Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Ondo State Government have called on brothel owners to shun illegality in their operations in the state.
They stated this at a sensitization programme organised by NSCDC, Ondo State command, in collaboration with the state Task Force on Human Trafficking and with support from NAPTIP, in Akure on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the programme was: “Human Trafficking Trends and its Nexus with Brothels and the Way Forward.”
Speaking at the occasion, NSCDC Commandant in the state, Mr Olayinka Olatundun, said that it was imperative for brothel owners to ensure that proper things were done before embarking on their business.
Olatundun said that anybody violating the established law would face the consequences.
“You have to be conversant with those you are engaging and those working for you within the age that the law permits.
“Human rights issue is very important in our society. You need to be sensitive so as to ensure that when you are doing your business, it does not constitute a problem to society.
Also speaking, Special Adviser to the Governor on Gender, Mrs Olamide Falana, said that the state government had provided adequate employment for its citizens.
She called on brothel owners and others to shun any form of illegality in the course of carrying out their businesses or face the full wrath of the law.
Falana called on brothel owners to turn their centres into hotels or other legal businesses where the government could support them with loans or grants.
She said that all hands must be on deck to fight against all forms of social vices, particularly amongst the youth in the state.
According to her, now is the time to speak out against human trafficking in society, rather than being an accomplice to crime, saying that the state government has zero tolerance for crime, prostitution and other illegal trades.
Falana urged brothel owners and the general public to act as whistleblowers by reporting those using their property as centres for sex workers and other illegal activities.
“Ondo State has zero tolerance for prostitution, yahoo-yahoo business, human trafficking and others.
“We should support the government’s efforts toward providing quality education to our young boys and girls,” she said.
Mrs Febisola Ladipo, Head of the Public Enlightenment Unit, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Osogbo office, also frowned at human trafficking activities, particularly under-age persons.
“Recruitment of persons under 18 years for pornography or to brothel attracts seven years imprisonment or a fine of not less than N1 million,” Ladipo said.
Earlier, Mrs Yemi Faboyo-Agbede, NSCDC’s Head of the Anti- Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration Unit in the state, said that the programme was aimed at educating brothel owners on the implications of harbouring victims of Trafficking within their brothels.
One of the participants, Mr Aládé Olugbega, appreciated NSCDC for the sensitisation, saying that it would go a long in redefining their business.
Olugbenga, who is the Secretary of the Association of Brothel Owners in Akure South, said that they would go back to enlighten their members proper ways of operating their business.