The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, has conferred the award of excellence and exemplary leadership on the Executive Chairman, Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State, Alh. Ganiyu Kola Egunjobi in recognition of his role in the fight against human trafficking.
At the ceremony held on Wednesday in Lagos, NAPTIP Director General, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, praised Egunjobi for his administration’s immense contribution to the war being waged against the menace of human trafficking by the agency.
In Okah-Donli’s speech, she noted that the presentation was in fulfillment of the promise made by the agency to accord national recognition to organisations and individuals with programmes or projects that helped in combating trafficking.
The Director General stated that Egunjobi was deserving of the award on two grounds given that Agege Local Government is the first to embrace the NAPTIP grassroots task force while the social intervention programmes and projects embarked upon by the council were safety nets to sway the vulnerable groups from being trafficking victims.
She said, “It is remarkable that Agege Local Government Council under the leadership of Alhaji Ganiyu Kola Egunjobi, ranked first among the 774 local government councils in Nigeria to openly embrace the noble concept of Task Force Against Human Trafficking at the grassroots, which is a counter trafficking initiative of NAPTIP with the support of UNODC and other partners.
“By this honour, Egunjobi, whether in or out of office, has been enlisted in the golden plaque of roll of honour of NAPTIP.”
Okah-Donli called on all Nigerians including organisations to emulate the recipient and lend a helping hand to the battle against trafficking saying: “This also must serves as a clarion call to all men, institutions, groups, clubs, CSO’s, government, corporate bodies, law enforcement institutions to gird their loins, raise voices and join hands to combat this crime that has shamed us.”
In his response, the award recipient thanked NAPTIP both for its grassroots taskforce initiative and the award conferred on him. He promised that under his watch Agege Local Government would not cease to empower the youths and women who are most susceptible to falling victims to human traffickers.
Egunjobi said, “The reward for good work is more work. There is no brainer, under my watch, Agege Local Government will not desist in its battle to empower women and youths who are the soft targets for trafficking. Rather, we will create more safety nets for the poor and champion cause capable of condemning human trafficking to the history book in our area.
“Human trafficking in our community has its own peculiarities given that Agege is the most ethnically diverse local government and home to a high population of Ghanaians, Togolese, Nigeriens, Malians, Senegalese and Guineans. So our approach to tackle it must be home-grown.”
The grassroots task force which was inaugurated by Okah-Donli includes representatives of the police force, religious and traditional leaders, youth associations and social-cultural groups, Road Transport Workers Union, Community Development Associations and heads of foreign nationals’ communities among others.