Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has inaugurated a 17-man Task Force to check human trafficking and irregular migration in Delta State with the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the state, Mr. Peter Mrakpor, as Chairman.
The inauguration of the task force by the Delta State Governor in Asaba was witnessed by the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs. Julie Okah-Donli.
Speaking at the ceremony, the governor said the inauguration of a task force had become necessary because of the rising number of trafficked persons from Delta State.
“We are very worried as a state that we occupy high position among other states affected by human trafficking and irregular migration; we are committed as a state to stem the tide that is why we are setting up this serious task force. We need to reach out to our people and discourage them from seeking greener pastures that do not exists; irregular migration and human trafficking are evils that have visited our state and it must be checked.
“We will need to get the church, the traditional institution, the youths, all relevant groups to be involved; we need partners for the message to get to a lot of persons within the shortest possible time to check irregular migration and human trafficking,” he stated.
While stressing his administration’s preparedness to carry out reintegration programmes for those who returns, Okowa assured the state indigenes that “We have chosen the right set of persons to be members of the task force and we congratulate them believing that they will carry out their functions diligently.
Also speaking at the occasion, Dame Okah-Donli commended the Delta State Governor for his determination to check human trafficking and irregular migration.
She enjoined the members not to see the task force as money making venture.
Her words: “The task force is not a money making venture but, a service to humanity; it is expected that the task force will use this platform to prevent human trafficking, support and protect trafficked persons through a more coordinated approach in the state; develop strategies and state action plans on counter-trafficking issues, carry out programmes for effective reintegration of trafficked victims into the society, work with the state Ministry of Justice on how to protect, assist and provide access to justice for victims of trafficking, among others.”
Responding, the Chairman of the Task Force, Mr. Mrakpor, thanked the Governor Okowa for the opportunity given him and his team to serve the state and humanity.
“We thank our Governor for this opportunity to serve our state and humanity, we will do our best to carry out our functions without fear or favour,” he said.
Other members of the 17-Man Task Force are, Barr. Nduka Nwanwenne, Rev. Omatsola Williams, Mr. Patrick Ukah, Rt. Hon. Mercy Almona-Isei, Dr Genevieve Mordi, Commissioner of Police Yinka Adeleke, Mrs M.N. Otubu, Mr Ibrahim Liman, Mr Ameh Ocheja, Mr. Benito Eze, Mr. Charles Oliogu, Chief Daniel Usifor, Pastor Azuka Onyebo, Comrade Julius Olomukoro, Amb. Carolyn Usikpedo, and Mr. Felix Ofou.