By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
NOT less than 150 cases of human trafficking, child labour and prostitution were recorded by the Sokoto Zonal Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person(NAPTIP) in the year 2017, it’s Zonal Commander, Barrister Hassan Hamisu Tahir disclosed.
Briefing newsmen on Friday on the overview of the command’s activities for the past one year, Tahir said during the period under review the command which comprised Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states had succeeded in filing 12 confirmed cases for prosecution out of which it secured 10 convictions between 4years and 7years.
” Some had since been concluded while others are ongoing”, he said.
According to the Zonal Commander, no fewer than 100 victims of human trafficking, child labour and prostitution were rescued last year including under aged.
” We have shelter, we empower them and reunite them with their families after their stay. Although, most people are ignorant of our mandate and operations. We encourage synergy, awareness and information.”
He explained that 10 victims from Jigawa state were currently in the command’s shelter, adding that” we are giving them the necessary care including medical and feeding.
” They were intercepted in Gusau by the officials of SSS and we are investigating the case after which we will prosecute them if we establish the prima facie”, he added.
Similarly, Tahir disclosed that the zone in collaboration with the government of Zamfara state raided a camp where under aged girls were camped by a Mallam under the guise of teaching them Qur’anic education.
” We discovered that the girls were from Niger and Kebbi states and decided to return them to their respective governments and traced their parents.
” We are aware of the practice of camping Almajiri girls. Infact the Mallams and parents of the girls are culpable”, he pointed out.
However, Tahir said NAPTIP has renewed it’s approach towards sustaining aggressive and serious campaign in creating awareness on the dangers of trafficking in person, prostitution and child labour against all including under aged.
He maintained that ” we are creating awareness at public places including markets, community centres, motor parks on the dangers associated with the act. We are strengthening responsive partnerships especially with the media in discouraging and preventing the menace”, he stated.
He explained that the zone was fast going by the core mandate of the agency to ensure that its operations reflect the 4ps; Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnership for results.
” We take pride most in preventive measures and rescue of victims as well counselling and rehabilitation activities”, he added.
He however, stressed the need for adequate funding and logistics too enable the agency’s Sokoto command to do more while noting that staff welfare was also paramount.
” We are determined , serious and aggressive to in carrying out our campaigns, ensure staff welfare and providing the needed level play ground to do better in reversing the trend”, he assured.
He called on parents to own up to their fundamental responsibilities so that together they would make impact in the fight against the social menace.