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Edo Women

The challenge before Oshiomhole

You probably don’t know her, but 14-year-old Rachael is a Nigerian youth locked in the web of societal vices of which she knows next to nothing about, and certainly, she did nothing to contribute to the horrors presently threatening to swallow her up like the whale of Jonah.

Rachael was a victim of child trafficking for the purposes of prostitution. While her mates were in school learning the rudiments of reproduction from their biology teachers, Rachael was at the Dakar Hotel, Seme performing the practicals at a mere age 14. What a shame!

The story has it that Rachael’s mother at age 20, probably due to lack of parental guidance, poverty, or sheer greed succumbed to the sexual advances of a 55-year-old married man and ended up having five children by that ill-fated marriage. Ill -fated because judging by the reaction of Rachael’s grandmother to the Seme drama, she probably had also warned Orobosa (that is the name of Rachael’s mother), against the relationship but , probably, being desperate for the good life, she did not listen. That was the begining of her journey to the limelight, the limelight of negative publicity.

Rachael had been given out to a professional prostitute of Benin origin, Ruth, to work the girl and pay the mother N30, 000 at the end of two months for her to start a trade which she hopes will help her fend for the four younger children back in Benin City. Rachael’s experience was as horrible as one can imagine, but even moreso because she who feels it, knows it. According to her account after her rescue by a good Nigerian with the active help of NAPTIP,” that very afternoon, Ruth brought a man into my room. I cried because it was really very painful. The man just forced himself into me. All the while I was crying, Ruth laughed....She brought seven more men after that.”

The young girl was obviously doing it for the first time with a man she does not love, and may never see again. Can anyone just imagine that. She recounted that even though she had been tutored about condoms, she had to struggle with the men over it and was “not always successful.” Can you imagine this little girl contracting HIV through a process she had no control over. Osanobua mee.

The blames in this case should go to several people. People like Ruth, who make a profit from the destruction of their fellow human beings, fools who call themselves mothers like Orobosa, who instead of pandering out her own body, chose to scarifice her first born. Is that not what witches also do as depicted in our movies, greedy fools who refuse to face the reality of work and patience, and discover their folly only after their tongues had been scalded? Asked why she did not opt to go to Seme herself instead of sending the innocent girl, she said the need to stay back home and take care of the other four children informed her donation of Rachael. But if Racheal, in her estimation was matured enough for sex, who says she cannot take care of four younger siblings. Rachael was definitely never meant to return. And if she had not had the good fortune of meeting the good Samaritan who aided her escape, she would have died unsung, sweating to feed the greed of an overgrown baby she calls mother. Even in NAPTIP custody, Rachael was still concerned about her younger ones and who would be taking care of them now that her mother is under arrest.

The Rachael dilemma poses a lot of questions to the Nigeria as a whole, but to Edo State to be specific. A nation where social welfare services are non-existent like we have in Nigeria, does not deserve her sovereignity. There should be services that will take care of immatured mothers like Orobosa, so as to rightly counsel them against the influences of being recruits for nefarious activities as happened in this and several other instances. During the government of Lucky Igbinedion as governor of Edo State, his wife, Eki, had a project referred to as the Idia Foundation. There were several trips made to Italy, which was the focus of most Benin girls for prostitution then. The foundation’s main aim was to discourage this malaise among the Benin people. Even Titi Atiku’s WOTCLEF made several contributions in this regards. One of the problems of governance in Nigeria has always been the failure or non-continuity of government policies and projects.

The present Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole MUST do some thing about prostitution among Benin girls.The Ministry of Women Affairs should be mobilised and motivated to do something drastic and effective. It is good that the present Federal Minister for Women Affairs, Josephine Anenih lives in Benin, where she was married. We must all do whatever lies in our power to discourage further recruitments from this are enlightened, but unfortunately not-well-governed state to put an end to this social malice. The Benin Monarchy is regarded as still being strong and effective. The palace must be moved to do something traditionally-innovative. The ways of our forefathers are most effective, when orthodox means fail and members of the communities must be encouraged to look out for one another’s welfare and when someone’s child is not seen around for some days, dedicated lines must be activated to report such suspicious abscences.

It is rather unfortunate that the Senate of the Federal Republic will not be able to help us in this regards, because with the presence of exting-,sorry, distinguished senators who, like paedophileacs are ready to pay $100,000 to marry a 13-year-old Egyptian girl in their hallowed chambers, one can never trust where their loyalty will be on this issue.

Source:Nigerian Tribune

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