The Kebbi Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has vowed to intensify surveillance to tackle the influx of Nigerians going to Libya illegally through the state.
Mrs Rabi Bashir-Nuhu, the NIS Comptroller in the state, made the pledge on Friday in Birnin Kebbi while handing over a 25-year-old woman to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
Bashir-Nuhu said the woman, who hails from Oyo State, was believed to be on her way to Libya when she was intercepted on Thursday by immigration personnel in Yauri Local Government Area.
“From late last year and early this year women, especially teenage girls as well as the underaged are being trafficked through Kebbi and Sokoto states en route to Libya and other African countries.
“If you could recall on Feb. 6, three victims, two were orphans of age 18,15 and a girl of 17 years, were travelling alone when they were arrested by our immigration personnel in Yauri LGA while on their way to Libya.
“On Dec. 1, 2022, a 16-year-old Albino girl and her 15-year-old sister from Ogun were arrested on their way to Libya through Kebbi and Sokoto by our personnel in Yauri LGA.
“On Nov. 29, 2022, a 17-year-old girl from Oyo and on Nov. 17, 2022, four girls were all arrested on their way to Libya and Liberia, respectively.
“It is worrisome that in spite of our calls, talks and advice to parents on looking after their wards they still don’t listen,” the comptroller said.
She explained that the woman handed over to NAPTIP was believed to be a victim of human trafficking.
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The comptroller gave assurance that NIS would not allow any suspicious character or person profiting from human trafficking to escape its net in the state.
Meanwhile, the victim claimed that she was going to Sokoto to see her sister whom she had never seen or met in her life.
“I was shown a picture that my sister is in Sokoto and I was directed by my aunt in Lagos to go and see her.
“I was given a contact that if I reach Sokoto I would call to come and pick me.
“I have never been in Sokoto and I am a mother with a child which I left in my home town in Ibadan, Oyo state,” she said.
Receiving the victim, the Head of Operation of NAPTIP in the state, Alhaji Sadiq Atiku, said that the agency would undertake a thorough investigation of the matter.
“We thank NIS for making our job easier and we are going to investigate this thoroughly.
“We have so far successfully arraigned some of the suspected traffickers who have connections with previous victims of trafficking as handed over to us by NIS,” he said.
Atiku commended NIS for collaborating with the agency to eradicate human trafficking in the country.
Akinshola Akintelure is a Content Writer, a tech savvy and Social Media Manager.