Alarmed at the high rate of trafficking Nigerian girls overseas for prostitution, President Buhari has mandated his team on diaspora affairs to ensure that all such victims are brought back to the country.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed this while commenting on the issue of human trafficking during a programme on AIT.
Dabiri-Erewa said that no fewer than 41 girls ranging between 16 – 28 years have voluntarily returned to Nigeria from Mali as a result of collaboration between the Nigerian Embassy and the Malian authorities anchored on mutual agreement.
She called for the education of children against embarking on trips to places they are not familiar with; stressing that girls who are trafficked for sex believed that they were going overseas to engage in white-collar jobs. In her words;
“Now on the issue of human trafficking, 41 girls have voluntarily returned to Nigeria from Mali.
“President Buhari has charged us to bring back all these girls trafficked for sex.
“The Nigerian Embassy in Bamako leveraged on the NAF Charlie-130 Hercules aircraft to airlift these girls that were victims of human trafficking.
“The successful repatriation of the girls was as a result of collaboration between the Nigerian Embassy and the Malian authorities anchored on mutual agreement.
“We need to educate our children especially the ladies not to go to where they don’t know.”
Recall that earlier this week, 37 female Nigerians were deported to Nigeria by the Malian authorities alongside four female trafficking suspects.
In a recent report, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) reveals that there are currently 5,000 Nigerians trafficked into different parts of Mali for prostitution. The agency said the victims were lured into Mali with the promise of helping them to Europe.
NAPTIP however, said that it was putting in place measures that would be presented to government to ensure that all the stranded victims in Mali and other parts of Africa are rescued and brought back to Nigeria.
Meanwhile, in Thailand’s city of Pattaya, local police hauled off about 40 African prostitutes off the streets on Thursday, March 2nd, as part of efforts to clean up the city’s image.
This will make it the second of such raids in less than a week. Last week Friday, no less than 20 African prostitutes, who claimed to be tourists, were arrested and taken to the police station for questioning.
Though the black women, mostly from Madagascar, Nigeria, and Uganda, all denied any claims of prostitution, the police were confident that they were in fact, selling themselves for money after observing their behaviour beforehand.
Local reports say that all the ladies were on tourist visas but were selling themselves. They said they catered to tourists with certain tastes.
However, there were no reports of any action taken against the women. Police just said that the crackdown would continue as they attempted to clean up Pattaya’s image.
The city of Pattaya in Thailand has an estimated 27,000 prostitutes and is known as the world’s neon-lit sex capital. Over one million tourists visit Pattaya every year to visit the city’s hundreds of strip bars, go-go clubs and brothels.
Many of the sex workers come from the impoverished northeastern part of Thailand and see selling their bodies as a way out of poverty.