The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Friday, applauded the humanitarian gesture of Nollywood actress Tonto Dikeh, to the less privileged in the society.
Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, Director- General of NAPTIP, made the commendation when she named Tonto as NAPTIP Ambassador.
Tonto who led members of her NGO, Tonto Dikeh Foundation, was on a courtesy visit to the Headquarters of the Agency in Abuja, as part of collaboration on the war against trafficking in persons.
Okah- Donli, said that the decision to named the actress as NAPTIP Ambassador was in recognition of her passion for youths who are majorly victims of traficking, and her readiness to work the Agency.
“Tonto is the first Nollywood actress to partner with us in fighting the scourge of human traficking, and automatically, is named an Ambassador for NAPTIP.
“There are many areas we can work, together using her popularity as an actress and role model to many young people.’’
“She has fans and followers, especially on her social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and of course she can talk about NAPTIP on such platforms.
“She is known for the free skills acquisition and an empowerment programme she offers, especially young women, through her foundation, and that is line with our objectives as well,’’ Okah-Donli said.
The NAPTIP Chief Executive noted that as a popular celebrity, Tonto Dikeh’s emergence as ambassador would boost the agency’s campaign against human trafficking across Nigeria.
She however, urged other Nigerian celebrities alike to emulate the willingness shown by Tonto Dikeh to be an advocate against human trafficking.
“Having a celebrity of international repute as Tonto Dikeh to partner with us, is a big boost to our enlightenment and awareness campaigns.
“Other Nollywood actresses and celebrities should know that this is the right part to tow towards building a better and proud nation for all,’’ she said.
In her remark, Tonto express willingness to partner with the agency, describing human trafficking as a national embarrassment that must be battled collectively.
“As an Ambassador of NAPTIP; I intend to do a radical campaign against human trafficking across Nigeria, as far as I can go.
“I have always been inspired to do this because human trafficking is a huge national problem that should not be left for government alone.
“My passion has always been to speak against it in my little capacity, and I just found the right platform which is NAPTIP.
“I do believe that God raised celebrities to be agents of positive change in societies because they have fans and a lot of people who follow them,’’” she said.
The thespian however called on government at all levels to work towards making life better for Nigerians by providing enabling environment for personal empowerment.
She noted that some of the victims of human trafficking, especially youths, were actually in desperate search for greener pastures to foreign land because of harsh economic realities at home.
“We want to see our education and economy get better; we want to see our youths finished school and get Jobs.
Tonto explained that one of the major reasons why people get deceived, or allow themselves into being trafficked, was because of poverty and hunger in the land.
She appealed to government at all levels to make effort toward making life better for the average Nigerian, especially the youths.