Human Trafficking, an Economic Evil – Rt. Hon. Samuel Ikon
As part of his legislative engagement as member representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives,Rt. Hon. Samuel Ikon, a former speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and a two term member for Etinan State Constituency, has contributed by sponsoring,moving motions and co-sponsoring bills towards making of laws for the betterment of Akwa Ibom state and Nigeria in general.
On March 13th ,2019 ,the lawmaker who is the lead sponsor of a bill to amend the existing Act on trafficking in person, enforcement and administrative act, moved a motion to be read for a second time,on the floor of the House,where he defended his proposed amendments(27 amendments sort). He expressed worries on the extent some people could go just to make money,describing the modern day slavery as Economic evil by some people.
The bill which seeks among other things,the eradication of all forms slavery associated with human Trafficking,unemployment,poor working condition,and encourage strong legislation to stop the continued inhuman activities of the age long practice of slavery, which has today moved to a modern level with various degrees of sufferings, perpetrated by the high and mighty in the Nigerian society in form of cartels. According to him,the practice of modern slavery as observed is favouring a cartel through human exploitation and deception.
While appealing to the members of the National Assembly to look critically into the bill on human trafficking and administrative act,he reminded the house that motions, bills and other legislations on the similar discussion were made at different points in time, but as far as the human exploitation in Nigeria is concern, little has been done to enforce sanctions on offenders,hence,not much progress has been recorded.
” Mr. Speaker,Honorable colleague, having consulted wide with my co-sponsors and listen expert at different forum across the globe with the aim to address this issues that we are faced with,it is pertinent Mr. Speaker and my fellow colleague to call for the urgent amendment on trafficking in person act to further strengthen the lone pattern as evidence in the operation of NAPTIP that is trying its best,but all alone, and all so call for a robust synergy with other organs of government to bring this issue to a complete stop” Ikon
The lawmaker went on to give reasons why the law to issue strict penalty on offenders of human trafficking and related crimes is very necessary especially now,that the story of what he described as man wickedness against a fellow human is swash on the media on daily basis, with citizens of Nigeria being repatriated back to the country on the grounds of trafficking.
According Rt. Hon. Samuel Ikon ” Any legislation that is not backed with the weight of enforcement is wipe with constant abuse by the perpetrators. One can boldly say that modern slavery perpetrators in Nigeria have been able to grow this economic evil over the years and continually find expression in perpetrating the evil because of lack of strict penalty to offenders and unchecked institutions ”
A lot of young people are deceived into trafficking by the perpetrators,who sometimes promise them juicy contracts and businesses abroad,as a way out of poverty, by exploiting them,which in turn make them standard.
From the direction and issues that he raised in the trafficking motion, it is very possible for Nigeria to overcome the menace of trafficking in person, by encouraging the legislation as moved by the lawmaker, which will strengthen the work of NAPTIP,and also encourage other inter agency and bodies to collaborate and strengthen institutions,which will help to checkmate our boarders.
It is on record that Rt. Hon. Samuel Ikon, as of date,has sponsored 19 bills and co-sponsored 2 bills ,having all together 21 bills to his credit.