OPERATIVES of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) have rescued a 12-year-old-girl who was reportedly forced into marrying a 50-years-old man by her family in the Adaka area of Makurdi town in Benue State.
The girl’s rescue followed the intervention of a Makurdi-based human rights activist, Ukan Kurugh, who brought the NAPTIP’s attention to the report a by a Good Samaritan.
Kurugh, who confirmed the development on his page, said one Lucky Iduh, a relative of the girl brought the case to his attention.
He said the girl was allegedly deceived into marrying the farmer as his third wife by her family.
He said: “But when she discovered that she was brought to the man’s house as his third wife, the girl raised the alarm and tried to escape from the house.
“That was what attracted the neighbours’ attention to the girl’s plight.”
The NAPTIP Zonal Commander in Benue State, Mrs. Gloria Bai, who confirmed the incident, said preliminary investigation revealed that the girl had been in the forced marriage for about three months while the man had been abusing her.
She said the agency has intensified efforts at rescuing the man who had fled his home when the agency operatives moved in to rescue the girl.
“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 6:00 a.m., we were there,” she said.