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July 16, 2024

Centre raises alarm over high rate of “Sextortion” crime in Nigeria

Devatop Centre for Africa Development, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), on Tuesday in Abuja raised an alarm over the high rate of “Sextortion” crime in Nigeria.

The Executive Director of the centre, Mr Joseph Osuigwe, at the screening of two short movies to create more awareness about “Sextortion” and panel discussion about the crime, stated that there has been more silence about “Sextortion”, and this is making it to thrive.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the term “Sextortion” refers to the act of coercing individuals into providing explicit images, videos, or other forms of intimate content with a threat of exposing the content to the public, in demand for gains, monetary and others.

NAN reports that the names of the movies are “Hidden Pandemic” and “Sextortion and Revenge Porn”.

Osuigwe noted that there is so much silence about “Sextortion” and that the screening of the films was to create more awareness and commemorate the centre “TALKAM App” for citizens to report this crime.

He said that the “Talkam App” is a civic-tech initiative dedicated to addressing human rights abuses, promoting and protecting human rights, as well as stimulating reportage and action among citizens.

According to him, one of the things that had made “Sextortion” to thrive is not just only the perpetrators, but the silence and inaction of the society.

He said that the silence of the society about this crime was one of the reasons the centre was screening the films to create more awareness, and to ginger citizens to take action against it and report it to the appropriate authorities.

“Few months ago, a 17-year-old teenage boy in the United States committed suicide after being sexually extorted by three Nigerians who operate a Sextortion network.

“Recent research conducted by SNAP Incorporated shows that two-thirds of Generation Z are targeted for online Sextortion.

“There is an urgent need for organisations and donors to expand their focus to counter Sextortion and online sexual exploitation.

“Last year, through the support of United States Embassy in Nigeria, the centre started a 6th phase Talkam project, which focuses on countering Sextortion, online sexual exploitation and online Human Trafficking.

“In the past 10 months of the project, we have launched Red Card2Sextortion campaign, trained teachers and students union leaders across three states to carry out school sensitisation,” he said.

He, however, called for a holistic action against crime and other crimes against humanity.

The Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Prof Fatima Waziri-Azi, commended Devatop Centre for the initiative about the films.

Represented by Dr Ebele Ulasi, NAPTIP Director of Public enlightenment, Waziri-Azi stated that victims of human trafficking also fall into the trap of sextortion perpetrators, while calling on well-meaning Nigerians to rise against the crime.

According to her, victims of trafficking experience Sextortion when they are in the web of traffickers, who exploit their vulnerability, manipulate their fears and perpetrate heinous crimes against them.

She said that in addition to Sextortion, there are several other crimes against humanity that Nigerians must rise against, adding that they are all hitting deep in the country.

Mrs Lydia Odeh, Chief of Party, Palladium, Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project, commended Devatop Centre for screening the movies.

She said that the movies were timely, especially as Nigeria is commemorating World Day Against Human Trafficking.
According to her, apart from Sextortion, the movies also focus on issues of sex for grade which is hitting deep in the country tertiary institutions.

She added that all the content in the films are what is happening in the Nigerian society, while calling for a change in the narrative. (NAN)

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