By Emmanuel AddehÂ in Yenagoa
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has confirmed receiving a protest letter from the traditional ruler of Ekpetiama Kingdom, Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa State,Â Bubaraye Dakolo.Â
King Dakolo had sent a petition complaining about the activities of expatriates working with oil multinationals companies operating in the state and the Niger Delta region, accusing them of alleged cases of human trafficking and the use of young girls as sex objects.Â
Speaking on the questions raised by the monarch, the Director General ofÂ NAPTIP,Â Julie Okah-Donli, who spoke in Yenagoa during a summit organised byÂ Bayelsa First-class Traditional Rulers Wives Association, said the petition by the monarch again brought to the fore the danger resulting from such abuses.
Â She said, “Our daughters are being exploited by the oil workers who see them as sex toys to be played with, and as queens and mothers, we should not let that happen. Here in Bayelsa, our young girls are at the risk of trafficking due to theÂ nature of our state.Â
“Being in the coastal line and the presence of oil companies in the state has made our dear Bayelsa State a source, transit and destination state when it comes to human trafficking for sexual and labour exploitation.”Â
The NAPTIP Director General called on Nigerian mothers to ensure that the girl child was educated to know the evils of human trafficking.Â
She urged participants to work on increasing literacy and political representation in the state, encourage safe sex and enlighten the people on the need for smaller families so as to reduce poverty.Â
“As queen mothers, there is the need for you to use your esteemed position to raise awareness on the importance of educating our girls who will in turn, grow into young women”, she said.Â
Earlier in her speech, the Chairperson of the association of wives of traditional rulers in the state, who is also the queen ofÂ Twon Brass Kingdom, Dr. Josephine Diette-Spiff, noted that the platform was formed to be of benefit to all.Â
She advised her colleagues to use the opportunity given to them by God to better the lot of their communities, attract progress to their people and add value to their lives.