Nathanael Gbaoron, Lafia
US based Nigerian Medical Doctor, Dr Olalekan Ogungbemi, has asked the Nigerian government to stop paying lip service to the fight against human trafficking saying funding agencies involved is necessary to stem the increasing cases in Nigeria.
Ogungbemi said this in Lafia, Nasarawa State Capital. He stated that lip service and inadequate funding of agencies saddled with responsibility of effective fight against human trafficking was responsible for the scourge.
He said for the agencies to have a breakthrough, funding and government political will, enabling working mechanisms must be evolved for the agencies to effectively address the menace of human trafficking in Nigeria and in the Africa continent.
Ogungbemi who is also an author of many books to his credit, a renowned public health expert, told Journalists while reviewing his recently published book titled Samanta’s Story: “One Story, Many Victims” that concrete measure and collaborations must be evolved if the perceived fight is to be realised.
He identified some systemic factors making the cycle of human trafficking hard to curb to include: poverty, unemployment, bribery, social stigma, rejection from the family members.
According to the author of the book titled” Samanta’s Story: One Story, Many Victims”, X-Rayed the lead Character of a 17-year-old Samanta Matama who hailed from the southern part of Nigeria as a victim of human trafficking for prostitution.
He said Matama was just one of the thousands of girls, particularly from Africa and Asia who were being lured and herded across borders, by both land and sea with unrealistic promises of a better life, with the help of human smugglers for the purpose of making money as a sex worker.
“The book which has 12 chapters and 89 pages, tells the story of ignorance, regret, anguish, anger, neglect, disillusionment, superstition, shame, deceit, corruption, bribery, organised crime, institutional shortcomings and systemic failures that bred and still breeding human trafficking.
“Although child trafficking happens in all other continents, it is in a high proportion in Africa particularly Nigeria, as it is being fueled by unemployment, insecurity, poverty, hunger and deprivation, making the victims more vulnerable.
“The traffickers, fondly called madam use deceit, financial gift, flamboyant lifestyle as bait to hoodwink victims to believe that grass is really greener and rosy at the other side.’’