The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking (NAPTIP) in Persons said it has hired some local witch doctors in Benin, Edo State, as ambassadors to combat human trafficking in the state.
The Director General of NAPTIP, Ms Julie Okah-Donli, disclosed this on Monday at a symposium for the agency’s officials in Abuja.
Okah-Donli lamented that the state has high prevalence of human trafficking in the country and added that some local witch doctors were involved in the trafficking of persons to Europe according to investigations.
“When we gathered these witch doctors recently to sensitise them on what human trafficking victims go through in Europe, they were shocked. And they have made their commitments to work with us to fight the menace of human trafficking,” she said.
Okah-Donli said once human traffickers get a victim’s consent by force, fraud or coercion, such person would be made to take oath of secrecy before a local witch doctor in a shrine.
She said some rituals are performed on the victims, using their urine, pubic hair, fingernails, eye lashes, menstrual blood, underwear and other personal effects to serve as a bond between the victims and the traffickers.
“In spite of the rituals and oath-taking, the victim reaches the destination point only to realise the farce behind the sweet promises of a greener pasture. And in this circumstance, such person is told in strict terms not to renege on the oath of secrecy, as it cannot be reversed,” she said.
She therefore, reiterated the agency’s commitment to rid human trafficking in the state.