THE federal government on Monday, February 27, evacuated 41 Nigerian girls who are victims of human trafficking from Bamako Mali.
The evacuation was a collaboration of the ministry of Defence/Nigeria Air Force, NAF, the Office of the senior special assistant to the president on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora and National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons, NAPTIP.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, senior special assistant to the president on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, said the evacuation of the girls followed a distress call.
The girls were evacuated with six suspects who were arrested in connection with the trafficking of the girls. They were handed over to the appropriate security agency for prosecution.
Dabiri-Erewa said following the distress call received from Mali, her office informed the Ministry of Defence which provided the plane to evacuate the girls.
She said the 41 girls were victims of trafficking by some “big madams” who were among the suspects arrested.
Some of the scantily dressed girls were covering their faces as they alighted from the aircraft.
Joseph Famakinwa, NAPTIP zonal commander for South West, said the agency would rehabilitate the girls.
“Once the girls have been rescued, we take them to our shelter houses where they are received by trained counsellors who assist them in overcoming their trauma.
“After counselling, for those who don’t want to go back to school, we give them a vocational training of their choice and also assist them to set up their businesses,” Famakinwa said.
— Feb 28, 2017 @ 15:10 GMT