The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP) on Sunday handed over 23 victims of human trafficking to the Katsina State Government.
The NAPTIP Zonal Commander, Mr Shehu Umar, while handing over the victims, who are mostly children to Governor Aminu Bello Masari at the Government House, said the victims were intercepted at AYA junction, Abuja, by the police on their way to Keffi, Nasarawa State on November 13, 2019.
Umar said that one Malam Akilu Limam Umar and two others have been apprehended in connection with the case and investigations revealed that the suspects had already moved 40 other victims to Keffi.
He said: “I am here to hand over 23 victims of human trafficking rescued by police at AYA junction in Abuja and handed over to NAPTIP headquarters Abuja and there, the victims were brought to our command in Kano for onward reunion with their respective families.
“Sixteen of the victims are from Kaita, four are from Katsina town and three are from Niger Republic. So, the agency is investigating the matter to see how the other victims would also be rescued and sent back to their parents.”
The NAPTIP zonal commander, however, said three other victims (girls) of human trafficking were intercepted by the agency at the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano on their way to Saudi Arabia for greener pastures.
Receiving the victims, Governor Masari said: “What is frightening from what I have seen here is that some of them (victims) are not more than six or eight years being abandoned by their parents.”
The governor, who was visibly disturbed by the scenario, called on relevant authorities to checkmate the menace of human trafficking and other related issues bedevilling the country.
While calling on parents to desist from sending their children to other parts of the country for Islamic education, Masari lamented that most Islamic scholars have abused the “Almajiri system of education”.
He said: “Most of these young children you see, local Malams do take them to somewhere far away from their homes. It is not about learning Qur’anic education, it is about slavery because they are been exposed to hard labour beyond their age, strengths and again exposed to begging.”