Following the take action campaign embarked upon in the South East Region of Nigeria to sensitize the population of residents within the region, a tremendous success has been achieved leading to the capture of a major Trafficking Kingpin within Anambra State. This happened after a successful Take action and empowerment of the citizens at Nnewi using a radio talk show by Devatop at the 91.9 Authority FM and a training/Sensitization Campaign at Nnewi in secondary schools. The Radio program with the Program Manager Arinze Egemonye and supported by IzuGodson Udemezue a Devatop Volunteer, which also featured call-in by listeners reached out to over 200,000 participants leading to engagement of all categories of people who were enlightened on the meaning of human trafficking, the dangers of Trafficking in person, causes of trafficking, ways to avoid being victimized, how to identify a Trafficker and other ways to monitor movements with respect to human trafficking, child labour, domestic violence and other negative social vices.

According to the reporter, the trafficker is the leader of a gang who traffics ladies away from Nigeria through the borders to Mali, Libya and European Countries for the purposes of Sex trafficking, Sex Slavery, Organ Harvesting, Domestic Servitude and other dangerous acts against humanity. She recruits agents within states, Local Governments and communities who go about with deceptive offers to girls using all forms of coercive means to lure young ladies with vague promises for better lifestyles in these African countries and Europe. These category of ladies who usually fall victims of the offense, stealthily and sheepishly follow these traffickers with a bargain to payback bulk sums up to N20m to their employers.

Records, reports and eye witness has it that as soon as these ladies leave the borders of Nigeria, the story changes. According to the recent eye witness reporter/victim at Nnewi, she expressed shock as she found herself let loose from the major Kingpin to a Syndicate after a loathsome exchange of currency for her alleged sale and two other ladies. As they journeyed further, conditions of freedom became so limited that she cannot regain freedom on request based on the negotiations between the syndicates. It dawned on her that she was in big trouble when she was locked up in a room with other ladies on the same business trip. According to her, she was told by her recruiter that there was a business of Diamond gathering and sale which was trending in Mali and that needed enough work force to get that realised. She was also guaranteed that she can make a minimum of N5m per month and once she pays back the Dealers’ portion, the rest income becomes hers.

Luck caught up with the Kingpin after a sensitization programme organized by Devatop Centre for Africa Development both on Radio and in Secondary Schools in Nnewi as empowered by the Executive Director of Devatop, Joseph Chidiebere Osuigwe, where the citizens were encouraged and empowered to report incidences of trafficking in persons happening around them. Through intelligence gathering and syndication with both NAPTIP and the Nigeria Police, she was apprehended and detained. This has subsequently led to the successful re-union of the victim with her family after weeks in captivity.
This ‘Take Action Project’ is usually embarked upon by Devatop after technical training and empowerment of Volunteers who are subsequently equipped to take the message down to the local communities to enlighten, sensitize and train advocates with the message of, ‘‘If you see something, Say something’’. This has yielded several results and still making impact in the lives of Nigerians to ensure that this ugly incidence of human trafficking is completely eradicated.
Devatop Centre for Africa Development (DCAD) is a youth-based non-profit organisation that is focused on combating human trafficking, gender –based violence, providing educational support to vulnerable children and equipping young people and women to be agents of national development. DCAD is registered with Nigeria Corporate Affairs and has partnered with United Nations Office for Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) and National Human Rights Commission to train more than 5000 women and young people on how to combat human trafficking.

As reported by Arinze Egemonye, Project Manager, Devatop Centre for Africa Development. 08036745949

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