By Bridget Ikyado
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has recorded 217 cases of human trafficking in Benue in the past five years.
The Zonal Commander of NAPTIP in the state, Mr Ganiu Alao, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Makurdi.
Alao, who assumed office in Benue on Oct. 15, noted, however, that the state had been witnessing steady reduction in human trafficking cases in recent times.
He disclosed that 14 people had been convicted for human trafficking crimes while 14 cases were currently in various courts in the state.
According to him, only eight cases of child abuse and human trafficking have been recorded in the state this year.
Alao said that the agency had embarked on a sensitisation campaign in a bid to eradicate human trafficking at the grassroots.
The commander lauded the Benue Government for enacting a legislation to stamp out human trafficking, child labour, rape and other related crimes.
He said that officials of NAPTIP had started keeping tabs on camps, housing internally displaced people, following reports of human trafficking in the camps.
“The agency is determined to change the narrative by talking to vulnerable people on the need to protect themselves, their children and their wards.
“It is painful to note that these heartless traffickers feed on the vulnerability and the wide range of ignorance of the people, especially those in rural communities.
“This is why we have decided to bring our sensitisation train to the rural areas.
“This campaign is going to be sustained and we will continue to monitor events within communities in every part of Benue State.’’
According to him, the agency will be collaborating with media organisations, faith-based groups and other stakeholders to stamp out human trafficking everywhere.