Church, Government in Nigeria to Partner in Fight against Rape, Human Trafficking

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama with members of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
Credit: Archbishop Kaigama's Facebook page

The Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is seeking to partner with the Catholic Church in the West African country in view of fighting “against trafficking and rape of persons,” an official in Nigeria’s Archdiocese of Abuja has announced in a report.

The need for partnership was expressed Monday, July 13 when “Dame Julie Okah-Donli, Director General of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), with her team of collaborators, paid a courtesy visit to Archbishop Ignatius A. Kaigama,” Fr. Joseph Abu reported in a Facebook post on the Archbishop’s page .

In the report, Fr. Joseph said, “The purpose of the visit was to seek partnership with the Catholic Church and find possible areas of collaboration in the fight against trafficking and rape of persons.”

During the meeting, the Director General of NAPTIP has been quoted as saying, “Incidences of rape in the country have dramatically increased in the past few weeks, resulting in the brutal murder of some victims.” 

For this reason, the NAPTIP official added, “It is important to partner with the Church and other faith-based organizations in the fight against violence meted on persons.”

Rape cases targeting women in Africa’s most populous country have been on the rise in recent weeks. A section of Nigerians has taken to the streets to protest the crimes of rape under the hashtag, #WeAreTired, demanding urgent action and justice for victims.

With statistics from the Nigeria Police Force indicating 717 recorded rape cases between January and May this year, Catholic Prelates in Nigeria have expressed their condemnation of the “heinous crime”.

In June, Archbishop Kaigama condemned the “heinous crime of rape” and demanded legal action against the perpetrators. 

The 61-year-old Prelate called on Nigerians, especially “Christians (who) have the capacity and are called to help restore our sick world that has lost the sense of sin” to speak against “ungodly behaviors.”

Separately, Archbishop Adewale Martins of Lagos denounced the increase in rape cases, which he described as  “an intrinsic evil that infringes on the dignity and privacy of the victims.”

During the July 13 meeting, Archbishop Kaigama commended the officials of NAPTIP for their enthusiasm aimed at safeguarding victims of human trafficking and affirmed the readiness of the Church in the partnership.

“The case of rape is not just sinful but a criminal offence, hence, the Catholic Church is willing to collaborate and partner with NAPTIP to blot out this menace,” the Archbishop said.

“The Catholic Church at the international scene is already involved in the fight against rape and trafficking of persons,” the Archbishop of Abuja said, adding that in his jurisdiction, policy on safeguarding minors and vulnerable persons has been developed in line with the Holy Father's directive.

“To this effect, the Archdiocese has inaugurated a committee made up of Priests, legal and medical personnel and experts in different fields who are committed and open to working with the agency in order to combat human trafficking and other similar human rights violations,” Fr. Joseph reported July 13.

Established by the federal government of Nigeria in 2003, NAPTIP is a specialized counter trafficking Security Agency tasked with coordinating all laws on trafficking in persons.

The entity partners with other law enforcement agencies and relevant organizations and institutions in the fight against human trafficking including promoting awareness about the dangers of human trafficking.

The Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is seeking to partner with the Catholic Church in the West African country in view of fighting “against trafficking and rape of persons,” an official in Nigeria’s Archdiocese of Abuja has announced in a reported.

The need for partnership was expressed Monday, July 13 when “Dame Julie Okah-Donli, Director General of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), with her team of collaborators, paid a courtesy visit to Archbishop Ignatius A. Kaigama,” Fr. Joseph Abu reported in a Facebook post on the Archbishop’s page .

In the report, Fr. Joseph said, “The purpose of the visit was to seek partnership with the Catholic Church and find possible areas of collaboration in the fight against trafficking and rape of persons.”

During the meeting, the Director General of NAPTIP has been quoted as saying, “Incidences of rape in the country have dramatically increased in the past few weeks, resulting in the brutal murder of some victims.” 

For this reason, the NAPTIP official added, “It is important to partner with the Church and other faith-based organizations in the fight against violence meted on persons.”

Rape cases targeting women in Africa’s most populous country have been on the rise in recent weeks. A section of Nigerians has taken to the streets to protest the crimes of rape under the hashtag, #WeAreTired, demanding urgent action and justice for victims.

With statistics from the Nigeria Police Force indicating 717 recorded rape cases between January and May this year, Catholic Prelates in Nigeria have expressed their condemnation of the “heinous crime”.

In June, Archbishop Kaigama condemned the “heinous crime of rape” and demanded legal action against the perpetrators. 

The 61-year-old Prelate called on Nigerians, especially “Christians (who) have the capacity and are called to help restore our sick world that has lost the sense of sin” to speak against “ungodly behaviors.”

Separately, Archbishop Adewale Martins of Lagos denounced the increase in rape cases, which he described as  “an intrinsic evil that infringes on the dignity and privacy of the victims.”

During the July 13 meeting, Archbishop Kaigama commended the officials of NAPTIP for their enthusiasm aimed at safeguarding victims of human trafficking and affirmed the readiness of the Church in the partnership.

“The case of rape is not just sinful but a criminal offence, hence, the Catholic Church is willing to collaborate and partner with NAPTIP to blot out this menace,” the Archbishop said.

“The Catholic Church at the international scene is already involved in the fight against rape and trafficking of persons,” the Archbishop of Abuja said, adding that in his jurisdiction, policy on safeguarding minors and vulnerable persons has been developed in line with the Holy Father's directive.

“To this effect, the Archdiocese has inaugurated a committee made up of Priests, legal and medical personnel and experts in different fields who are committed and open to working with the agency in order to combat human trafficking and other similar human rights violations,” Fr. Joseph reported July 13.

Established by the federal government of Nigeria in 2003, NAPTIP is a specialized counter trafficking Security Agency tasked with coordinating all laws on trafficking in persons.

The entity partners with other law enforcement agencies and relevant organizations and institutions in the fight against human trafficking including promoting awareness about the dangers of human trafficking.


ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
[email protected]