Akwa Ibom State has recorded 1,300 trafficking in-person cases between October and December 2020, according to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons in the state.
NAPTIP Zonal Commander, Festus Gav, who was on a courtesy visit to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Frank Archibong, urged members of the pubic to continue to support the agency with useful information.
He showed concern over what he called the rising cases of criminal activities in the state and its attendant danger to the culture and values of the people, noting that the issue was fast eroding the people’s peaceful disposition and culture of hospitality. He said, “Out of the number of trafficked persons in the state, 500 are indigenes, while 49 persons have been so far convicted out of the about 900 ongoing cases.
“We must all work together to tackle this trend. As for us, we are committed to ensuring that trafficking is stamped out.”
Gav added that the agency had rehabilitated 22 persons, who had fallen victims to trafficking in persons and rape.
He identified a lack of awareness and enlightenment as the major causes of the rise in cases of child trafficking and sexual violence in the state.
“We commend the state government for its support, especially the donation of land for NAPTIP’s permanent office in the state,” he said.
Responding, Archibong expressed displeasure with the alarming rate of trafficking in persons and other forms of crime in the state.
He stressed the need for stakeholders’ collaboration towards tackling the rising wave of crime in the state.
“We commend NAPTIP for its efforts at tackling child trafficking. As a government, we are always prepared to partner other stakeholders to ensure better services to our people,” he said.