° We don’t have such report – Embassy of Nigeria in Dakar
From Paul Osuyi, Asaba and Paulinus Osiomeye
A non-governmental organization that is into the rescue and resettlement of trafficked victims, Emmanuel World Children Foundation (EWCF) on Wednesday raised alarm that over 15,000 Nigerians had been trapped in Senegal, a francophone West African country.
The foundation further said that similar number of trafficked Nigerians, mostly girls, were also trapped in other West African countries of Mali and Gambia.
Executive Director of the foundation, Mr. Emmanuel Adaramola, revealed this in Asaba , Delta State, during the launch and inauguration of support network for survivors of human trafficking.
Adaramola, said his organisation was in collaboration with a foreign partner, Free The Slave with head office in the United States of America and regional office in Ghana, to rescue trafficked victims and return them to their countries of origin including Nigeria.
He said 58 adult female Nigerians and three babies were recently rescued and returned to the country, noting that the victims were deceived by a coordinated trafficking syndicate who lured them with promise of juicy jobs in the francophone nation.
Adaramola, said Edo State topped the list with the highest number of rescued victims, and listed other states to include Delta, Lagos, Ebonyi, Taraba, Anambra, Kaduna among four others.
According to him, the victims ended up in exploitative labour in the strange land.
Adaramola disclosed that the trafficking syndicate was now invading rural communities to lure those that are more vulnerable into the trafficking web.
He said their target has shifted from ladies to children between the ages of nine and 14.
“They are now going for primary and secondary school children between the ages of nine and 14. They promise the victims with jobs in supermarkets where they would be earning up to N120,000.00 monthly.
“But when they get to Senegal, the story will change, they are used for exploitative labour in sex, mining, quarry and what have you,” he said.
When contacted, the Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of Nigeria in Dakar, Senegal, Ambassador Nicholas Ella, said he had no such information.
Ella, however, said report at his disposal showed that five Nigerians were brought into Senegal as victims of human trafficking.
“We only have report that five Nigerians came in and were trafficked into one city here.
“But for 15,000 Nigerians, if that had happened, it would have been in the airwaves everywhere now,” Ella said.
Ella further assured our Correspondent that he was going to swing into action to verify the authenticity of the information.