NAPTIP to Traffickers: You’ll smell hell in 2020

…as AbdulRazaq promises to repatriate Kwarans trapped in Lebanon

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By Olatidoye Akeem

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has warned persons involved in human trafficking to desist from the crime or be ready to ‘smell hell’ in the year 2020.

Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, the Director-General of NAPTIP gave the warning in an interview granted in Abuja yesterday. The warning followed the recent rescue of Omolola Ajayi, the Kwaran trafficked to Lebanon.

Omolola has been rescued and is now in the hands of the Nigerian ambassador in Beirut; she is expected back home soon.

The NAPTIP boss, who also warned foreign nationals and other professionals in Nigeria who were aiding trafficking in the name of recruitment abroad, stressed that all those involved should desist from the act.

According to her, the role of those aiding the nefarious activities is a direct sabotage to the efforts of Federal Government toward stopping the menace.

Similarly, the Kwara State Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has assured that his administration is putting in place measures to empower young people and strengthen local businesses to discourage Kwarans from seeking so-called greener pastures abroad and endangering their lives.

“What our government is doing is trying to create a better environment for the youth to excel in their chosen businesses. The 2020 budget has been structured to empower businesses and promote entrepreneurship in the state,” he said on Wednesday when the state command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), led by Commandant Bello Ale, brought Gloria Taiye Bright who was repatriated from Lebanon to the Governor.

AbdulRazaq said the government has made provisions for skills acquisition for Kwarans especially young people.

“We will support our youth in entrepreneurship, different aspects of agriculture and businesses to upscale and improve their economic lives and become employers of labour. I must emphasise that there are endless opportunities in farming and we will assist our youth in land clearing, irrigation and other areas of interventions,” he said.

He commended the roles of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian Embassy in Lebanon for their efforts in the location and ongoing repatriation of Nigerians, especially Kwarans trapped in the Middle Eastern country.

“Specifically, we thank Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and his Permanent Secretary for their great efforts that made it happen. We are going to work with his office to ensure that all Kwarans still trapped in the country are all brought back home,” he told a delegation of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) who visited him yesterday.

The Governor, who said the administration is footing the bill of such repatriation, also commended the efforts of the NSCDC and the non-profit organisation Phemnic Life Support involved in the development.

“We all watched the video online and I want to thank the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the NAPTIP and Phemnic Life Support for the prompt actions which led to the repatriation,” he said.

“There are thousands of people who are victims of trafficking, as many youth in their quest for better opportunities fall into wrong hands who took advantage of the situation.”

Ale, for his part, commended AbdulRazaq for the support he offered while the agency worked to track down some suspects connected to the development and the repatriation of Bright.

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