President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has described the alarming rate of human trafficking and illegal migration by some Nigerians as threat to national security that requires urgent response. He said the problem was giving Nigeria a bad image.
Saraki, according to a statement on Sunday in Abuja by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sanni Onogu, said this when Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Mrs. Julie Okah-Donli, led senior members of the agency’s management team on a visit to the Senate President in at the National Assembly.
Saraki said due to the bad image being created for the country and the overall security implications posed by illegal migrants and victims of trafficking, the Senate would support the Federal Government and NAPTIP to work out “a cohesive and comprehensive national response to the twin evil.”
The Senate President stated that human trafficking and illegal migration activities had reached crisis proportions in the country, with severe implications for national security.
He said, “As you know through your valuable work, human trafficking and illegal migration are the EU’s number one issue with Nigeria. The European Union members fear these issues fuel the attraction of many citizens to the divisive messages espoused by ultra nationalist political parties.”
Saraki lamented that thousands of young Nigerians continued to risk their lives “unnecessarily” as they attempt to transit across Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea on the false promise of a better life in Europe and beyond.
“The crisis has exposed the ruthless human trafficking, smuggling and criminal cartels that profit on the hopes and dreams of these young people. Many of these unscrupulous groups are organized by Nigerians,” he added.