Organ harvesting, trafficking now rampant in Nigeria – NAPTIP boss raises alarm
The Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah-Donli, has raised the alarm over illegal organ harvesting and trafficking in the country.
She raised the alarm in Abuja on Saturday at the “Not For Sale Campaign”, a human trafficking enlightenment programme.
Organ harvesting is defined as the removal, preservation, and use of human organs and tissue from the bodies of the recently deceased (or living, in some cases) to be used in surgical transplants on the living, while organ trafficking is the practice of stealing or buying organs through exploitation to be sold on a black market for profit.
Forced organ harvesting is popular in many Asian nations, especially China, Forbes reported.
According to Okah-Donli, while illegal organ harvesters and traffickers are on the prowl, law enforcement agencies are quick to rule cases of removal of human body parts as “ritual killing”.
“There is this the area that is not often looked into which NAPTIP is looking into addressing this year and it is the area of organ harvesting because people are just getting away with murder.
“As long as I am concerned, I have this hunch that a lot of harvesting is going on but unfortunately some law enforcement agencies just rule it as ritual killings.
“Last week, a ten-month-old baby was rescued, they had taken out one of his eyeballs and they were about to take out the second eye when the two guys were caught.
“The police arrested him and we have been trying to get them to hand them over to us so that we can get to the root of the matter.
“I want to know who wants those eyeballs, what those eyeballs were meant for and where they were going to. We have to look into this very aggressively and we are going to be concentrating more on them,” the NAPTIP boss said.