Senior Special Assistant to Delta State Governor on International Affairs, Dr. Genevieve Mordi, has warned students of secondary schools against fallen prey to traffickers who lure young minds with fake promises of better life overseas.
Although Mordi along with Julie Okah-Donli, former director general of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and Felix Ofou, member of Delta State Task force against Human Trafficking, said anyone is free to travel outside the country, the journey should be embarked upon legally.
The event which held at Okpanam High School in Oshimili North local government area of Delta state was in commemoration of the United Nations Anti-Human Trafficking Day.
Dr. Mordi told the students that human trafficking is a global scourge and all hands must be on deck to block and eradicate the evil which she described as modern day slavery.
She said secondary school students were chosen for the sensitisation because the harvest ground for most trafficking is among youths within the age bracket of 17 to 40 with a greater percentage of youths within 26 to 23 years.
She called for identification of students who are unhappy, aggressive and seek for root cause of such behaviour, noting that such students might run away from homes and easily become prey to the bogus promise of traffickers.
She told the students that she had brought many of Delta youths back to the state. She said many of them had no idea of what they were going to do in the fpreign world. She said many were given promises of becoming models and other beautiful engagements but as as soon as they take them out, they turn them to slaves and sex tools.
Felix Ofou, member of Delta State Taskforce against Human Trafficking, said prior to the explpsion of human trafficking in Delta state, Edo state was the heart of the illicit trade. But Delta has become second in the ungodly business.
He told the students that the promise better life across the Mediterranean sea, lucrative and jobs has made many young people fall prey to the trap of traffickers across the West Africa and North African zone.
He said some of these people have nevet returnef home. Many are subjected to untold hardship in Libya, the point of entering the Mediterranean sea to the European nation of Italy and others where they feel there is better life for Nigerians. Hr said some of the people with flashy cars are involved in trafficking in persons.
Delta state commissioner for secondary education, Mrs. Rose Ezewu, said victims of trafficking are forced into domestic and agricultural work and others who are not too fortunate have their organs harvested for ritual purposes.
Principalbof the school, Mrs. Rachael Ogbogo, arvised the students to seek for success legitimately. She said the seminar will help discourage intending youths from leaving Nigeria through illegal means.
Julie Okah-Donli, a former DG of NAPTIP, said trafficking is a great crime against humanity. She said there are both internal and external trafficking. She added that ovet 60 percent of females trafficked to Italy are Nigerians.