14 children who were being trafficked from the Plateau to Lagos State were saved, according to a Tuesday statement from the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
The Plateau State government also reported that it had just saved seven kids who had been kidnapped and taken to the states of Edo and Lagos.
Adole Agada, the Plateau State commander of NAPTIP, stated that the children were saved by the NAPTIP zonal command in Ikeja, Lagos, when he turned them over to the state administration in Jos.
The children, who were between the ages of 13 and 17, were saved as a result of information from a reliable informant, according to Agada.
Referring to the circumstance as an instance of child labour and exploitation, he mentioned that the youngsters who were saved are from the state’s Riyom Local Government Area.
“We got a tip that three underage girls were taken from Plateau to Lagos, and we swung into action by contacting relevant stakeholders.
“Our men in Lagos arrested Amina Sadique, the woman who came to collect the three girls at the park.
“Thorough investigation led to the rescue of these 14 young girls and boys,” Agada said.
The NAPTIP commandant, who decried the rising spate of internal and external trafficking in the state, explained that the kids were largely used as domestic staff and as sales girls and boys.
The children were met on behalf of the state government by Mrs. Caroline Dafur, the Plateau State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development in the State, who called the situation horrifying and concerning.
Dafur clarified that since taking office, this was the third time she had received rescued children.
“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 enrol them in schools and skill acquisition programmes to ensure they were useful to themselves, their families, and their communities.
The commissioner said that the children would be taken for a proper medical examination.
Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Musa Ashoms, promised to intensify awareness, particularly in rural communities, against human trafficking.
“We will not allow parents acting in 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.