Diaspora Commission seeks collaboration with sister agencies to tame trafficking

Timothy Choji, Abuja


The Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri has hailed the Nigerian Embassy in Beirut-Lebanon for acting fast in rescuing Omolola Ajayi, 23-year-old Nigerian, from the hands of traffickers.

Speaking to State House Correspondents on Tuesday, Dabiri said the Lebanese, whom Omolola last worked for in Beirut, will fend for her ticket and other logistics in order to return her home.

She said: “We are glad that the Nigerian embassy in Beirut was able to rescue Omolola, a victim of trafficking in Beirut, whose video went viral, and we really have to thank our Ambassador and the Staff of the embassy there.

“Since they were able to communicate with her, they actually went to the place and  to save her.  Although she worked for different people, but the boss in whose place they picked her, actually has to provide for her ticket and her passport; that is part of the rule, so she can return home.”

She said the rescued lady is in the safe custody of Nigeria’s High Commission in Beirut and would soon be coming home.

“Omolola should be back home very soon so really a lot of commendation to our embassy in Beirut whose staff took up this case immediately,” she said.

Abike said her Commission is seeking collaboration with agencies like the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons NAPTIP and other sister organisations, to curb the activities of human traffickers in the country.

She described trafficking as an epidemic that needs to be tamed without delay.

“Here is the thing, there are many more that have been trafficked, that are stranded, even in Lebanon. So really those behind trafficking need to be arrested but that really would be the responsibility of NAPTIP.

“But there has to be like a multi-agency approach. Now I would rather describe it as an epidemic. There are thousands still stranded in Beirut and the embassy has actually been bringing some back home from time to time.  But really as long as the traffickers are working freely, there is a problem.

“We in the Diaspora Commission, whenever we have a distress call, we try to do what we can do. But the matter has to be tackled from the roots; traffickers need to be known, they need to be arrested and unfortunately it is getting even worst by the day with young girls whose lives are virtually being destroyed,” she lamented.

Omolola’s video went viral last week, where she narrated her ordeal in the hands of her employer in Beirut, which prompted the Staff of Nigeria’s embassy in Lebanon to rescue her.

Ime Njoku