Return of Slavery to Country?

Have you been to Nigeria lately? Share any experiences of burgelaries, armed robberies, fraud, etc.

Return of Slavery to Country?

Postby Richard Akindele » Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:13 pm

This Day (Lagos)

14 February 2008
Posted to the web 15 February 2008Lagos

When the British, Nigeria's former colonial master, outlawed the Atlantic slave trade in 1807 because it considered it evil, it certainly did not know that in the 21st century post-independent Nigeria, some form of slavery would still be going on. In those ancient slavery times, it was sheer force, extravagant lifestyle of certain African traditional rulers and ignorance that led Africa and Nigeria into slavery. And Nigeria lost the cream of her human beings in slavery.

Today, abject poverty, hopelessness and lack of basic necessities are forcing some parents to consciously sell off their children just to make ends meet. The woeful slavery stories are legion. Every year, thousands of African children are trafficked in Africa and sold off in Britain to rich merchants with the promise of a better life. Some of the teenage girls among them are later forced into prostitution, while others are subjected to all kinds of inhuman experiences in Europe. Every year, hundreds of Nigerian children are sold off by their desperate Nigerian parents seeking to eke out a living. Between Kano and Abuja a few weeks ago, some syndicated Nigerian slave dealers were caught with 250 children which they were taking to the slave market. Similar sad stories are re-told across the country.

But the most chilling and pathetic slavery story is the one involving a couple-Kola and Seyi Woniye, in Oyo State recently. Devastated by poverty and human misery, the couple offered to sell their two sons: five year-old Shola and three year-old Sonu, to a British journalist who posed as a business man. The couple offered to sell the two boys for the sum of N1 million (5,000 pounds) or one for N500,000 (2,500 pounds). Seyi, the mother of the two kids admitted regretfully that it is "hard for us to do this, but we are desperate and this is our last hope" Mr Woniye is a panel beater.

Without mincing words, the above is a modern-day slave trade. It is sad, very sad indeed that in this age and time Nigeria with all her resources can yet be forced into modern-day slavery. Age-old themes like corruption, greed, betrayal of popular will, election rigging and lust for power may be excused, but it is certainly regrettably shameful on all counts to be associated withthis bare-faced slavery of sell off our children just to make ends meet. A society which sells off its children jeopardises the hope of tomorrow, and thus tottering on the verge of extinction.

But we cannot just simply lament about the modern-day slavery in Nigeria without tracing its root cause to the grinding poverty ravaging Nigeria. Nigeria is the sixth largest producer of oil in the world. Presently, oil is selling very high in the market, but ironically Nigeria cannot feed her children. Nigeria tops the list of countries with malnourished children. A recent United Nations report confirmed Nigeria as having the second highest number of maternal deaths in the world after India. Primary and secondary health system cares are virtually non-existent in Nigeria at the moment. When the poor are sick their relations start preparing for funerals because of lack of money for medical treatment abroad. Despite the huge sum of money sunk in resuscitating the energy sector, Nigeria is still a country in darkness. Road side mechanics, welders, women grinding pepper, petty-traders, panel beaters (like Woniye) who would have been self-employed if there is constant power supply in Nigeria, are today roaming about the streets in idleness. Is any body still wondering why pressed parents are resorting to the sale of their children?

Therefore the struggle against poverty is crucial to the future of our country.

Sadly enough, instead of tackling poverty in Nigeria, our government is floundering in empty policy sloganeering, forgetting that human development is the ultimate goal of all developments. The governments of other countries are more interested in the welfare of their citizens. Regretfully here in Nigeria, our leaders seem more interested in their own welfare by demanding for increased salaries and allowances, instead of activating policies that can improve the welfare of the people. Therefore President Yar'Adua must understand that poverty reduction is a primary challenges his government.

Finally, the latest Oyo slavery incident should serve as a wake-up call to our anti-child trafficking bodies and security agents ,including fraudulent immigration ofiicials who assist in procuring fake travel documents for trafficked kids in the country, to be more serious in the discharge of their duties. Their duties call for more vigilance and more effective policing of the highways and the borders. President Yar'Adua and members of the National Assembly should take this matter to heart and find effective ways of ridding Nigeria of modern slavery.
Richard Akindele
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Postby bountyman » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:21 pm

Thanks to the writer for linking the whole situation to the government,do we have to blame parents who sell there child for living or the gonernment?To me both party is at fault,parentally we have to blame the parent cox how can a father or mother offer to sell his/her child for a prize,a child that could be anybody in the future,sincerely we dont need this kind of people in our society cox they could as well sell there neighboor`s child or take it as a bizness but when we look at it critically we would realize that our government is the head cause,85 percnt nigerian family are suffering and yet the government couldnt do anything reasonable to eradicate these prob,its not even in there agenda all they want is jux to get in touch with the big box.Nigeria is one of the largest crude oil producer yet we suffer than cuba the producer of cigaret,someone who choose to sell his/her child must have search for alternative means but there wasnt cox i know definately that average Nigerian dont joke wit there children but when u see a Nigeria going that lengh to make money then you should know that person is at the extreme.
To the government,all they need to do is to provide the basic amenities like feeding,clothing,housing,electricity,free education all to reduce the cost of living,many Nigerians would never go into bad act if feeding,housing and other basic amenities are provided cox many dont even dream to be like dangote all they want is a medium life,though there are still some bad ones that would want to be like dangote but never wanna work for it,then special arrangement should me made to eradicate them by enforcement of law.The government shud pls do there own part b4 bouncing on the law breakers and the trafikers.LETS JOIN HANDS TO ERADICATE CORRUPTION IN THIS COUNTRY THOUGH ITS NOT POSSIBLE TO ERADICATE IT TOTALLY,AT LEAST 80PERCNT COX THE STURBORN ONES WONT LISTEN.
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