BY OSA AMADI
Anon-governmental organization, Next To None Support Initiative, geared towards addressing the scourge of human trafficking and other related crimes in the country, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), to shoot a documentary and movie on the degrading and inhuman nature of human trafficking and related crimes.
The agreement, which was signed between the Director General (NAPTIP), Julie Okah Donli and the Founder/Chairman, Board of Trustees, Next To None Support Initiative, Barrister Ndukwe Sam Obu, aimed at ensuring effective public enlightenment on the ills of human trafficking, using entertainment and sports as vehicles.
While the documentary is expected to be packaged and premiere on or before 12 months from the date of the signing of agreement, the movie should be ready within 18 months.
Beyond some African countries, the movie is to be shot in five other countries of the world, including the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, China and Switzerland.
Following the signing of the agreement, Barrister Obu commended the enthusiasm and commitment of NAPTIP boss for realizing the need to partner other bodies in the fight against the scourge. According to him, since she assumed office as NAPTIP D.G, Donli has succeeded in introducing new strategies and measures towards combating the crime.
Going by the agreement, both NAPTIP and the Next to None Support Initiative would also collaborate on getting sponsors for the project. Meanwhile, NAPTIP has undertaken to provide necessary assistance towards procuring travel documents for the movie crew. Aside the documentary and movie, there would also be a novelty match to be played by renowned celebrities in sports and the creative industry.
According to Barrister Obu, the organization has over 100 celebrities across the globe as its ambassadors. “Notable football legends such as Roger Miller, George Opon Weah, J.J Okocha and Garba Lawal alongside renowned Nollywood stars, including Richard Mofe Damijo, Monalisa Chinda as well as Lexy Mojo Eyes of the fashion industry, have all worked with us in fighting this scourge.
“Also partnering with us are Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), The Transcorp Hilton Hotel as well as the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports”, he stated.
Explaining the reasons for choosing entertainment as a medium for campaign, Obu said engaging top celebrities in the entertainment industry will draw greater attention of the youths. The entire idea, he said, was to use the games that youths mostly identify with to preach the gospel against human trafficking to them.
The lawyer and film producer, Obu, described as worrisome, revelations about modern day slavery as captured by some foreign media, and concluded that the most effective means of educating Nigerians on the issue is through the games they love most; entertainment. Next to None Support Initiative was the recipient of NAPTIP Hero’s award 2017, about three months ago, for its campaign against trafficking in persons.
In its 10 years of existence, the founder noted that it has received several other awards for its commitment to the course of combating trafficking in persons.
“In the area of documentary, I don’t need to be sponsored to go to a nearby school to shoot a documentary. All we need do is let the principal or head of the institution know what we want to do with the school…the proceeds from the documentary or movie would be channeled towards helping victims of human trafficking,” said Obu.
He wondered why Africans should be championing trafficking of fellow Africans or connive with European counterparts to sell their sisters and brothers. These questions and several others, he said, would be highlighted in the movie.