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NAPTIP seeks move against illegal maternities, schools’ dropout in southeast

By Lawrence Njoku, Southeast Bureau Chief (Enugu) and Seye Olumide (Lagos)   |   12 June 2017   |   4:26 am

Trafficking

• Urges NGOs to comply with NSA directives on trafficking
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has raised the alarm over the growing rate of illegal maternities in the southeast.

It also expressed concern at the increasing dropout of boys from schools in the southeast and urged the governors to address the issues.

The Director General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, made the disclosure at a press briefing in Enugu at the weekend.

He said: “These issues must be addressed urgently by all political, community and religious leaders in the zone, because it is denting the image of the zone and the nation at large.

“In the past, we had more boys in schools than girls, but the reverse is the case today. Unless a solution is proffered to it, the society would pay dearly for it in future.”

The agency lamented that some dubious people in the zone habitually camp young girls in illegal maternities, who are impregnated by these boys, while their babies are sold to the highest bidders.

She disclosed that a apart from selling these babies to willing couples, a cartel is also involved in selling their vital organs to their partners abroad.

The DG listed poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, unemployment and gradual erosion of cultural and ethical values, as the cause of the decay.

Okah-Donli lamented that the frequent sinking of boats on the Mediterranean Sea involving Nigerians could be a strategy by ship owners, port operators and enforcement agencies to discourage their migration.

Meanwhile, the DG has urged all non-governmental organisation and consultants involved in the fight against human trafficking to get clearance from NAPTIP, in line with the directive by the National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno.

A statement by its Head, Press and Public Relations, Josiah Emerole, disclosed this yesterday.

She said without the registration, which is in collaboration with the Network of CSOs Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL): “No organisation, local or foreign would be allowed to function, including the organisations that operate shelters and homes for victims who were rescued from trafficking.

“These victims should not be seen as commodities for making money and if they had been rescued from exploitation, they must not be exploited further by those who claim to be helping them.”




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