Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State on Friday said the state government and security agencies have arrested the alleged masterminds involved in the trafficking of an indigene of the state.
The governor also condemned the rising trend of human trafficking in the country and vowed to deal with anyone caught in Kwara state according to the dictates of the law.
The governor made this known in a tweet in reaction to viral footage of an indigene of the state, Ajayi Omolola, allegedly trafficked to Lebanon where she is being maltreated.
“I am horrified by the video footage of Ajayi Omolola, a resident in Ilorin, who was trafficked to Lebanon where she is reportedly being subjected to inhuman treatment,” the governor tweeted.
“We have since linked up with security agencies who have arrested the alleged perpetrators and will soon hand them over to National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). I implore citizens to work with us to put an end to such horrific activity by exposing the perpetrators.”
A video footage of Ms Omolola, who was allegedly trafficked to Lebanon, went viral earlier in the week, prompting Nigerians to call on the government to come to her aid.
The video claimed that Ms Omolola, whose parents live in Ilorin, was tricked into travelling to Lebanon in the guise of engaging her as an English tutor but ended up being used as a slave.
A subsequent press statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Kwara State governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, said the governor “condemned the development in the strongest terms possible” and has immediately linked up with the security agencies to get to the root of the matter.
“We are glad to announce that three suspects, comprising two Nigerians and the Lebanese referred to in the footage, have been arrested in connection with the case and the suspects are being interrogated,” the statement said.
“Apart from Ms Ajayi, discreet investigations by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, in Kwara State have revealed that there are at least 28 other victims of this horrible trafficking gang.
“The governor is concerned that fellow human beings are engaging in another round of slavery despite the horror and unquantifiable loss of the 20th Century,” the statement said.
The statement urged residents to report any such activity they might know of in their neighbourhood.
In her reaction, the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, confirmed the arrest of the alleged trafficker.
“The alleged trafficker has been arrested and will be handed over to NAPTIP.The family of the lady have been traced ..Kwara Gov is personally on the matter. All hands on deck to ensure the trafficked lady returns,” she tweeted.