Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto dioceses, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, on Monday said neither poverty nor any form of hardship is an acceptable excuse for people to engage in human trafficking.

Kukah who insisted that, all hands must be on deck to help in curtailing the worrisome degree of trafficking, especially in persons, added that, the call is about the dignity of human being and not religion, region or ethnicity.

Speaking in Sokoto during awareness campaign against human trafficking, child labour and child prostitution organized by Saint Bakhitha Catholic Secretariat Initiative in collaboration with the National Agency For the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP) Sokoto Area Command, Bishop Kukah warned against parents comparing their wards with others.

According to him, “Parents should stop comparing their children with others who they think have made it in life. Because, there is no competition in destiny”,

Given reasons for the “Anti Human Trafficking” rally, Bishop Kukah said, the day is set aside to remember Saint Josephine Bakhitha whom the Sokoto Catholic Secretariat was named after.

According to Kukah, Saint Bakhitha was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery at the Dafur region of Sudan, but after she eventually regained her freedom, she joined the Canossian daughter of charity and remained steadfast in the service of God and humanity till she died.

On why the urged by youths to migrate out of the country continue to grow despite serial campaigns against the act, Bishop Kukah advised government at all levels to create jobs for the teeming youths as a way of discouraging them.

He further admonished leaders at all levels to eschew corruption, adding that, it’s the bane of our development.

On his part, Sokoto NAPTIP zonal commander, Barrister Tahir Harisu Hassan, urged others to emulate Bishop Kukah, parents, guardians as well as the Catholic Church in assisting the agency in terms of creating awareness against the dangers of trafficking in persons.

The rally started with a procession from the State Fire Service station Marina through Emir Yahaya way, Ahmodu Bello way and terminated at saint Bakhitha Secretariat with people holding placards with inscriptions such as, “Stop Human Trafficking Now”, End Slavery Now”, “I Was Forced Into Prostitution”, amongst several others.

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