By Uche Bibilari/Jacinta Nwachukwu
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the fight against human trafficking and abuse in the country.
Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, the Director-General of NAPTIP, during the signing of the MoU on Thursday in Abuja, charged Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to fight tirelessly to ensure jungle justice was wiped out of the country.
According to her, CSOs should match word with action to ensure that Nigerians, especially the vulnerable, obtain justice as jungle justice have been meted out on Nigerians.
“I have seen a lot of jungle justices and nobody seems to be doing anything about it, people think they have the right to strip men and women naked at the slightest provocation; people think they have the right to set people on fire.
“You talked about behavioral change which has been a burden in my heart; a number of things have been happening and I keep wondering why the CSOs have not taken it upon themselves.
“I expect the CSOs to fight tooth and nail to ensure it never happens,’’ she said.
She spoke of the need to organise programmes, especially for women, to educate them on how best to protect themselves from abuses.
“We need to start a national orientation on behavioural change and say no to jungle justices, No to Slapping, No to Rape, No to Assault; CSOs need to sit up.
“I want to put on my television and see NACTAL members at the fore front.
“The fight should not only be on human trafficking but a total package because trafficking starts with abuse.
“Nigerians also need to understand that there is no place like home. You do not need to travel and become slave in another man’s country.
“There must be dignity in labour, love your country but first of all love yourself,’’ she added.
She, however, said that the issue of begging on the street should be discouraged in view of the fact that most of the children were kidnapped from different states to work for their abductees.
Earlier, the National President, NACTAL, Mr Emmanuel Adaramola commended the NAPTIP management for collaborating with the organisation in their operations.
According to him, the purpose of signing the agreement with NAPTIP is to ensure effective collaboration with the agency for further and better service delivery as it affects human trafficking, abuse and child labour.
“We want to take this beyond the next level and ensure that we collaborate, partner, work together and leverage on the strength of others.
“This is the reason we consider the signing of MoU with NAPTIP a very big one.
“As we all know, NAPTIP is a government agency saddled with the responsibility of checking trafficking in persons and other related issues, hence the need for us as a none state actor, to continue to work with NAPTIP.
“We have hundred per cent commitment to the functionality and ensure that this MOU brings back better result, especially for Nigeria as a nation.
“ And also to ensure that we get result for our people who are victims,’’ he stated.
According to him, NACTAL has been in existence since 2005, working with many organisations, partners and people of the same vision.
He said: “NACTAL is a network of CSOs working against human trafficking, abuse and child labour.
“A coalition of NGOs across the country working in the field of human trafficking, abuse, using children for labour and irregular migration,’’ he said.
Adaramola, however, called on the management of NAPTIP to create a technical team to map out work plan for effective service delivery.