The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has solicited the assistance of the Bayelsa Government to reduce the high rate of human trafficking in the state.
Mrs Julie Okar-Donli, Director-General of NAPTIP solicited the support when she paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Seriake Dickson at the Government House, Yenagoa on Wednesday.
Okar-Donli said that the collaboration was crucial because Bayelsa provided source, transit and destination points for human trafficking.
She said that human traffickers often use the maritime routes to transport victims to other West African countries.
The director-general said NAPTIP recently rescued 16 girls trafficked from Bayelsa to Ivory Coast for sexual exploitation adding that the suspected human traffickers were facing prosecution.
She said that the agency has got reports of the presence of migrant oil workers in Bayelsa, adding that the development posed a higher risk to girls who were being sexually exploited.
According to her, NAPTIP also discovers that human traffickers are now using their victims they lure abroad, under the guise of seeking greener pasture, for organ transplant.
Okar-Donli said that in view of the development, there was need for all stakeholders to close ranks to stem the tide of human trafficking.
The director-general described human trafficking as the third largest crime in the world.
Responding, Dickson expressed surprise at the high prevalence of human trafficking in the state.
He said that the state government would collaborate with NAPTIP to put an end to the activities of human traffickers.
The governor said that the government would immediately provide an office accommodation for NAPTIP to ensure that the agency commence operation in the state.
“The government of Bayelsa is worried at the revelation from NAPTIP that, human trafficking has taken a new dimension of organ harvesting’’ he said
According to him, the state is further worried that the activities of human traffickers has got sexual exploitation and forced labour dimension.
Dickson appealed to other law enforcement agencies in the state to support NAPTIP to curb the menace.
“As a government that works to ensure law and order, we will ensure that the laws of Nigeria with regards to prohibition of human trafficking are enforced and we shall be collaborating with NAPTIP’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okar-Donli also led the delegation of the agency’s officials on an advocacy visit of King Alfred Diette-Spiff, Chairman of Bayelsa Council of Traditional Rulers.