BY GABRIEL OKECHUKWU, PORT HARCOURT
Fifty trafficked girls kept and used for forced prostitution have been rescued in a combined operation involving Nigerian Navy Patfinder, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP in Port Harcourt Rivers State.
Briefing Journalists on the development at Nigerian Navy, NNS Patfinder Port Harcourt Rivers State, the Public Relations Officer, Lieutenant Commander Rasheed Iginla who said the operation followed a tip off, asked parents to be very sure of the credibility of persons that take custody of their wards.
Some of the girls who came from different parts of the country are under aged but were recruited by their madam who forced them to engage in prostitution and pays them from the proceeds at the end of the days “hustle” as they described it.
Their supervisors used oats, threats and intimidation to force the girls whose age are, fourteen, fifteen and sixteen years old into the illicit acts.
However, there were some of them especially those above twenty years old who engaged in prostitution on their own volition as a means of survival.
While handing over the rescued girls to officials of National Agency for the prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP at Nigerian Navy NNS Patfinder Port Harcourt, the Information Officer, Lieutenant Commander Rasheed Iginla said they swong into action immediately they got wind of the development.
Lieutenant Commander Iginla who revealed that they raided two brothels in Port Harcourt where the girls were being used, advised parents against handing over their children to people of questionable source living.
Similarly, the Head NAPTIP Rivers State, Nwamaka Ikediachi who gave assurance that the girls will be subjected to rehabilitation process maintained that the perpetrators will face prosecution.
In their Separate accounts, two of the Rescued girls, Nancy John and Martha Brown said they were forced into the prostitution while Princess Kelvin attributed her involvement in prostitution to hardship.
The girls who confessed to have been sleeping with more than five men everyday however expressed readiness to engage in other meaningful business if provided the opportunity.
Four suspected traffickers were arrested during the raid.