34 HUMAN TRAFFICKERS CONVICTED BY DELTA STATE TASK FORCE ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND IRREGULAR MIGRATION

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BY SUNNY A. DAVID

Over 3,000 Deltans who were victims of human trafficking have been rescued and brought back while of them have been convicted thus far by the Delta State Task Force on Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration in keeping with the Stronger Delta agenda of the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa administration.

This information was disclosed by the Delta State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Peter Mrakpor, during a interactive meeting between Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition in Trafficking in Persons, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, and her team and members of the Delta State Task Force on Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration in his office in Asaba.

Barrister Mrakpor who is also the Chairman of the Delta State Task Force on Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration, stated that the Delta State Government will not relent in its fight to stamp out the evil of human trafficking and informed the D-G that just recently Delta State High Court sitting at Ogwashi-Uku had convicted a child trafficker and sentenced him to serve a prison term.

He further assured the DG that their request for office accommodation for effective operations of NAPTIP in the State would soon be met as soon as the new ultra-modern State Secretariat Complex was completed in few mouths.

He said the completion of the new secretariat complex would pave the way for several MDAs to relocate to the new complex that would subsequently free up several offices presently occupied by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.

Also speaking the State Commissioner for Information and member of the State Task Force, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, disclosed that the Task Force had had to rejig their strategies and map out a well detailed work plan on how to actualize their mandate which included effective collaboration and engagement of traditional rulers, community leaders and religious organizations.

Mr. Aniagwu also disclosed that the State Bureau for Orientation was at the forefront of taking the anti-human trafficking message to all the nook and crannies of the State and advised youths to be wary of the inordinate craving to travel abroad to seek greener pastures which are non-existent.

He listed some of the youth empowerment programmes of the State Government which include the Skill Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) and Youth Agricultural Entrepreneur Programmes (YAGEP) as well as the establishment of Technical Colleges and Vocational Centres across the State and charged youths to take advantage of these empowerment programmes to better their lot.

Earlier, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition in Trafficking in Persons, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, commended the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, for his massive support against the human trafficking and irregular migration menace that was endemic in some parts of the State.

Dame Okah-Donli also applauded the Chairman and Members of Delta State Task Force on Human Trafficking for its sensitization and awareness campaigns and charged the task force to put machineries in place for the inauguration of the Task Force at the Local Government level even as she advocated for more collaborative joint programmes between NAPTIP and the State Task Force on Human Trafficking in areas of joint operations as well as massive sensitization awareness campaigns.

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