It was a top day for the Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Dame Julie Okah-Donli as Nollywood superstar ‘King’ Tonto Dike, reigning Miss Nigeria Mildred Peace Ehiguese joined her and many other top citizens on Tuesday to give red card to human trafficking and its perpetrators both in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
The occasion was a public lecture and book launch lined up as part of activities to mark the 2018 Day against human trafficking hosted by NAPTIP at Chelsea Hotel, Central Business District Abuja.
NAPTIP organised the programme in partnership with Daily Times of Nigeria.
Wife of the President Aisha Buhari and the Minister for Justice were also represented at the occasion while keynote address was delivered by the fearless Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma who while commending NAPTIP for the many successes it has recorded since inception, challenged the Federal government to rise up to the occasion and end the wicked act of human trafficking as it stands against God’s purpose in creation.
While reviewing the five books written by the NAPTIP boss and two of her staff as part of this year’s events, Prof. Akinseye George, SAN, said the Agency has accomplished so much in the past six years, adding that it was remarkable that the current management under Dame Julie Okah Donli has put measures in place to reposition and re-strategise towards better and enhanced performances.
He commended the Dame Julie and two other staff of the Agency for writing the books, saying that the fight against human trafficking should not just be by force but should also include deployment of intellectual resources as perpetrators device new means to outsmart regulators.
“She is fit and in the proper place to fight this war. She posses all the qualities of someone to lead NAPTIP and has the commitment and passion of a competent leader and is well-prepared to lead the fight and win,” Prof. Akinseye said of the NAPTIP chief executive, Dame Julie.
Dame Julie told the audience in her remark that fighting for the oppressed and the disadvantaged was her normal life even before she was appointed to head NAPTIP and therefore found it easy to run seamlessly with the mandate of the Agency which is to ensure that human beings, especially women and children are not made objects of trade and commerce.
According to her, the books she wrote on human trafficking and how to prevent the heinous crime are part of her contributions to solving the problem which she hope would outlive her stay at NAPTIP as the dubious business has assumed global dimension.
Also speaking, Miss Nigeria, Mildred Peace Ehiguese said it was a rare privilege provided by NAPTIP to thank the Agency for its fight to stop the ugly menace of human trafficking in Nigeria adding that sensitisation campaigns being carried out by NAPTIP is about the most effective by any such organisation in the country
“I am aware that not less than 41 persons have been convicted for various forms of human trafficking across the country in the last one year. This is a rare feat in a country where people in privileged positions believe they can commit all forms of impunity and get away with them.
For NAPTIP to have convicted 359 people since its establishment 15 years ago is another testimony that your Agency is up in its game. Please keep it up.
“There is no greater crime against humanity than trafficking in persons, any person at all. It is far worse when innocent children and women are traded for money, thereby making mockery of the total essence of their existence, and in the process obliterate their personal dreams and mission in life,” Miss Nigeria stated and commended Aisha Buhari for supporting efforts aimed at eradicating human trafficking and other inhuman acts in the society.
In her goodwill message, the national ambassador to NAPTIP against human trafficking and Nollywwod sensation Tonto Dike said the full essence of the dangers of human trafficking never dawned on her until she got involved in the advocacy against the scrounge which opened her eyes to the atrocities being committed by those involved in the act and therefore commended the Director General of NAPTIP.