By Mbah Okem Green, Yenagoa
The director general of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah-Donli says the agency has so far rescued about 13,000 human trafficking victims across the West African countries.
Dame Okah-Donli made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen after delivering a keynote address at the Niger Delta Royal Queens Peace Building Summit organized by HM Queen Josephine Diete-Spiff under auspices of the Bayelsa State Wives of Traditional Rulers Association in Yenagoa.
According to the D-G, NAPTIP has already secured the conviction of about 343 human trafficking offenders while many other cases are currently being prosecuted in the courts.
She also noted that the agency is making all necessary arrangement to go and rescue as much and many other girls and youths as it can, that are stranded outside West African countries and bring them back to Nigeria.
“A lot of girls from the coastal states like Bayelsa, Rivers, Niger Delta actually are stranded in countries like Mali, Ghana, Burkina Faso and so we are planning to go and rescue as much and many as we can and bring them back to Nigeria”.
The NAPTIP D-G said the agency has structures on ground to address the trafficking challenge.
“We have rehabilitation centres. NAPTIP has got shelters. We have 10 offices and 10 shelters and what we do, is when we rescue these girls, we take them to our shelters where we give them some psychosocial support.
“We give them medical care and we also rehabilitate. While they are there, we give them empowerment and then we reintegrate them back to the society”, she explained.