The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons has reunited a trafficked victim with her family after 20 years.
The Commander, NAPTIP, Benin Zone, Mrs Ijeoma Uduak, reunited the victim with her mother (name withheld) at the palace of Idu Uruan Village Head in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, on Saturday.
According to Uduak, the victim was taken away at age six from Idu Uruan to Benin City by a woman who gave her out to another woman.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Uduak said the two suspects had been arrested by the agency.
She said, “Prosecution is ongoing to ensure that justice prevails. Our task is to fulfill part of our mandate as an agency that is against human trafficking, and one that rescues and reunites victims with their families. This victim was taken away from the classroom at age six. She had no contact with her family for several years.
“Her captor must have used all manner of tricks to deceive the young and innocent mind; today we celebrate breakthrough and freedom.”
The NAPTIP official urged members of the public to give the agency information that would make it to detect human trafficking.
“When you give us reliable information, we assure you of protection,’’ she said.
She urged parents to plan their families to avoid having more children than they would be able to care for. “Unplanned parenthood has led to increased child labour,” she stated.
Responding, the victim’s mother expressed joy that her daughter returned home after 20 years.
She said, “Our belief at home was that she is dead, nobody believes that we shall meet her again. We are thankful to God Almighty.”
She also commended the Federal Government and NAPTIP for their commitment toward tackling human trafficking.
The village Head of Idu Uruan, Chief Godwin Okoho, said that the victim’s return was a good omen for the community.
Okoho stated, “We are very happy. This development shows that we still have functional government institutions. Her return and reunion with her family is a thing of joy to the community. We thank the Federal Government and NAPTIP for making this possible.”
The Vice Chairman, Uruan Local Government Area, Mrs Uduak Akpan, described the victim as a child of destiny who still had dreams to fulfill.