At least 30 Nigerian women who were trafficked to Lebanon, have made a deperate appeal to the federal government to rescue them.
This information came in a statement by Ajibola Abayomi, president of Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM), on Friday.
Abayomi said the message was being relayed based on an encounter with the victims, which has triggered the call for a speedy rescue action from government.
“JIFORM has forwarded details of the human trafficking agents involved in this matter to the relevant agencies and shall monitor it to the logical conclusion to ensure proper investigation and prosecution of those involved,” he said.
He said the ladies were all camped in one room with faulty toilet and other utilities, and were presently housed in a building at Dawra city in Lebanon. JIFORM shared some pictures of the ladies in cramped conditions, holding up placards against trafficking.
Abayomi said one of the victims, identified as Adebisi Comfort-Oluwatoyin, with passport number A10597908, told JIFORM that they had to escape from the inhuman treatment by their mistresses and hosts.
The 23-year-old lady who hails from Ondo state, graduated from the Edo State Polytechnic, and was a resident in Osun state before departing Nigeria in December.
“Help us plead with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and others to save us. The Nigerian embassy in Lebanon has tried but we want to go back home,” she said.
“Our belongings and international passports were seized with no payments for the service we have been rendering for months. They loosen and cut our hairs with razor blade.
“The police and their immigration are always on their side. We are not getting justice and our lives are in danger.”
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has expressed concerns over the condition of the women. Director Julie Okah-Donli said the Agency will work with all relevant authorities and partners to locate these girls and ensure that they return safely as soon as possible.
Statement issued on behalf of NAPTIP Director General Barrister Julie Okah-Donli by the agency’s Press Officer, Mr Vincent Adekoye reads:
“The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is deeply concerned and shares the pains of the Nigerian girls who are stranded in Lebanon.
“It will be recalled that since May 2020, NAPTIP has, through the collaboration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ministry of humanitarian affairs Nigerians in Diaspora Commission and the EU -International Organisation for Migration joint initiative and the Nigerian Embassy in Lebanon repatriated more than 100 victims of forced labour from Lebanon.
“The Agency will work assiduously with all relevant authorities and partners to locate these girls and ensure that they return safely as soon as possible.
NAPTIP reiterates its appeal to young Nigerians to beware of people dangling tempting jobs in foreign lands as fake labour agents who are traffickers deploy all kinds of tricks to lure their potential victims.”