By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The officials of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons, NAPTIP, have rescued a 12-year-old-girl who was allegedly forced into marrying a supposed 50 years old man in the Adaka area of Makurdi town.
The rescue of the minor followed the alarm raised Tuesday by one Lucky Iduh and a follow up by Makurdi based humanist, Ukan Kurugh which attracted the attention of the NAPTIP officials in Makurdi.
It was gathered that the girl was allegedly deceived into marrying the 50 year old farmer as his third wife by her family few months back after she was initially told that she was being taken to where she would live and attend school.
“But when she discovered that she was brought to the man’s house as his third wife, the girl started raising alarm and seeking for help to escape from the house. That was what attracted the attention of neighbours who started asking for help for the girl,” he said.
Confirming the rescue of the minor, the NAPTIP Commander, Makurdi Zonal Command, Mrs. Gloria Bai said preliminary investigation revealed that she had been in the forced marriage for about three months and the man had been abusing her assuring that efforts were on to arrest the man who had fled his home.
She said: “Yes we have rescued her. We got this report from a concerned citizen and contrary to the media report that NAPTIP was ‘slow and unenthusiastic,’ we swiftly went into action to search for the address where the girl was and when we got the address, we planned to go first thing in the morning so that we get both the man and the victim and by 6am, we were there.
“Unfortunately, the rain came in. We were able to rescue the girl but the man had gone out. We are on it and our officers are already on surveillance to get the man as soon as he is seen.”
While assuring that the matter would be thoroughly investigated Mrs. Bai said “the girl will also be taken to the hospital for medical examination and she will undergo proper counseling. We will see how she came to be in his house and if he has contravened the law, we will charge him to court.”