41 Nigerian females who were victims of human trafficking have been evacuated from Mail.
They arrived at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport aboard a military transport aircraft at about 7:25 pm on Monday.
Their return was facilitated by the Nigerian Airforce, the Office of Diaspora and Foreign Affairs and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
The Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, also revealed that six members of the trafficking ring have been arrested.
She also commended the Chief Of Air Staff, for facilitating the return of the victims to the country.
“We want to thank the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, and the Chief of Defence Staff, Maj Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, for making the return of the girls possible, otherwise they would have still be there.
“The girls came back voluntarily. Some of these girls are between 15 and 17 years old who thought they were being taken to Europe for greener pastures but ended up with traumatic experiences in the hands of their traffickers and their madam.
“So they should not be ashamed of themselves because they are victims. We are going to rehabilitate them through skills acquisition programmes.
“I am therefore calling on non-governmental organisations to join us in this regard,” she said.
This is coming in the face of renewed wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
The Nigerian community in South Africa, led by Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, confirmed the attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West
“As we speak, five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church, have been looted and burned by South Africans,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, who described the attacks as an unnecessary setback, had appealed to the South African Government to take every step necessary to protect Nigerians.