By Olayinka Latona
Oyo State government and a non-governmental organisation the Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative, LAEI, have decried the high rate of human trafficking in Nigeria and called for concerted efforts to end the scourge.
This was made known in Ibadan during a seminar that was organised by LAIE in collaboration with Oyo State government to mark the 2018 United Nations International Day against Trafficking in Persons and also to sensitise students, NYSC members and market women including the physically challenge on the dangers posed by human trafficking.
The wife of the Oyo State governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, who was represented by the coordinator of Access to Basic Medical Care Foundation, Mrs. Dolapo Oyedipe, at the event, said that the issue with human trafficking needed a concerted effort to handle because of the means devised by trafficker to recruit victims.
Ajimobi stated that Nigeria was a source, transit as well as destination of persons, including women and children trafficked for prostitution, forced labour, and other forms of dehumanising servitude and exploitation.
She, therefore, called for concerted efforts by Nigerians and the international community to end the illicit trade.
Calling on government at all levels to enforce stiffer laws against human trafficking in order to forestall consistent deaths and slavery of Nigerians, the Convener and founder of the Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative , Dr. Ama Onyerinma, said laws like the trade must be enacted and enforced internationally.
Her words: “The laws like the trade must be enacted and enforced internationally, we must stop the cut by speaking up in our home, schools, community and society.
“We cannot, as a nation, continue to be the world’s supplier for human beings traded like commodities on the stock market. We cannot continue to allow our citizens to languish in sores and scars because The Cut runs deep and is permanent.
Also speaking, Oyo state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Community Development, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Atinuke Osunkoya, described education and knowledge of trafficking in persons among all members of society as key to beating human traffickers in the country.