By Lucky Isibor
Members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has pledged their readiness to partner Edo state government to check the menace of human trafficking, especially under-aged children.
The union made the pledge Wednesday, while making commitment to support the global campaign to end violence against children at the sensitization of stakeholders on draft Edo state priority plan to end violence against children organized by the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in conjunction with SMILE and ActionAid at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, press centre, Benin City.
Edo state chairman of the union, Chief Odion Olaye said the union will also appoint a child protection officer in all motor parks in Edo state to watch out for child traffickers trying to use their parks to traffic children.
Chief Odion Olaye who was represented by the state vice-chairman of the union, Mr. John Odiase assured that members of the union would report cases of suspected child trafficking to law enforcement agencies and appealed that such information should be treated with utmost confidentiality.
He further assured that the message will be taken to all members of the union throughout the state.
“We support this program. We will support Edo state government and all the security agencies in the elimination of violence against children. We will take this message to all our members throughout the state”, he said.
Wife of Edo state Governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki who was represented by Ms Efosa Uyigue enjoined members of union to sincerely assist government with useful information on the issue of violence against children, including trafficking and sales of children as they are every where and especially at night.
According to her, “You are privy to all information in all the nooks and crannies of the state. Your union is strong and elimination of violence against children will be easy with your cooperation. The protection of children will help us secure our future.”
Welcoming participants earlier, the Organizational Development Director of Smile, Mrs. Maryaan Obidike pointed out that Nigeria is one of the eight countries that is involved in the global action against violence against children and that Edo state is fortunate to be one of the nine states selected in the country.
High point of the occasion was the distribution of telephone numbers of officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons, NAPTIP, the police and Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to report any suspected case of violence against children or child trafficking.