Peter Mrakpor esq., with microphone addressing the Press. With him is Mr. Charles Aniagwu and other Task Force officials. PHOTO: GODDY UMUKORO.
Worried by the evil perpetrated by the merchants of human trafficking and illegal migration, the Delta State Government has stepped up effort to deal with the syndrome and rescue unwary Deltans from the agents that hoodwink parents and destroy the destinies of children.
Accordingly, the Delta and Edo zone of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has caught in its dragnet some of the mindless persons doing the illicit trade in the state.
The Chairman of the Delta State Task Force on Human Trafficking and Illegal migration, who is also the Attorney general and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Pater Mrakpor Esq., made this know this morning, Wednesday, August 07, 2019 while addressing the press to intimate citizens of the flag-off tomorrow of a walk and sensitization rally organized by the Task Force to call attention and warn Deltans so as not to fall victims of human trafficking and illegal migration.
Mrakpor said that the NAPTIP arrests were part of the measures being taken by the state government to clamp down on the forces behind the atrocious trade.
Although he could not immediately give the number of those so far arrested in connection with human trafficking and migration, he confirmed that the walk and rally were put in place as part of ongoing efforts to sensitize parents and their wards against being hoodwinked by the perpetrators of the evil trade.
Disclosing that the walk which commences tomorrow Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 9a.mfrom the Interbau Roundabout, Asaba through Nnebisi Road, and terminate at the Oshimili-South Arcade where a rally will be held, Mrakpor with whom was the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu and the chief Press Secretary said that governor Ifeanyi Okowa has mandated the Task force to fully against human trafficking.
He said it is worrisome and disturbing that fellow Nigerians will engage in persuading unwary parents to send their children abroad on the pretext of giving opportunity to better their lives abroad but with the ulterior motives of converting them to slaves on arrival in the unknown land.
Mrakpor explained that a lot of persons are going abroad, but the issue is what are they going abroad for? “We appeal parents, and the children who are usually the victims not to fall prey to the antics of those who come to sweet mouth and hoodwink them with talks about the need to take their children abroad for better living opportunities,” he said, pointing out that It is a suicide mission.
Urging Deltans t beware, he hinted that the traffickers are already creeping into Delta State trying to lure boys and girls away to ruin their destinies, he called for vigilance on the part of all, adding that any person is noticed trying to lure people into such evil trade should be reported immediately to security authorities and the attention of the Task Force called to it.
Mrakpor also announced that there are eight local government areas so far identified as potential problems areas of human trafficking and illegal migration, and that the press conference and the walk and rally tomorrow, Thursday, 8/8/2019 is to sensitise the people and make them aware of what is going on and not become victims.
He lamented that parents raise as much as N1.5million to get their children to go on such a mission, but alerted that “If people understand that terrible and sordid things are done to those being trafficked abroad under this guise they will not be deceived.”
Mrakpor said there are better opportunities here in Nigeria than going abroad, pointing out that “If you can raise N1.5million to go abroad, why save to commit suicide. It is like saving to buy Gamalin 20 to drink. Such amount of money could help a person raise a big business that can catapult one to limelight in Nigeria.
He explained that the trade has brought untold pains and torture to youths who waved aside the warnings, thinking that there was better life abroad than Nigeria.
“There is nothing you need in Nigeria that you cannot get. But the mentality that life is better abroad than Nigeria is a wrong one. The statistics we are having shows that these persons have penetrated Delta state and they are convincing young boys and girls and even parents to travel abroad
“A lot of persons have been taken abroad on the pretext of going to school or looking for greener pasture, at the end of the day, they end up becoming slaves.
“So, there is a call for everyone to report anybody trying to convince anyone in such manner to the nearest police station or any government official. Anybody seen persuading people to travel abroad without any genuine reason should be reported to the nearest police station.
“We want to appeal to parents to know that the man or woman who is approaching you, your son or your daughter that there is a better life in the United Kingdom or United States or Malaysia, the person is deceiving you.
“It is unfortunate parents do not do proper investigation and know the background of people who come to ask for their children to be taken abroad. The taskforce set up by the state government will ensure this evil is brought to a stop,” Barrister Mrakpor said.
To this end, he announced that the taskforce will be holding a rally against the trade in the state and to sensitise the people of Delta state that human trafficking is an illicit trade and must not be encouraged in the state.
Mrakpor said the committee will storm the streets of Asaba on Thursday at 9.am beginning from Internau roundabout through to Oshimili south arcade where the taskforce will speak to Deltans on the evil of human trafficking.
He called on Deltans to come out en-masse and support the call for an end to the illegal trade in the state.
The Commissioner of Information, Mr. Aniagwu while speaking said the state government was adopting both curative and preventive measures. While the preventive measure involves campaigning to sensitise the people and be wary of the sinister motives of the traffickers, he said the curative will involve dealing decisively with the perpetrators of the illicit trade.
“It is important to carry out this campaign to sensitise our people so they can be aware of the danger of embarking on the dangerous travels,” Aniagwu said.