Posted by Lawal Neemah Ajifah | 21 September 2019 | 587 times
It is no longer news that sexual harassment and human trafficking has become a bone in the throat of not only Nigeria but the entire world.
Every individual involved in this act (trafficking) for any reason, whatsoever should be considered and treated as an open enemy to humanity at large.
I fail to see any reason suitable enough to make an individual want to comfortably sell a fellow human being off for sexual or any form of slavery at all, knowing too well what they would be exposed to. This act of human trafficking and forceful slavery was done and rampant during the era of colonialism in the 17th and 19th centuries before our independence. After gaining independence in 1960, one would have thought we would also be liberated from this inhumanity, but I guess not and what’s more disturbing is that this time, we are doing these things to ourselves.
It is totally inhumane and unacceptable that people are transported in huge figures from a part of the word to another. Now, it is understandable to say man must wack. But, man must also understand that he has to be reasonable about how he goes about “wacking,” I mean come on.
I recently understood from attending a campaign seminar organised by Mariam Ashley Yusuf, that victims of human trafficking are exposed to all forms of torture and diseases, as they are asked to sleep with all kinds of human being and animals too, just for the fun of it. This really made me sad and angry. It was made clear to me that these traffickers go as far as killing some of their victims, just to assert total submission from the rest of them. How despicable? Human beings are treated like dead animals, exposed to sexual harassments like men defecating in the victim’s mouths for sexual pleasure and for the sake of money: What is happening to our world?
Also at the same seminar, Nollywood actress, Regina Daniels, said: “Are things really that bad in Nigeria that people let themselves be trafficked just for money? These people allow themselves to be trafficked not only because of the poverty of the pocket but also that of the mind.” Imagine!
This brings me to one of my greatest concerns. Nigeria, as we all know and as repeatedly said, is in very terrible condition, financially and economically. No doubt, we are suffering. But put yourself in this situation, you are a mother who has close to nothing to cater for her children with and possibly a widow or a case of irresponsibility of a man. You struggle alone to feed your children – not three times, but for at least once or twice a day – then, all of a sudden, someone comes to you with helping hands, a solution to your problem. He/she tells you that you and your children would feed at, least, three times daily. There is nothing in this world that can possibly stop her from taking the solution unless it is boldly spelled to her that she and her offspring(s) would be subjected to unspeakable degree of torture.
In response to Regina, I think it’s really disgusting that she said something about “poverty of the mind”. Nobody, no matter how stupid or immoral, not even a prostitute would willingly subject themselves to the vile things these traffickers do to their victims. Let’s understand that some of these victims at the initial stage would think they are just being assisted to cross the border, and nothing more, under the impression of the popular saying that the grass is greener on the other side. Well I’m here to tell you the grass gets greener when you water it!
Lest I forget, these victims aren’t just exploited sexually, they are also used for drug experiments and their body organs are harvested for black market sales. Just awful!
How do we curb this act?
In order to curb this activity, in the case of Nigeria, we need more than just the government and its officials. Let’s be realistic. This isn’t something that can be stopped in a day or months, it would take a longer time like years, yes, years. But with determination and hard work, every height is achievable. Nigeria needs the whole of the citizens far and wide, also external assistance from the trafficker’s destination countries.
Nigeria should step up their security game. I love my country, but our security is nothing to write home about. By “security game” I don’t just mean the Army, Navy, Air Force or Police force, but also citizens like you and I. Everyone should be at alert. As the DG of NAPTIP said, “if you see something, say something because it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Let us also appeal to their destination countries to stay vigilant and help fish out, scrutinise or even deport any illegally trafficked individual subjected to labour against their free will; such that their clinical and mental health may be endangered or suspicious-looking individual.
Following the above point, if deported, on reaching Nigeria, the individual(s) should be taken to the police for interrogation and investigation, until they are proven clean of not only human trafficking but of all kinds of crime.
Also we should learn to control our greed. There are people in other countries that suffer as much as we do here, if not more. Stay in Nigeria and try the best you possibly can. I believe in due time, we would be alright.
God bless Nigeria! God will bless every struggling individual with enormous success. I hope, and pray, for a better Nigeria.
•Ajifah can be reached via email@example.com
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