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Enslaved in holy land: 138 trafficked Nigerian ladies seek return from S’Arabia

Days after the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) raised the alarm over critical situation of some trafficked 30 Nigerian ladies stranded in Lebanon, the body has again uncovered another set of Nigerians in hundreds battling with similar fate in Saudi Arabia.

JIFORM President, Ajibola Abayomi, in statement made available to the media on Sunday said the body had profile of 138 ladies trafficked to the Arabian nation by a company identified as TTCO.

Some of the names on list included 23 years old Amina Idris an indigene of Kano whose passport is beign withheld by her host, Atanda Easter Idowu, 42 with passport number A09118374; Salawu Yetunde Victoria, 37, with passport number A08233422 both from Oyo State and Gift Israel Johnnu, 25, with passport number A09136678 from Rivers State.
He said the revelation was unraveled in the data made available to JIFORM by the Rescue Africans In Slavery (RAIS), a foundation advocating against human trafficking and child labour.

“We commend the spirited effort of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for picking the bills of 55 victims out of 120 list of trafficked ladies in Lebanon recently released by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM).

READ  Personal Documents of Migration, now translated in German

“Since we launched rescue campaign that led to the rescue of the 30 girls and others in Lebanon by the Nigerian government, several international agencies had been reaching out to us and we have been directing them to relate with the National Agency for Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) accordingly. JIFORM is committed to humanitarian service and we are willing to do more” Ajibola stated.

Calling for another prompt attention from the Federal Government, the JIFORM President said some of the ladies at different locations in the country were in critical health condition and needed to be attended to in good time.

Also worried by the situation, the Executive Director of RAIS, Ms Omotola Fawunmi said although the temporal arrangement had been made to give the ladies first aid treatment in Saudi Arabia, she however pleaded for action to save the lives of the trafficked victims.

 

One of the victims who spoke under anonymity, an English and Social Studies graduate from Adeniran Ogunsanya Colleague of Education, Lagos state while appealing for help said all efforts to get the attention of the Nigerian ambassador in Saudi Arabia have proved abortive as non- English speaking staff placed as front desk officers refused to give them attention.

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The 26 years old lady on salary equivalent of N70, 000 per month lamented that she was fed with hash treatments being meted to her by her host. The Ogun state indigene said she applied as a teacher through her agents over two years ago only to be given out as house maid when she arrived at the country.

Also appealing for government’s attention, The Migrant Project (TMP), Media Lead, Tayo Elegbede, noted with concern that:”The trend of stranded Nigerians in dire conditions across the Middle East is, unfortunately, worrisome.

“We appeal to relevant authorities to ensure the safe and speedy return of these ladies and other Nigerians trapped across the Middle East. Unarguably, there is the need to decipher and address the fundamental factors responsible for gross undocumented migration of Nigerians, particularly from South-West states, to Middle East countries.

“Public campaigns and enlightenment on the risk and realities of irregular migration and human trafficking need to be advanced across the nooks and cranny of the country, whilst providing viable alternatives.”

READ  Covid-19: Dubai evacuees test positive in Nigeria after testing negative in UAE

 

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Human trafficking: PJI  urges proper trauma management for returnees

The Pathfinder Justice Initiative (PJI), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has called for proper trauma care for migrant returnees to prevent them from becoming vulnerable to subsequent trafficking.

Evon Benson-Idahosa, the Executive Director, PJI, made the call at a Rehabilitation Workshop for Providers Serving Survivors of Human Trafficking held in Benin on Thursday.

The workshop was organised by PJI and funded by INSighT- Building Capacity to deal with human trafficking and transit routes to Nigeria, Italy and Sweden.

Benson-Idahosa said that a majority of returnee-migrants usually undergo different traumatic situations and needed to be properly rehabilitated before being integrated back into the society. She noted that if the migrant returnees were not properly rehabilitated, they would not be able to put into good use any form of skills acquisition or empowerment received.

“Providers serving survivors should know how to handle traumatised victims because many of them, especially females, have been raped and have gone through horrible experiences during their trafficking journey.

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“The providers should know that there are best practices in terms of handling trafficked victims; they need to use a survivor centred approach to prioritise the needs of the victims,” she said.

She called on the government at all levels to partner more with NGOs on providing best traumatic care for returned migrants in the country.

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How Nigerian-American police officer burst human trafficking syndicate in US

A retried Nigerian American Police officer, Samuel Balogun  narrated how he  burst a human trafficking syndicate that specialized in using minors for prostitution.

“My biggest accomplishment was bursting a human trafficking crime,” Balogun said.

Giving details of how he executed the task,  the dark skinned retired police officer said: “ There was a guy that was using minors for prostitution on the internet.  I have an accent and when I speak people know I am an African. So, I had to go undercover and had to call the guy on the internet.  I said ‘ hey! what is going on, I am in town. I am a truck driver and I want some girls.’ I asked  how old? He said the younger they are, the more money. I said about 15 to 16 years. He said ok.  I asked  how many he could bring and he replied two. He said which hotel was I and I gave the name to him. He told me to hang up and  he called back  the hotel. He subsequently called me and asked if I was there and I said yes. He said he would be there in 20 minutes.

“We were waiting for him to come but he was smart too. He dropped the girls down the street and made them walk to the room. The girls asked how much I was ready to pay and wanted to take off their clothes but I said not yet.  In the next room were officers listening to our conversation. When I make a signal, that means it is time for them to come in. but before you make the signal, you have to make sure they have mentioned the price, they have given the reason why they were there, so it doesn’t look like you are entrapping them.  When I made the signal, the officers burst in and arrested everybody including me.

Thereafter, Balogun said  the police  processed the girls and after that, “they said look, you are minors and we know somebody is pushing you to do this. Now we don’t want to arrest you but tell us how to get to the boss.  The girls cooperated and  made as if they were leaving. When the man pulled up to pick them up, and that was how we arrested  him. That stopped a lot of those crimes.”

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Balogun said he was in Nigeria to bring his wealth of experience to bear on the disturbing security situation in the country. “ I am trying to bring back  my experience as a  police officer in the states to Nigeria. When you look at the #endsars period, the performance of the police was something that hurt my feelings. How can we make it better? How can we make the police job something that people will look with respect  and want to join?”

He hinted that his  security firm is involved in training not only police officers but “ I also train private security companies. I am in touch with a lot of private security companies in Nigeria.  There is another concept which Nigeria is embracing right now.

“It is called community policing. In the states it is called neighbourhood policing or community policing. It works in a way that in every street, there would be a police officer that lives in that neighbourhood.   You get to know the people and the people know you. In some apartments, they will give you a discount just for the police officer to be there because they know once a police officer is living there, the police car is outside and the crime level will reduce. People are more likely to talk to that officer because they know him. They are more able to tell him’ hey we know who committed that crime.’  For every crime, you need people to tell you what happened. You can have all the gadgets but if people are not talking, you can’t solve the crime.”

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He further said: “I am training police officers, security companies and executive protection. What my security company is doing is to free the police officers from attachment to chiefs, politicians and all that.  We train civilians to represent those officers so that they can go back to the street and do their normal jobs.  We have what we call executive protection/training. We have people that follow the president.  We can train you on how to be efficient and sometimes using less force, description tactics.”

Further expatiating on what his security firm does, the soft spoken officer said: “What my company is trying to do is to bring people to the table.  We are trying to train companies that there is a better way of security where we can teach you how to defend yourself, how to prepare for any emergency, and how to use less force. I have a guy, a navy seal that worked for the United States of America. You will be amazed about what he can do. He can disarm you in a minute even when you come with AK 47.    I am also bringing Hostage Negotiation, people that can talk to you when ransom has to be paid. In the US, we call it Hostage Negotiation.  They can talk to these people, and know their psyche. It is a full package. When you come  to my firm, you can see the whole spectrum  and choose.”

As a vastly travelled person, Blagun said: “I travel a lot and in all the African nations is where you see officers with AK 47. They said it is more intimidating. Criminals use AK 47 in America too but we still don’t carry it.  Is that the right weapon for the police officers, I leave that question open. “

READ  Personal Documents of Migration, now translated in German

On the attitude of the Nigerian authorities his plans, he said: “I have talked to a lot of people in higher positions. In some places I don’t want to mention, I have got good responses.  My firm has done some things with certain private firms and the police. I have dealt with some highly placed security firms. So, this is not my first time here.  We are   looking at having training in Sheraton around July/August this year. It is going to be a big one. I am bringing a retired FBI agent, a navy seal, a retired marine , myself and may be two other officers.

“This is my country, I am proud of it. I am sad sometimes when you look at the security aspect of it.  With my experience, I am trying to make it a better place.  It has always been my passion to come back home. I am retired and don’t really need to work again. My benefits are okay untill I die.  But why die with all this experience when I can pass it to the next person.”

 

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Hundreds of thousands of people leave Britain due to pandemic

 

Hundreds of thousands of people have left Britain as a fallout  of the pandemic on the economy, according to a study released yesterday.

There is an “unprecedented exodus” of workers born outside Britain, researchers at London’s Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence said.

“It seems that much of the burden of job losses during the pandemic has fallen on non-UK workers and has manifested itself in return migration, rather than unemployment,” said the authors.

The study is based on labour market data.

The trend was particularly notable in London, where one in five residents was born abroad.

The capital’s population has fallen by 700,000, the study said, adding that nationwide, the figure could be more than 1.3 million.

If these numbers are accurate, this is the largest decline in Britain’s population since World War II, according to the study.

No evidence suggests that similar numbers of British people who live abroad are returning to Britain.

However, this could be a temporary trend, the researchers said, noting that workers from abroad might return after the pandemic.

The British economy depends on workers from abroad and it is not only threatened by migration due to the pandemic.

Many industries fear the loss of skilled workers due to Britain’s departure from the European Union and stricter migration laws.

A further trend in 2021 is also causing concern, described as a “baby bust” by consultancy PwC, which said many couples were postponing having children due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

This could lead to the lowest birth rate since 1900, PwC said in early January.

READ  Concern over worrisome trend of trafficking Nigerian ladies for domestic work, sexual pleasure 

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