GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa has inaugurated a 17-man Task Force to check human trafficking and irregular migration in Delta State with the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the state, Mr Peter Mrakpor, as chairman.
The inauguration of the task force by Okowa in Asaba was witnessed by the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, Mrs Julie Okah-Donli.
Speaking at the ceremony, the governor said the inauguration of a task force had become necessary because of the rising number of trafficked persons from the state.
“We are very worried as a state that we occupy high position among the states affected by human trafficking and irregular migration. We are committed as a state to stem the tide that is why we are setting up this serious Task Force. We need to reach out to our people and discourage them from seeking greener pastures that do not exist; irregular migration and human trafficking are evils that have visited our state and it must be checked.
“We will need to get the church, the traditional institution, the youths, all relevant groups to be involved; we need partners for the message to get to a lot of persons within the shortest possible time to check irregular migration and human trafficking,” he stated and stressed his administration’s preparedness to carry out reintegration programmes for those who return.
Also speaking at the occasion, Dame Okah-Donli commended Governor Okowa for his determination to check human trafficking and irregular migration and enjoined the members not to see the Task force as money making venture.
Chairman of the Task Force, Mr Mrakpor, thanked the Governor Okowa for the opportunity given him and his team to serve the state and humanity and promised that they ”will do our best to carry out our functions without fear or favour.”
Other members of the Task Force are, Messrs. Nduka Nwanwenne, Patrick Ukah, Ibrahim Liman, Charles Oliogu, Felix Ofou. Ameh Ocheja, and Benito Eze, Chief Daniel Usifor, Rev. Omatsola Williams, Mercy Almona-Isei, Dr Genevieve Mordi, Commissioner of Police Yinka Adeleke, Mrs M.N. Otubu, Pastor Azuka Onyebo, Comrade Julius Olomukoro, and Amb. Carolyn Usikpedo.