Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, has called for reforms and concerted efforts from the government and stakeholders to end human trafficking, especially of the girl-child.
The monarch made the call while addressing newsmen during a press conference to herald the #SayNoToSlavery campaign championed by Damilola Falomo, a victim of human trafficking, held in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The Ooni of Ife, while addressing newsmen, advocated stiffer punishment for human traffickers, saying tackling the menace must go beyond just setting aside a day to celebrate ‘human trafficking day’.
Ogunwusi said he and his queen, Aderonke Ademiluyi, have been advocating compulsory girl-child education through the Queen Moremi Ajasoro Initiative to tackle trafficking of the girl-child.
Ooni, who spoke through Sanni Omogbolabo, the Mother of Culture in Ife, said: “Over the years, I have taken it upon myself to fight this scourge to a standstill, and through the Queen Moremi Ajasoro Initiative, see to the overall growth, wellbeing and development of our children.
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“I believe in addressing human trafficking and slavery among our people, as attention should not only be called to it only on days set aside to celebrate the day, but rather, concerted efforts towards engaging key stakeholders; as often as possible.
“To this end, a nationwide campaign on putting an end to human trafficking and slavery is being anchored by Queen Moremi Ajasoro Initiative and thousands of girls and women were recipients of Queen Moremi Ajasoro Initiative entrepreneurship grants.
“No doubt, if the girl-child is neglected in society, it might result in the destruction of the entire nation. These girls will then be exposed to all manner of social vices.
“It is my hope that both the public and private sectors will continually invest in the girl-child for sustainable development in the country.
“If we don’t invest in the girl-child, we are not investing in our nation. For me, the education of the girl-child, remains paramount. Every girl-child should have more opportunities to go to school, and that is why the Queen Moremi Ajasoro education grant was set up to help indigent students,” the monarch said.