The Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM) has appealed to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Nigeria in Diaspora Commission to rescue about 30 Nigerian ladies trafficked to Lebanon.
Videos of the trafficked ladies showing their agonizing predicament had surfaced in the social media suggesting clearly how stranded they have become.
Following the development, JIFORM through its President, Ajibola Abayomi on Saturday demanded that no efforts should be spared by the relevant government agencies in rescuing the stranded ladies as quickly as possible.
The victims had also in the said viral videos appealed to NAPTIP and the NIDCOM to come to their aids, revealing that they are all camped in one room with faulty toilet and other utilities in a building at the city of Dawra.
One of the victims who spoke on behalf of the ladies, Miss Adebisi Comfort Oluwatoyin with passport number A10597908, said they had to escape from inhumane treatment being meted to them by their mistresses and hosts, and had to put up at their present location.
The 23-yeal old lady hails from Osun State, graduated from Auchi State Polytechnic, Ekpoma and was a resident in Osun state before departing Nigeria in December 2019.
She appealed to the chairman of NIDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Pastor Enoch Adeboye of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Prophet Genesis of Celestial Church of Christ, Apostle Johnson Suleiman, Prohet T.B. Joshua and other men of God for prayers and help.
The ladies also called on them to plead on their behalf with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), and others to save them, noting that the Nigerian embassy in Lebanon has tried its best but they want to return back home.
Describing their stories as pathetic and regrettable, the ladies explained that they were told by agents before they left Nigeria that they were going to be paid between N250,000 and N30O,0000 a month as teachers and house maids but getting to Lebanon, they were subjected to sexual labour and other terrible jobs.
They lamented their constant maltreatment and harassment from the Lebanese Police, while their employers laid allegations of theft, murder of their children and inhumane treatment of their aged ones, without evidence; and seized their belongings and international passports without payment for their services, while meting out inhumane treatment to them.
The Executive Director/Co-Founder of Rescue Africans In Slavery Organisation (RAIS), the organization that has been responsible for their upkeep, Ms Omotola Fawunmi who is based in the United States of America, pleaded with the government and other agencies to join in the rescue mission.
The County Manager, the Migrant Project, Nigeria, Clare Henshaw who is also worried about the development called for swift action to be taken by NAPTIP and NIDCOM.
The Nigeria Immigration Service, through its National Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller James Sunday said all hands were on deck to redeem the situation by working with the NIDCOM and other agencies, stressing that the Nigerian ambassador and the ladies in Lebanon had been contacted for necessary intervention as he cautioned the ladies to refrain from further posts on the social media for security reasons.
In a Statement issued on behalf of NAPTIP Director General Barrister Julie Okah-Donli by the agency’s Press Officer, Mr. Vincent Adekoye indicates that the agency is deeply concerned and shares in the pains of the Nigerian girls who are stranded in Lebanon.
The statement noted that the Agency would work assiduously with all relevant authorities and partners to locate the girls and ensure that they return safely as soon as possible, while reiterating 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.
JIFORM wishes to state unequivocally that it has forwarded details of the human trafficking agents involved in the matter to the relevant agencies and shall diligently monitor it to the logical conclusion to ensure proper investigation and prosecution of all those involved.