Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, has on Tuesday, June 13, warned Nigerians on the dangers of irregular migration, including falling prey to organ harvesters, fraudsters, and human traffickers.
Waziri-Azi was ably represented by Arinze Orakwue, Director, Intelligence Training and Manpower Development, at a 3-day workshop organised National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons in collaboration with FIIAPP, International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies and Action against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria (A-TIPSOM), for Journalists tagged Training and Capacity Development Orientation on Standard Reporting Template for Members of the TIP Media Corps and Officers of Press and Public Relations Unit. The event was held at Golfview Hotel & Conference Center, Ikeja, Lagos.
While speaking at the workshop, Orakwe said “Majority of the victims are irregular migrants and displaced persons. As a result, the criminals who were exploiting them subjected them to any kind of ill-treatment and we got to know about the incident when they were brought back home by the IOM. Immediately they are brought back home, and through their medical screening, we got to know what happened to them. “Many of them were surprised to find incisions on them and discovered that their organs had been harvested by the criminals. “Those who returned safely should thank God because these criminals are not only harvesting kidneys, they also take bile, pancreas among others.. “In this part of the world, we are quick to classify people who cut off body parts as ritual killers, but it is a serious business in countries like Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, India, and presently in South Africa where organ businesses are thriving.” Orakwe exposed Comfort Agboko, Lagos Zonal Commander said media is crucial in combating human trafficking in Nigeria.
Agboko stressed that victims’ identities must be protected while reporting human trafficking and commended the media’s role in nation-building.
Nduka Nwanwenne, Benin Zonal Commander, who spoke about emerging tricks and trends in Human Trafficking, disclosed that the agency has arrested over 9,102 human traffickers, out of which 604 were convicted while 20,660 victims were rescued between 2004 to May 2023.
Also speaking at the event, Abayomi Ajibola, President of Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM), a leading international media advocacy foundation against irregular migration and human trafficking, urged the federal government to make NAPTIP financially buoyant to give victims a befitting rehabilitation as the agency is the only agency rehabs victims of human trafficking and give its personnel a good training on how to carry arms while carrying out their functions.