The National Agency for Prohibition of Traffick in Persons and other Related Matters, NAPTIP, working in conjunction with Association of Women church/community leaders in Anambra state have raised alarm on the observed increase rate of trafficking in persons, fake and illegal motherless babies homes in the state.
The South East zonal coordinator of NAPTIP, Mrs Nkiruka Michael had in her presentation at the one-day sensitization workshop on Human-trafficking and Child-abuse in the state said that “anambra state is steadily becoming highly endemic in child labour/abuse and child smuggling to other states and countries.
The organizer of the workshop and Ekwulummili community, Nnewi South Local Government area Woman leader, Mrs Adaobi Onyilioha told journalists that there were an alarming number of fake and illegal motherless babies’ centres in the state where babies were simply bred and sold! She said the workshop aimed at educating and sensitizing all local women leaders drawn from within the 177 communities in the state in readiness to swooping on the operators/culprits.
The malaise, according to her was fuelled by the avaricious greed of the traffickers and parents, poverty, illiteracy/ignorance, and the worsening socio-economic conditions of contemporary Nigerian families amongst other causes. These bite hardest in most rural Anambra communities, from where victims and their parents/guardians regularly fell to the aroma of crisp bank notes and the sugar-coated tongues of the traffickers and their pimps.
She put the age bracket of the most vulnerable children at 8-18. According to her, the children end up being molested, sexually defiled/abused, physically abused/maimed and some get physically and mentally deformed, resulting in stunted growth and psychological trauma.
NAPTIP linked the ugly trend to the heightened social tension/instability, high school drop-out, rape, prostitution, truancy, militancy and terrorism in the country.
The agency therefore called on the governments and parents, especially the women to give the children proper education in order to break the circle of poverty, inculcate sound moral education and precepts, collaborate with NAPTIP to prevent and punish culprits.
Mrs Onyilioha disclosed that they were getting the state government officials involved to enable them rid the state of the
Another woman participant, Mrs Patricia Obinka from Onitsha South council admitted that the listed vices have been rife in the state and that all community and religious women leaders were now very ready to eliminate them. According to her, “until now, we had fought it without much success. So we are now incorporating the government and other agencies to help us”.