17 teenagers from Ebonyi State have been rescued from suspected human traffickers in Ogun State.
According to Punch report, the victims from different villages in Ikwo and Ezza South Local Government Areas of Ebonyi State were trafficked to Ogun for menial jobs and prostitution.
The member respresenting Ikwo/Ezza federal constituency of Ebonyi State in the House of Representatives, Chinedu Ogah, who rescued the victims condemned the act and threatened to bring the perpetrators to book.
Handing over the trafficked victims to the Ebonyi State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Ogah said the victims were lured and trafficked to Agbala in Ogun State where they were forced into various hard labour such as hawking, prostitution and drug peddling.
Ogah, however, gave scholarships to some of them who indicated interest to go back to school while others that wanted to learn skills were also enrolled for skill acquisition free of charge.
The lawmaker also presented an undisclosed amount of money to the victims for their sustenance, stating that all those involved in the trafficking of the teenagers will not go unpunished.
“I got the news of child trafficking of Ebonyians in Ogun State, and when I learned of it, I alerted the Ikwo Town Union in Lagos State. They abandoned their businesses and mobilised to Ogun State which they spent up to two weeks to locate the children.
“These children are from Ikwo, Ezza South, and other parts of Ebonyi State. Based on the foundation that the governor has laid, it is our duty to contribute our quota to make sure we care for the welfare of our people.
“I am here to hand over these children to the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development and we are assuring to train any of them that want to learn skills or go to school from primary to University level.
“They are 17 in number from the list including a woman that is harbouring them. We are going to rehabilitate them for a brighter future.”
Reacting, the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Chinwe Okah, appreciated the lawmaker for displaying a high sense of commitment and responsibility to locate the trafficked teenagers and bringing them back to the State Government for rehabilitation and integration.