The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday inaugurated the State Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, a measure that will proffer a new set of home-grown solutions to the age-long social problem.
Obaseki lamented that the state was fast becoming synonymous with human trafficking and charged the taskforce to urgently redeem the state’s image as Edo people do not want to be associated with the stigma any more.
The new measure according to him, would complement the efforts of the federal government through the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) and other international organizations involved in the fight against human trafficking.
“It is has been suggested that a special court be established in the state to prosecute perpetrators. We are losing our young people to this negative trend and we must make human trafficking a thing of the past in the state,” the governor said.
He charged the task force made up of representatives of security agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), NAPTIP, Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, religious and traditional institutions, to come up with modalities on how to domesticate the federal government’s law on trafficking in the state.
The taskforce was also charged to come up with a comprehensive action plan for combating trafficking in persons as well as programmes that will help in reintegrating victims of the illicit trade into the society.
In her remarks, the Chairman of the task force, Professor Yinka Omorogbe, who is also the Attorney General of the state, commended the governor for the initiative and said that it would bring an end to the problem, with the cooperation and support of all members of the society.
She assured that members of the taskforce would live up to the confidence reposed on them and pledged that a working document would be ready within the six-week period given to them.