AUSTIN OYIBODE, EDITOR
Chairman of the Delta state task force on anti-human trafficking and illegal migration, Barrister Peter Mrakpor, on Wednesday, revealed that a director of children affairs in the ministry of women affairs has been arrested for alleged involvement in child trafficking in the Warri area of the state.
Mrakpor, who is the state commissioner for justice and attorney general, said the case is already in the court of law, hence he could not give the name, when he was apprehended and other issues as, according to him, since the matter is in court, he cannot make further statement on it.
Mrkpor, who was briefing journalists as chairman of the task force made up of 17 members at the conference room of the state ministry of information, also revealed that one madam cash, who has been involved in child theft for years is also cooling her feet in the Ogwashi Uku maximum prisons, saying she had been bailed on several occasions but failed to change her ways.
He said more than 150 traffickers arrested are in the detention centre of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Benin City, Edo state, the zonal head office of NAPTIP.
The commissioner, who was flanked by the state information commissioner, Patrick Ukah, explained that the mission of the 17-man-committee is to look at incidences of illegal migration of persons from the state to the outside world and trafficking in persons, a development which he said is growing heavily in the state.
The commissioner said some persons illegally leave the country when nations’ embassies could not grant them visas, some migrate through agents who promise them great opportunities overseas while some parents aid the illegal movement by funding the transit to enable their children, in their own thinking, get better life for them.
He explained that human trafficking involves oath taking between the agent and the victim and the major challenge is breaking the oath so as to give freedom to the victim.
Mrakpor, who said Delta is increasing in ranking as for illegal migration, said people believe that going outside the shores of this country is the solution to challenges of life, explaining that the major challenge in this matter is changing the mindset of those involved, adding that many have lost their lives in the Mediterranean sea while attempting to cross to Europe.
He said members of the task force will visit traditional rulers, civil society organizations and community people to sensitise them on the evil in human trafficking and illegal migration, saying government has created for the people of Delta to make a living for themselves in the state.
For the agents and others involved in child stealing, he said government will never take it lightly with them as the full weight of the law will be meted out on convicts.
He added that the committee has international collaboration, just as he said those encouraging illegal migration and human trafficking are destinies and the future of Delta state is at stake.