19th January, 2022
By Habibu Harisu
The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Wednesday, handed over four trafficked children to the Sokoto state government.
The Sokoto Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Mr Abubakar Bashiru who made the presentation urged parents with record of missing children to offer information on them for identification.
The victims were received by the Special Adviser to Gov. Aminu Tambuwal, on Human Rights, Non-Governmental Organisations and Donor Agencies, Hajia Ubaida Bello.
Bashiru said the victims, were rescued by officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Kebbi state who handed them over to NAPTIP on Nov. 25, 2021.
He said the victims were transported to the south of the country from Kebbi state and sold off to different parents before they were rescued, adding that three victims were indigenes of Sokoto state, while the third victim is an indigene of Kebbi state.
He added that one of the victims was stolen a day after his birth, and two were in transit to school, while the other was on the street.
He explained that the victims, who were earlier speaking Igbo language; however, because of their stay at the Kebbi State Orphanage home, presently speak the Hausa language.
Bashiru said the victims had stayed at the orphanage for almost two years, while their case was being investigated, adding that they had been in NAPTIP’s custody since Nov. 25, 2021.
He explained that nine suspects had been arrested so far in connection with the crime and investigation was still ongoing as the principal suspect had not been apprehended.
The commandant urged parents to ensure strict vigilance on their children’s whereabouts, noting that they should carefully scrutinise all their associates and home visitors.
Earlier, the wife of the Governor, Hajia Mariya Tambuwal, commended NAPTIP and security agencies for the efforts and urged them to sustain same, as cases of abduction, human trafficking, sales of babies, children abuse and other crimes were increasing on an alarming rate.
The wife of the governor, represented by the Coordinator of her Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Mariya Aminu Tambuwal Development Initiative (MTDI), Hajia Fatima Khalid, assured of maximum upkeep and other forms of support to the rescued children.
She urged parents to live up to their responsibility of safeguarding children, ensure their proper schooling, feeding and other forms of parental care, for their children’s desired growth.
Responding, the Special Adviser expressed appreciation to NAPTIP and other organisations for their efforts and assured of maximum protection of the rescued children, stressing that governor Tambuwal recently signed the Child Protection Law to ensure more commitment.
Bello called on parents, teachers at all levels, community leaders and groups to support the government’s efforts at ensuring the moral upbringing of children for the state’s and national growth.