By Aderogba George
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has sought the partnership of the Nigerian army to boost its capacity in the fight against human trafficking.
The agency said this in a statement issued by the Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, Mrs Stella Nezan, on Friday in Abuja.
It quoted the NAPTIP Director General, Mrs Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, making the request when she paid a visit to the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Leo Irabor, at the Defence Headquarters.
Sulaiman-Ibrahim said that the partnership would be in the areas of training of NAPTIP personnel in relevant tactical areas, joint actions and logistics, among others, to enable it to wage more war against traffickers.
She said that the partnership was necessary especially now that the rate of insecurity in the country was on the high side, adding that human trafficking was not left out in the security challenges.
According to her, human trafficking has become a huge security problem to the global community including Nigeria and if we do not properly harness our efforts in fighting it, we will not be able to deal with the problem adequately.
She said that Nigeria, which had always been a champion in Africa in the fight against human trafficking, must do everything possible to win the war.
Sulaiman-Ibrahim stressed the need for the armed forces and other law enforcement agencies to see human trafficking as a big national security problem just like illicit drugs and proliferation of arms.
She said that proper attention must be paid to the issue of human trafficking and called for better synergy between the agencies and the armed forces to deal with the problem.
Responding, the Chief of Defence Staff noted that human trafficking goes hand in hand with other organised crimes and that proper attention needed to be paid to it.
He stated that the new slavery must be properly situated as a very serious crime within the nation’s defence and security plans to be adequately dealt with.
‘’All efforts must be taken to support NAPTIP, we pledged that the Defence Headquarters would partner with the agency in various areas including training of personnel in relevant tactical areas, joint operations when needed,” Irabor promised.
He said that the defence headquarters would also support the agency with other logistics support to strengthen NAPTIP in the fight against human trafficking.
He said that the synergy would help the army in its efforts to secure Nigeria from the situation of insecurity ravaging the country.
He also pledged to support the efforts of the Federal Government in the fight against human trafficking by reducing the rate of vulnerability in the country through recruitment of young people into the armed forces whenever the opportunity comes.
He therefore commended the effort of NAPTIP towards galvanising support and collaboration in the counter trafficking efforts of the present administration. (NAN)