The Sokoto Zonal Command office of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) was on Saturday guted by fire outbreak.
The Nation learnt that the fire, which started at the Command’s shelter section, is thought to have been caused by an electrical fault; no life was lost anyway.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Hajiya Hassana, who confirmed the incident, described the fire as devastating.
“We are grateful to God that no life was lost during the fire outbreak and survivors at the shelter all escaped unhurt”, she said.
A NAPTIP source linked the fire to an electrical fault.
Residents of Sokoto and nearby states served by the centre worried over the fire’s effect on the campaign against Gender-Based Violence, (GBV), Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) as well as Harmful Practices (HP).
One of those who spoke with The Nation, Malam Isa Tudun Wada expressed shock, noting that the hope of securing justice for SGBV and HP victims in Sokoto, Kebbi, and Zamfara largely depends on NAPTIP.
Another concerned indigene from Kebbi State called for an investigation and further appealed to the Sokoto State government to urgently provide a temporary place for the agency pending the Federal Government’s decision on an office for the agency.
The chairman of the Sokoto State GBV Response Team, Rabiu Gandi, who also lamented over the incident, described NAPTIP as a reliable partner in the state’s effort towards curbing crimes against humanity in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states.
“The agency requires urgent and sustained support over the fire incident to sustain its drive towards fighting the course for human survival against GBV related crimes and offences.”