The Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) has appealed to the Governor of Cross River State, Professor Benedict Ayade and the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) to urgently rescue a 16-year-old (Abigail, not the real name), an indigene of the state from sexual slavery in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
JIFORM, in statement signed by its President/Executive Director, Ajibola Abaomi, on Saturday praised the Punch Newspapers for unraveling the incident adding that time had come for the nation to declare a state of emergency on human trafficking activities.
According to Ajibola, “this is a direct call to duty for Governor Benedict Ayade, the first governor to establish a Migration Control Services Agency (MCA) in the entire sub-Saharan African. It is important for the governor to note that this 16-year-old lady whose identities are being withheld needs his intervention by responding to her distress call.
“This incident is gradually becoming one too many in our country, it is now obvious that the NAPTIP needs more empowerments to meet up with the challenges of human trafficking, but this one, is not beyond the reach as we have sent petition to the agency to act accordingly.”
JIFORM in a petition to the NAPTIP Zonal Command in Lagos stated that:“We are writing to draw the attention of your office to a case of human trafficking and child sexual enslavement by one Madam Kelly who is based in Abeokua, Ogun State, and do hereby plead for your urgent investigation into the matter with a view to save the victims and allow the law to have its way accordingly.
Based on investigation conducted by the Punch Newspapers as published on May 8, 2021 titled “I WAS PROMISED SALES GIRL JOB IN OGUN BUT TURNED INTO SEX SLAVE – 16-YEAR-OLD CROSS RIVER GIRL”, the accused slave madam has been holding several underage girls in hostage at KOLAB HOTEL ALONG AYETORO ROAD, OGUN STATE.
“The disturbing development involved a pathetic story of 16 years old girl from Cross River State identified as Abigail (not real name) and several others.
Further findings by the newspaper suggested that Abigail was brought from Calabar by her cousin to Madam Nelly to sell food with a promise that the woman would empower her financially to return the village to continue her school.
JIFORM told NAPTIP that: “While we have also contacted the Cross River State government for prompt action, however, giving the foregoing, JIFORM is pleading with you to use your good office to intervene and rescue the innocent kid and others from the human trafficking and sexual bondage.”
In a similar vein, a call was made by the media body for the rescue of a Nigerian lady trapped in a prostitution camp in Ghana days ago through a petition to the Nigeria’s Foreign Affair Ministry, Ambassador in Ghana, Ghana Immigration Service and NAPTIP.
JIFORM, is a global media foundation with headquarters in Lagos Nigeria comprising over 300 journalists focusing on migration reportage across the continents.
It is reputable for organizing an annual international summit on migration, workshops for stakeholders and media practitioners over the years and the maiden African Migration Summit held in Accra in partnership with the Nekotech Center of Excellence, Ghana.