The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Offences (NAPTIP) has reunited a victim of human trafficking with her family after 20 years.
Mrs Ijeoma Uduak, Commander, NAPTIP, Benin Zone, reunited the victim with her mother name (withheld) at the palace of Idu Uruan Village Head in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, on Saturday.
According to Uduak, the victim was taken away at the age of six from Idu Uruan to Benin City by a woman who gave her out to another woman.
She said that the two women had been arrested by the agency.
“Prosecution is ongoing to ensure that justice prevails.
“Our task here is to fulfill part of our mandate as an agency that is against human trafficking, and one that rescues and reunites victims with their families.
“This victim was taken away from the classroom at the age of six, she had no contact with her family for several years.
“Her captor must have used all manner of tricks to deceive the young and innocent mind; today we celebrate breakthrough and freedom,” she said.
The NAPTIP official urged members of the public to give the agency information that would make it to detect human trafficking.
“When you give us reliable information, we assure you of being protected,” she said.
She urged parents to plan their families to avoid producing more children than they would be able to care for.
“Unplanned parenthood has led to increased child labour.”
Responding, the victim’s mother expressed joy that her daughter returned home after 20 years.
“Our belief at home was that she is dead, nobody believes that we shall meet her again, we are thankful to God Almighty,” she said.
She also commended the Federal Government and NAPTIP for commitment toward tackling human trafficking.
Chief Godwin Okoho, Idu Uruan Village Head, said that the victim’s return was a good omen for the community.
“We are very happy, this development shows that we still have functional government institutions.
“Her return and reunion with her family is a thing of joy to the community.
“We thank the Federal Government and NAPTIP for making this possible,” he said.
Mrs Uduak Akpan, Vice Chairman, Uruan Local Government Area, described the victim as a child of destiny who still had dreams to fulfill.