By Eseoghene Emuke
Following complaints that have greeted the rising case of child trafficking in the state, the Delta State government has arraigned a former director in the state civil service at the State High Court, Warri for alleged involvement in child trafficking.
The suspect who is a retired Director in the Department of Child at the State Ministry of Women Affairs is being accused of illegally handing a child from one of the orphanage homes to a couple without proper documentation.
The former director whose name was not disclosed was arrested and arraigned following petitions by good spirited Deltans who had been monitoring the development.
Addressing newsmen on the development, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Peter Mrakpor, said the state government was pursuing the case with all vigor.
Mrakpor, who briefed journalists in Asaba, added that the prosecution of the ex-director was being carried in a competent court.
The commissioner also heads the recently inaugurated 17-man Delta State Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration, solicited the support of the media in the fight against trafficking in persons and illegal migration in the state.
He said the state government is very worried about the growing rate of trafficking in persons and illegal migration across the state, noting however that anyone caught in the nefarious act will not be spared.
“A former Director of Child is being prosecuted in Warri for his involvement in child trafficking. Government will not spare anyone involved in the act. You remember Madam Cash, she is now cooling off at Ogwashi-Uku Prison because we felt her case was much more than trafficking but kidnapping,” Mrakpor said.
According to him, the task force will be involved in vigorous campaigns to attempt to discourage illegal migration in the state, adding that there be a lot of engagements with stakeholders through town hall meetings.
He blamed spiritualists especially pastors who go about prophesying to some sections of the population about how their visa to America and Europe has been assured in the spiritual realm.
“This illegal migration is a mindset thing. When you hear spiritually that your visa is on the way, it is difficult to convince you that Nigeria is good. I am not saying America is not good, it is good to the extent that you go there legally and have something to do as a migrant.
“When a pastor says he sees you in America, you believe and begin to see how you will realise the dream. You see parents selling properties to raise money to send the man abroad because a pastor has said so. It is a big business and lots of money exchange hands.
“But if people begin to understand that it is better to build businesses from the money they can raise, it will be good. So we need more hands to be on deck to address the challenge. We appeal to the media to assist us to make this work,” he pleaded.