Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, was agog on Monday as hundreds of people marched against human trafficking.
The march brought staff of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) from across 23 states of the country to Abuja which was aimed at sensitising members of the public on the dangers of human trafficking.
The officials of NAPTIP were joined by stakeholders, which included staff of the International Organisation on Migration (IOM), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), among others.
According to a statement by the spokesman of NAPTIP, Vincent Adekoye, the walk was part of activities to commemorate the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the agency and the 2023 World Day Against Human Trafficking.
The group walked through some major streets in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, taking off from the Old Parade Ground and terminating at the Unity Fountain, Central Business District.
The walk was led by the Director General, Prof Fatima Waziri – Azi, in company of representatives of the development partners, members of the civil society organisations, representatives of sister law enforcement agencies, directors of the agency, zonal and state commanders of NAPTIP and other stakeholders.
Speaking at the end of the walk, the Director General, Prof. Fatima Waziri – Azi, said the exercise was a deliberate action to create sufficient awareness on the issues of human trafficking and other related crimes in order to change the narrative, equip Nigerians with adequate information, and increase their resistance to the antics of human traffickers.
In his remarks, the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, represented by the Deputy Country Representative of the UNODC, Mr. Danilo Capisi , said, “The theme of this year’s World Day Against Human Trafficking is: “Reach every victim of trafficking-leave no one behind.”
He added that: “This is an apt theme because the central promise of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs is to leave no one behind. We are now halfway to the 2030 deadline, and that promise is in peril. Urgent action is required to get the SDGs back on track. The strength of our relationship with the Government is evidenced by the collaboration between NAPTIP and UN agencies, including UNODC, IOM, UNHCR, and ILO.”
There was also a goodwill message from the National President of the Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), Mr. Abdulganiyu Abubakar.
The peak of the celebration was a parade by the members of the State Task Forces Against Human Trafficking, led by the commanders and other CSOs.