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NAPTIP hands over six-month-old baby, 20 others to Edo

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Alexander Okere, Benin

 No fewer than 21 persons have been handed over to the Edo State Government after they were rescued from suspected human traffickers by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other related matters.

Among them was a six-month-old baby, who was said to have been delivered during her mother’s sojourn in Libya, after she was impregnated by a member of an insurgent group.

It was learnt that another victim, a nine-year-old boy, was saved by rescuers on the Mediterranean Sea when he lost track of his mother while attempting to cross into Europe.

The Acting Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Mr. Nduka Nwanwenne, in a statement on Sunday disclosed that the victims were recently deported from Libya.

Nwanwenne said, “The victims, who were recently deported from Libya, were handed over to the government in the spirit of the new partnership for development existing between the agency and the Edo State Government.

“Last week, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Mr. Julie Okah-Donli, sought the support of the Edo State Government in the rehabilitation and empowerment of victims of human trafficking.”

It will be recalled that the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, had visited the NAPTIP shelter in Benin and pledged to support the training and empowerment of victims of human trafficking.

The Acting Benin zonal commander commended the state government for its commitment to tackling the menace and ensuring the reintegration of the victims.

Nwanwenne also noted that while some of the victims agreed to empower themselves with skills in different vocations, including tailoring, event management and catering, others chose to go back to school.

Receiving the victims, Obaseki said his administration would continue to promote the welfare of Edo residents.

Obaseki, who was represented by the Head of Service, Mrs. Gladys Idahor, said the Nigerian society must stand up for victims of forced labour and human trafficking.

He, however, urged the returnees not to be discouraged by their bitter past, but look forward to a better future.

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