Benue State government yesterday received 19 victims of child trafficking returned from Lagos State.
This followed the intervention of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Break the Silence Initiative Nigeria (BSiN). The victims made up of seven boys from Ushongo and 12 from Vandeikya local government areas of the state were among many other unidentified Benue children trafficked to different parts of Nigeria by some people who security operatives described as “unscrupulous elements”.
Receiving the victims on behalf of the government, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Tabitha Igirgi, appreciated the NGO involved and the Nigeria Police for the interception and the return of the affected children. Igirgi added that the state government would do all it could to end the ugly practice.
Before handing over the victims to government, the Executive Director of BSiN, Mrs. Phoebe Awange, who was with Mr. Benjamin Usman of Child Trafficking Department, Lagos State Police Command, explained that her organisation swung into action upon receiving a tip-off on the 28th January, 2021, leading to the rescue of the victims and the arrest of two traffickers currently undergoing investigation.
She urged the Benue State government to beam its searchlight on the southern part of the country, especially Lagos and Rivers states as there were more victims of trafficking yet to be discovered.