Greed major cause of human trafficking —Okunna

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 1 August 2015 | 8,199 times

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The former Commissioner of Economic Planning and Chief of Staff to the erstwhile Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, Prof. Stella Okunna yesterday in Awka said that the major cause of human trafficking in the society is greed accompanied with unreal promises.

She made the statement in a workshop organised by the founder of Integrated Anti Human Trafficking and Community Development Initiative, INTACOM, Africa adding that before now, child trafficking posed a major problem but because of greed, adults let themselves to be trafficked to faraway lands because they have been given promises which they fell for.

Okunna, who is currently the Head of Department, Mass Communication in UNIZIK, Awka, stressed that because of the overriding urge to make it big, today’s youths fall for promises of a greener pasture overseas, and even pay to be ferried to such places but at the end meet their death in the process of travelling through high seas and deserts.

The event was which had a theme of 2015, “TIP, Prohibition law as an effective instrument in combating human Trafficking in Nigeria, the role of the media” was put together by Hope Okoye to mark the world trafficking day.

The Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, the leader of Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA) in the state, corroborated the stance of Prof Okunna, saying that there abound several opportunities in Nigeria, and youths who wish to make it big can avail themselves of such opportunities rather than running to abroad to be enslaved.

He called on the youths to be proud of their job here in Nigeria and rather put more effort in other to carve out a niche for themselves in their area of calling, rather than living in the illusion that gold is picked on the streets of America or other European countries.

Ezeemo called on wealthy Anambrarians to partner with Integrated Anti/-Human Trafficking and Community Development Initative (INTACOM Africa) in other to check the unhealthy act.

He, however, lamented that modern day slavery has become an issue of global concern due to the dangers associated with it and its negative impact on the human race, security and world economy.

The PPA leader noted that Anambra happens to be among the source states for migrant smuggling, child trafficking, abuse and labour, stealing, buying and selling of babies with its accompanying exploitation of pregnant teenage girls.

While observing that it has become a trade mark for the entire South East, he said that people must stand up against such ugly act to avoid a disastrous future.

Also, Barr Nneoma Wokemba, a senior legal officer with NAPTIP, Enugu Zonal office who was a resource person at the occasion explained that the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015(TIPPEA ACT) would help the agency to stem the tide of human trafficking which has become dynamic.

She in her presentation said that the purpose of re-enactment of the law was  to reposition NAPTIP to be more responsive to the onerous challenges associated with combating the scourge of human trafficking in all ramification through a legislation modeled in clarity and simplicity of language.

In her words, “The federal government by enacting the TIPPEA Act has demonstrated its political will to effectively combat human trafficking activities in Nigeria and beyond through investigation and prosecution of suspected traffickers as well as rehabilitation and counseling of trafficked in persons.”

Mr. Don Onyenji, a Director with Anambra State Broadcasting Service, ABS who spoke on the topic, “How media partners can help in stemming the tide of human trafficking in Nigeria” said the gospel against human trafficking could be done through jingles, editorials, opinions, feature stories, news stories and many others.

He called on journalists to always apply caution in reporting victims of human trafficking, by doing well to shield their identity except when they insist on their identification.

•Photo shows Prof. Okunna.


Source: News Express

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