By Angela James,
The Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II says if corruption is not tackled and the economy improved, it would be difficult to fight human trafficking.
His Royal Majesty stated this when the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah Danli paid Omo N’Oba a courtesy visit in his Palace in Benin City.
Oba Ewuare II called on the states and federal government to fight corruption, provide job, improve the economy and make life meaningful for the people in order to discourage people from embarking on illegal migration and human trafficking.
The Benin Monarch however commended the federal government and international NGO for their effort in returning the stranded Nigerians in Libya, just as he appreciated NAPTIP for embarking on advocacy visit to enlighten the people on the dangers inherent in human trafficking and illegal migration.
The Omo N’Oba enjoined NAPTIP to work closely with Oba Ewuare II Foundation in order to eradicate the scourge in the society, and assured of Palace readiness to collaborate with the state and federal government to stamp out human trafficking through advocacy, enlightenment and persuasion.
Earlier, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah Donli said they were in the Palace as part of NAPTIP enlightenment campaigns, pointing out that so much has been said and linked to Edo state with regard to human trafficking.
She told the Oba of Benin that many Nigerians have been held in Libya and that the federal government has done a lot to return and rehabilitate them.
The D.G of NAPTIP informed the Omo N’Oba that victims were subjected to slave labour, prostitution and organ harvesting; adding that what is quite worrisome is that the traffickers subject them to oath taking, which makes it difficult for the victims to give NAPTIP useful information.
Dame Donli appealed to His Royal Majesty to help prevail on traditional priest to stop administering oath on victims of human traffickers; instead they should report the traffickers to NAPTIP for arrest and prosecution.
The Director-General of NAPTIP was accompanied on the visit by the Benin Zonal Commander, Barr. Nduka Nwanwenne with other principal officers of NAPTIP.