwolo and the other returnees, who arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Saturday in a chartered aircraft, were received by the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Tolulope Sadipe and other government functionaries.
The returnees shortly after their arrival were handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking (NAPTIP) for rehabilitation.
The Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, said all the returnees will be quarantined for 14 days in line with the COVID-19 protocol. Okah-Donli said at the end of the 14 days, Ariwolo would be rehabilitated and given all necessary support.
‘We just have one person of interest right now that came from Lebanon which is Temitope, we are going to rehabilitate her in a shelter and empower her. She’s also going to be quarantined for two weeks, after 14 days we will now take her to the shelter and give her some support and counsel her because she’s traumatised. We have so many people ready to empower her.
‘On if any arrest has been made on those who facilitated her travelling, she said” ‘We can only start the job of arresting after we’ve profiled her properly and counselled her, then we get all the necessary information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators,’ she stated.
On her part, Sadipe called on state governments to support the war against trafficking in persons, stating that the fight against trafficking cannot be left for the Federal Government alone.
‘We call on state governors forward to support NAPTIP to ensure that the girls are properly rehabilitated. At the same time, let us make sure they are ambassadors against human trafficking to discourage other young girls from thinking that there are greener pastures over there when really there are not,’ she said.
“’There are more girls coming home, we need to come together as a nation put a stop to human trafficking.
‘We need to come together as a nation to provide for girls and stop them from travelling abroad in search of greener pastures.’
The lawmaker noted that a total of 29 victims of trafficking were evacuated from Lebanon, noting that nine of the girls are from Oyo, three from Ondo, two from Delta, and one each from Ekiti, Ebonyi, Cross Rivers, Edo, Anambra states, respectively