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General News of Tuesday, 6 April 2021


How President Buhari fought to release trafficked Nigerians in Libya - Minister

Nigeria's Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama has revealed that President Buhari fought hard to ensure Nigerians trafficked and taken into slavery abroad returned home.

The minister said the President dispatched a team to Libya after a Cable News Network (CNN) documentary about slavery in the North African country was released.

He said that Nigerians trapped in the country, mostly teenagers were returned home safely.

Onyeama added that the President’s inclusion of a former Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okoh-Donli, was of great importance because of her passion to ensure justice for the oppressed, The Nations reports.

The minister spoke yesterday in Abuja at the launch of the former DG’s non-governmental organization (NGO), Roost Foundation.

“The challenge of what needs to be done with regards to trafficking in persons is advocacy and sensitisation. She was very good at putting the structures to make people aware. She understood that it was not just to bring them back, because most often, they are not well educated; they have to have a sustainable means of livelihood.

“There, she saw very clearly the need to engage with the relevant governors in putting in place trainings and skills development.

“This is a global challenge, and she has the knowledge on how to engage with foreign partners because it requires a lot of diplomacy and engagement with foreign governments, foreign NGOs, building partnership and alliances. She is extremely good at that.

“A lot of people will want to leave it to the government or church, but it is heartwarming to see one of the best and brightest deciding to dedicate themselves to making the difference.”

Dame Okah-Donli said Roost Foundation would fight human trafficking and gender-based violence.

She said her organization would use Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing and pro bono lawyers, led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), as arsenals in the fight against paedophiles, sexual and gender-based violence offenders and traffickers in the country.

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