NACTAL Launches Anti-Human Trafficking Neighbourhood Watch In Sokoto

Sokoto State Governor, Ahmed Aliyu
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A non governmental organization, Network Against Child Trafficking and Forced Labour (NACTAL), Wednesday in Sokoto launched “Anti-Human Trafficking Neighbourhood Watch Committee”, to help curb the heinous activities of traffickers and their collaborators. 

NACTAL which is the umbrella body of non governmental organizations engaged in advocacy and campaign for children’s rights, anti-human trafficking and abuse, with funding from the European Union (EU), is implentaing public awareness on prevention of Trafficking in Person (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) in collaboration with FIIAPP. 

Making his presentation before launching the “”Anti- Trafficking Neighborhood Watch Committee'”, the National President of NACTAL, Mr Abdulganiyu Abubakar reaffirmed that only genuine collective efforts by all stakeholders can help curb the menace of TIP and SOM. 

Abdulganiyu who warned that states that are trafficking transit routes such as Sokoto, Katisna, Kano, Kebbi and the rest should be given more attention than origin or source states of victims, also appealed to the National Union of Road Transport Workers and others to be deligent in their operations.  

The NACTAL National President, Abdulganiyu talking on, “Reporting Cases of Human Trafficking: Who, Where, When and How?” said both state and non-state actors were crucial in curbing the menace of TIP and SOM.

In his presentation on “The Objective of the Neighborhood Watch, Duties and Responsibilities”, Mr Samuel Sanwolu, the FIIAPP Head of Sensitization and Enlightenment advised the newly launched Anti- Trafficking Neighborhood Watch Committee not to arrest or prevent trafficking but only report to the relevant authorities. 

While welcoming participants at the 2 day workshop, Sokoto State Coordinator of NACTAL, Mr Rufus Yankong said winning the war against TIP and SOM is achievable with all hands on deck.

The Team Leader of Action Against Trafficking  in Persons and Smuggling on Migrants In Nigeria, (A- TIPSOM), Nigeria, Mr Federico Milan in his opening remarks said with dedication and commitments from all stakeholders curbing TIP and SOM is possible. 

“”Leader of the different communities have a special role of not only rasing awareness but also taking responsibility of supporting their communities to halt trafficking and smuggling of migrants. Both religious and traditional leaders must unite with one vision to halt the trend, and the CSOs and NGOs have very special role in leading the campaign””. Federico enthused.  

Corroborating Mr Federico’s position, Sokoto State commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, represented by the Director Adminstration of the ministry,  Mr Abas Ahmed Sani said the state is 100 percent in support of the fight against TIP and SOM. 

On his part, the Comptroller of Immigration, Sokoto State Command, Mohammed Salihu represented by Deputy Comptroller, Grace Nkangung said hence Nigeria is expanding, the issue of irregular migration keeps increasing. 

The good news however according to her, is the fat that the NIC continues to intercepts young Nigerians  trying to move out of the country for diverse reasons almost on daily basis. 

Members of the newly launched Anti-Human Trafficking Neighbourhood Watch in Sokoto

“”Sokoto is one of the outlets where young Nigerians move out using the many expansive routes illegally. But thank God our men are always succeeding in intercepting them. 

Coming from the religious perspective,  the Chief Imam of Kalambaina Mosque, in Wamakko local government within Sokoto metropolis, Malam Zayanu Hausare, reaffirmed that Islam as preached in the Holy Qur’an forbids anything that disrespects human dignity. 

Things he listed as samples include, selling of human parts, trading human being, putting undue pressure on fellow humans, exploitation, taking of lives of fellow human being amongst numerous others. 

Lending his voice in support of the stand, the Secretary of Christan Association of Nigeria, (CAN) Sokoto State Chapter, Rev Adole Godwin, appealed to all to genuinely follow the teachings of their respective religions. 

Rev Adole who decried that,  Nigeria is a very religious country but rarely adhere to the teachings of their religions, said the major religions in Nigeria Christianity and Islam preaches love for fellow human beings, but amusingly, adherents still deviate resulting to the many crimes in the country. 

“Both religions preach love, living in peace, respect for human dignity but majority of the crimes committed against human beings today lare perpetrated by those belonging to either of this major religions”. 

Looking at the issue of TIP and SOM from a broader perspective, the District Head of Gagi, (Sarkin Yakin Gagi) Alhaji Jabi Ahmed said border porosity leads to irregular migration hence an appeal for further collaboration with the religious and traditional leaders to help curb the menace. 

He submitted that the training is timely to adequately mobilize and advocate to the locals to become change agents and watchdogs against trafficking in person. 

Continuing, the vocal tradional leader who has remained an advocate of gender equality, submitted that, “Lots of factors such as forced marriage, domestic servitude, greed, deprivation, parental irresponsibility, poverty, having children beyond ones capacity amongst others are responsible for TIP and SOM

“‘Our target is to ensure that people speak out to protect human dignity, for us to attain zero TIP. But for this to be possible, we must ensure equal access to education””. 

Taking a sweep on governance, Alhaji Jabi Sani said, “Nigeria is also experiencing TIP because of leadership failure, adding we must do something about our population, as it’s gradually but speedily  becoming a challenge.

“”We don’t want Almajiri roaming about. Then we must discontinue marrying more wives and produce children we cannot take care of. 

“”Our parents stood for us. But today, we cannot stand for our children, as we children beyond our capacity to carter for”. 

He further challanged religious leaders, especially the Imams for contracting marriages for those that have divorced their spouses without caring to know the date of the offsprings of such previous marriages and what is likely to be the fate of the new marriage. 

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