Some 30 Nigerian ladies trafficked to Lebanon are appealing to Nigerian government to rescue them as they are stranded in that country.
They made the appeal in a statement by the President of Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM), Ajibola Abayomi, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday.
Mr Abayomi said the message was being relayed based on an encounter with the victims, which necessitated the call for a speedy rescue action from the government.
“JIFORM has forwarded details of the human trafficking agents involved in this matter to the relevant agencies and shall monitor it to the logical conclusion to ensure proper investigation and prosecution of those involved.”
He said the ladies were all camped in one room with faulty toilet and other utilities, and were presently housed in a building at Dawra city in Lebanon.
Mr Abayomi said one of the victims, Adebisi Comfort-Oluwatoyin with Passport No. number A10597908, disclosed to JIFORM that they had to escape from the inhuman treatment by their mistresses and hosts.
He said the 23 years old lady hails from Ondo State, graduated from the Edo State Polytechnic, Ekpoma, and was a resident in Osun State before departing Nigeria in December 2019.
“Help us plead with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and others to save us. The Nigerian embassy in Lebanon has tried but we want to go back home.
“Our belongings and international passports were seized with no payments for the service we have been rendering for months. They loosen and cut our hairs with a razor blade.
“The police and their immigration are always on their side. We are not getting justice and our lives are in danger,” Mr Abayomi quoted the victim as saying.
Mr Abayomi said the Executive Director, Rescue Africans In Slavery Organisation (RAIS), Omotola Fawunmi, who spoke from the United States of America, also pleaded with government and other agencies to come to the victims aid.
Ms Fawunmi, who claimed she has been responsible for the upkeep of the ladies, stated that the victims are seriously suffering.
“The Nigerian government must act fast. Apart from this case, there are over 300 of them trapped in Oman and thousands across other Asian countries, beyond sustaining the ladies, we have facilitated evacuation of thousands of human trafficking victims in the last few years,” she said.
Also, Clare Henshaw, the County Manager, the Migrant Project Nigeria, also called on the NAPTIP and Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) for urgent action.
“First, we want the ladies to be rescued as soon as possible. Their condition is very critical because they don’t have good shelter, food and they need urgent medical attention. My personal conversation with Comfort showed that they were really in a bad state at the moment.
“After rescuing the ladies, there must be thorough investigation and punishment for the agents and other human traffickers involved in this,” Henshaw pleaded.