Imo State Commander, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP), Ernest Ogbu. Wednesday, paid an advocacy visit to the traditional ruler of Umuororonjo Autonomous Community, Owerri Municipal Council Area, HRH Eze Dr Clinton Uboegbulam Nze, JP, KSC, Anumudu VI of Umuororonjo.
The advocacy visit, according to the NAPTIP Commander, would further bring members of the community up to speed on issues concerning trafficking in persons, child labour, rape and defilement among other vices.
Commander Ogbu who said NAPTIP deemed it necessary to establish a command in Imo because of the trafficking index recorded in the state, also noted that Imo ranked highest in the number of victims rescued across the globe, as revealed in a 2021 National Stakeholders Forum held in Abuja.
Ogbu regretted that Imo is well known for baby factory, orphanage trafficking and other vices related to exploitation of women and girls and therefore urged the monarch and his cabinet members to save the community from such vices and become advocates and ambassadors of NAPTIP.
“What could be more inhuman than the ill treatment meted to victims of trafficking. The earlier we begin to address these issues, the better for us. No agency can combat crime alone. The purpose of this visit is to tell us more about all these things so that we can make appropriate referrals.”
While explaining that vulnerability thrives in rural areas, as according to him, most rural dwellers are unenlightened, uneducated and ignorant, Ogbu revealed that unemployment and poverty are key factors that push people to crime.
In his response, the traditional ruler of Umuororonjo Autonomous Community, HRH Eze Dr Clinton Uboegbulam Nze, JP appreciated the NAPTIP Boss for the visit, but was quick to submit that some law enforcement officers sabotage the efforts of the community towards curbing crimes.
The Anumudu VI of Umuororonjo and Knight of St. Charles, however assured of his support and collaboration to enable NAPTIP succeed in Imo.
A member of the community, Hon Akaa Onyemauche and other members of the Eze-in-Council and the Town Union who spoke at the parley, also raised eyebrows over the inability of security agencies to protect their informants, thereby making it difficult for willing individuals to help them fight crime.
The highpoint of the parley was the consent given by the traditional ruler for the Agency to erect a billboard in the community, which they all agreed would help in the fight against human trafficking and other related offences.

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