The wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, has said many Nigerian women fall victim to human trafficking due to poverty and illiteracy.
She urged wives of state governors to, therefore, intensify women emancipation programmes in their various states.
Buhari said this at the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons Lecture, organised by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons in Abuja.
The lecture, titled, ‘Trafficking in Persons: Human security implications for Nigeria,’ was delivered by Kevin Hyland, the United Kingdom Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
Buhari in her speech, which was delivered by the wife of former Kastina State Governor, Mrs. Grace Shema, said, “Indeed, with the scourge of human trafficking, our response as a people should show action. The time has come for us as a people to invest in the development of the Nigerian society through the uplifting of our standards and abolition of cultures that have held us back.
“I am committed to the process of empowering women and youths. This is integral to the emancipation of women from poverty, illiteracy and disease, which lead them to helplessness and human trafficking. I call on the wives of governors, as mothers of their states, to initiate actions that will culminate in the elimination of this violence, by coming up with programmes at the state level.”
Director-General, NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, said the agency had so far secured the conviction of 323 traffickers and rescued more than 11,000 victims of trafficking in the country.
She urged the state governments to make access to education compulsory and free, adding that from January to July 2017, 3,362 Nigerians had been deported from European and North African countries.