Human Trafficking: NAPTIP urges royal fathers to stop oath of secrecy on victms
Dame Julie Okah-Donli, Director-General of the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has urged traditional rulers in Lagos to use their positions to stop administration of oath of secrecy on victims of trafficking.
The director-general said on Thursday that oath-taking played a major role in human trafficking in Nigeria as it forced victims never to speak out.
She said that traditional rulers would be able to stop the act being carried out by some traditional priests.
Okah-Donli made the appeal during her advocacy visits to some traditional rulers in Lagos State.
The advocacy was against human trafficking.
She said that the visit was in recognition of the important roles of royal fathers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the anti-human trafficking agency team visited the Ankran of Badagry, De Aholu Menu-Toyi I, on Thursday in Badagry.
She had visited the Olu of Agege, Olu of Epe, Oba of Lagos and Olu of Owode, Badagry.
In all the visits, only Olu of Agege and Ankran of Badagry met the NAPTIP team personally.
At the other palaces, the team met with chiefs.
Okah-Donli noted the efforts of the Oba of Benin in mobilising traditional priests to renounce such an oath after which many victims of trafficking were set free and some suspected traffickers arrested.
She urged royal fathers in Lagos to do same, saying that the state was endemic in human trafficking.
“The main reason we are here is partnership. We want the royal fathers to support NAPTIP.
“NAPTIP has partnered with the Oba of Benin (Paramount Ruler of Edo) to stop administration of oath of secrecy by traditional priests on victims of trafficking.
“Almost all the states in Nigeria are affected by migration and human trafficking, but Lagos State is part of the most endemic.
“About 7.09 per cent of victims rescued by NAPTIP from inception are from Lagos State – 839 out of 11,839 victims,” she noted.
Okah-Donli said that other areas of collaboration with the royal fathers would include sensitisation, donation of land for victims’ shelters and checkmating illegal routes used by traffickers.
A UN Officer on Drug and Crime, Mr Oliver Stolpe, who was in the delegation, said that human trafficking was a heinous crime that should be fought by all.
He urged royal fathers in Lagos State to support NAPTIP in the fight against human trafficking by carrying out sensitisation on their subjects.
Responding, the Akran of Badagry, said that the advocacy visit to his kingdom was significant in view of the fact that slave trade started in Badagry.
The royal father noted that Badagry was a border town, saying that campaign against human trafficking there was important.
“As traditional rulers, we shall try our best to make human trafficking to stop here by supporting NAPTIP in its campaign,” he said.
The Olu of Agege, Oba Kamila Isiba, had earlier hailed NAPTIP for the fight against human trafficking.
He pledged support for the agency.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NAPTIP team had made an advocacy visit to Epe Grammar School in Lagos State, where senior students were advised to avoid being trafficked and report suspected culprits to authorities.