The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has rescued 14 children that were trafficked from Plateau to Lagos State.
Mr Adole Agada, the Commandant of NAPTIP in Plateau, who handed over the children to the state government on Tuesday in Jos, said that the children were rescued by its Zonal Command in Ikeja, Lagos.
Agada explained that the children, ages 13 to 17, were rescued following intelligence from a credible informant.
He described the situation as a case of child labour and exploitation, adding that the rescued children hailed from Riyom Local Government Area of the state.
“We got a tip that three underage girls were taken from Plateau to Lagos, and we swing into action by contacting relevant stakeholders.
“Our men in Lagos arrested one Amina Sadique, the woman who came to collect the three girls at the pa.
“Thorough investigation led to the rescue of these 14 young girls and boys,” Agada said
Agada, who decried the rising spate of internal and external trafficking in the state, explained that the kids were largely used as domestic staff and sales girls and boys.
He explained that NAPTIP however, had put modalities in place to curb the situation, but called on the state government to support its efforts with logistics.
Mrs Caroline Dafur, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, who received the children on behalf of the state government, described the situation as appalling and worrisome.
Dafur explained that this was the third time she was receiving rescued children since she assumed office.
“We rescued four Plateau children from Edo, three from Lagos, and now another 14 from Lagos.
“This is an unpleasant situation, and as a government, we will not allow this to continue in the state,” she said.
Dafur promised that the state government would enroll them in schools and skill acquisition programmes, to ensure they were useful to themselves, families and communities in general.
The commissioner, who said that the children would be taken for proper medical examination, commended NAPTIP for the feat.
She, however, warned parents to desist from releasing their children for such exploitative ventures, adding that anyone found culpable, would not be spared.
On his part, Mr Musa Ashoms, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, promised to intensify awareness, particularly in rural communities against the crime.
“We will not allow parents acting on ignorance or hiding under the guise of poverty to sabotage the future of their children.
“We will engage all critical stakeholders to address this rising menace that is putting Plateau in the news for the wrong reasons,” Ashoms said. (NAN)