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Why I started taking young girls abroad for prostitution – Self-confessed human trafficking survivor

A self-confessed human trafficking
survivor has explained why she went into the dirty trade. The native of Ishan, Edo State, revealed to Vanguard how she became a prostitute in Burkina Fas. Read excerpts below:

“I was 18 years old when a
business woman in our community took  some ladies and I  to Burkina
Faso. The initial deal was that she will take us to Senegal and then to
Europe. But, surprisingly, she took us to Burkina Faso and she was
nowhere to be found the following morning we arrived there. Unknown to
us, she had sold us to a  man”,

“Immediately, our heads, armpit, private parts were shaved and the
hair used to initiate us into some cult. So horrifying, some of the
girls went mad during the initiation. You could be asked to visit a 
burial ground late in the night for the ritual or sleep with a  dead
body. Later, we  lived in a hotel where we operated  as prostitutes and 
what we earned used to pay this man every day. Everything turned 
gloomy for me. I found myself in thick darkness of prostitution that I
could not deliver myself from. It was a horrible situation,”the victim
said.

“We  had a booklet each  where we recorded our returns everyday and
once the money for which we were sold to the man was paid, which could 
be  paid within five to nine months, freedom will be organised for such a
person.

“My boss took  us to a native doctor who gave us some charm to
protect us from being arrested by law enforcement agents, With the aid
of the charm, we could  manipulate men to give us more cash after sex.

“Within months, I completed  my payment but I was tired of such a
life and I told my boss  I wanted  to go back home. But  she refused.
So  I ran to the community leader for help. I also went to the Nigerian
embassy in Burkinan Faso  but no one listened to me. Rather, the
government officials of that country arrested me and took me to  Abuja
where I was detained with criminals for three months in a police
station. I was later paraded as a criminal.”

Revenge mission

“After my release, I  was determined to take thousands of Nigerian
girls to Burkina Faso. I  became a girl-trafficker. I traveled to my
village, dressing gorgeously and  flaunting money to young girls.  I was
able to take some girls to Burkina Faso. I did this in annoyance
because when I needed help, government officials refused to help me
because the people involved in child-trafficking  knew many security
agents and they could bribe their way out. I realized if one could join
the group, it was easy to take girls out of the country.

‘ Traffickers take advantage of porous border’

“The Seme border was  a no-go area for us because security personnel
there were  very strict, but we always bribed our way through the Saki
border. And there was no need for international passport to cross the
border at the Saki border. An identity card was enough, especially if it
was accompanied by a few Naira notes and we always had a smooth
journey. Most of the officers there knew  we were involved in human
trafficking”.

Cry to government

Enohuean,  now mother of five children, called on the Federal
Government to tackle youth unemployment from further being trafficked 
abroad for prostitution, adding that many of the  girls become victims
because of their quest for employment and  better life outside the
country. “An unemployed hand is  a  prey for traffickers. State and
federal governments should please set up a  body to look into the cases
of those  trafficked abroad, especially for prostitution, with a view to
helping them.  We have hundreds of  our girls who are tired of the
business of prostitution abroad  but   now have nowhere to turn to”, she
said.

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