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30 Nigerian women in Lebanon appeal for rescue

A group of Nigerian women believed to have been trafficked to Lebanon are appealing to the Federal Government for rescue.

The women, numbering about 30, made the appeal in a statement by the president of Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM) Ajibola Abayomi on Saturday.

Abayomi said the message was being relayed based on an encounter with the victims, which necessitated the call for speedy rescue action from 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.

Abayomi 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.

He added that one of the victims Adebisi Comfort-Oluwatoyin with Passport No. A10597908 disclosed to JIFORM that they had to escape from the inhuman treatment by their mistresses and hosts.

According to him, the 23-year-old woman hails from Ondo, graduated from the Edo State Polytechnic, Ekpoma, and was a resident in Osun 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 have 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 razor blade.

“The police and their immigration are always on their side. We are not getting justice and our lives are in danger,” Abayomi quoted the victim as saying.

Abayomi also said the Executive Director, Rescue Africans In Slavery Organisation (RAIS) Omotola Fawunmi who spoke from the United States also pleaded with government and other agencies to come to the victims’ aid.

Fawunmi who claimed she has been responsible for the upkeep of the women said the victims were 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, the country manager of Migrant Project Nigeria Clare Henshaw also called on NAPTIP and Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) for urgent action.

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