Nigeria: Federal Capital Territory Administration Seals Orphanage in Abuja Over Child Trafficking Allegations

Nigeria: Federal Capital Territory Administration Seals Orphanage in Abuja Over Child Trafficking Allegations

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has taken decisive action by sealing the Priesthood Orphanage in Karon Majigi Village, Abuja, following the discovery and rescue of 23 children between the ages of one and 14. These children were allegedly trafficked from Plateau state.

The Mandate Secretary of the Women Affairs Secretariat, Mrs. Adedayo Benjamins-Laniyi, disclosed this development while formally handing over the rescued children to Mrs. Caroline Dafur, the Commissioner for Women Affairs in Plateau state. Mrs. Benjamins-Laniyi also revealed that an ongoing investigation is being conducted to ascertain the details of the trafficking allegations.

In response to this concerning situation, FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, has authorized the Secretariat to conduct a thorough reprofiling and recertification of all orphanages operating within the nation’s capital. Mrs. Benjamins-Laniyi emphasized that the recertification process will involve a comprehensive examination of all aspects related to orphanages in Abuja.

Furthermore, the Secretariat is actively collaborating with Mrs. Dafur to facilitate the reunification of the children with their respective families. It was discovered that some of the children had been residing in the uncertified orphanage since 2019.

Mrs. Dafur also shared her insights, revealing that three of the children managed to escape from the orphanage due to its poor condition. These children were subsequently discovered by officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and were later reported to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

The FRSC officers then took the children to Human Rights Radio, Abuja, which led to the involvement of the Plateau Government and the FCT Women Affairs Secretariat. Upon visiting the orphanage, Mrs. Dafur expressed dismay at the deplorable conditions. She highlighted that nine girls were cramped into a small room with only two mattresses, while the boys were similarly situated in another room. The unsanitary and overcrowded conditions were deemed unacceptable.

Mrs. Dafur expressed her gratitude to the Mandate Secretary for her assistance in relocating the children to the Karu Children’s Home, where they will receive proper care and attention.

This incident underscores the critical importance of proper oversight and regulation of orphanages. The welfare and safety of vulnerable children must be safeguarded, and it is the responsibility of authorities to ensure that orphanages adhere to stringent standards of care and protection.

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