The Anambra State Taskforce against human trafficking has raised an alarm over the increasing rate of human trafficking cases for the purpose of exploitative prostitution in Nnewi.
The Anambra State Commander of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs Ibadin Judith-Chukwu disclosed this in a chat with TNC correspondent in Awka, after a meeting of the state taskforce on human trafficking.
The taskforce was established in 2020, following the guideline of the national taskforce, to mobilize the support of stakeholders towards fighting human trafficking.
Ibadin, who is also the co-chair of the state taskforce said in recent times, they are presently investigating a lot of cases where young girls have been recruited at Nnewi for the purpose of prostitution in African countries.
Speaking on the deliberations at the meeting, Ibadin said the taskforce integrated new members and they deliberated on the state action plan document.
According to her, the State Attorney General will be presenting the Work Plan 2022-2023 to the state executive council for accent, so that it becomes an official document for the taskforce to use in the fight against human trafficking.
The Anambra NAPTIP boss warned that the future of the younger generation is under threat as a result of human trafficking, calling on all to join hands to stop the anomaly.
“We use to think Edo State is the headquarters of trafficking but now Anambra if nothing is done, is taking over.
“It is worrisome that in Anambra, almost all shades of human trafficking is going on ranging from buying and selling of babies, illegal migration, organ harvesting, using underage in brothels for prostitution (sexual exploitation), to defilement of minors, organising of foreign travels which promotes prostitution.
“People come here to Nnewi and they recruit our girls for travels to Ghana, Burkinafaso, Mali and other African countries.
“So, it is a call for concerted effort, if we will nip this crime in the bud,” she said.
She explained that the taskforce was established across the various states, to garner stakeholders to commit to supporting efforts at nipping issues of human trafficking in the bud.
According to her, the taskforce is getting cooperation from security agencies and the media but said more needs to be done, hence the need to integrate more stakeholders in the taskforce.
Earlier, the Chairman of the taskforce and Commissioner for Justice, Prof Sylvia Ifemeje, assured that the Work Plan 2022-2023 would be presented to the State Executive Council for approval to further strengthen the counter-trafficking campaign in the State.
Prof Ifemeje also explained that budgetary allocation had been made for the activities of the task force in the 2023 budget.
She stressed the need for the task force to re-strategize to be able to beat the criminals who evolve new modus operandi from time to time.
“What we are up against is an organised crime system and the taskforce needs to be proactive and strategic in its approach.
“The Chukwuma Soludo administration is committed to ending this evil in our society and is working through relevant Ministries to engender a synergy that will work.
“I am sure that this taskforce will receive favourable support from the government because the governor understands how strategic it is,” the commissioner assured.
Some members of the taskforce during the meeting made suggestions on how to improve the work of the taskforce for greater efficiency and impact.