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Exploiting young girls

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By Denrele Animashaun

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” – Abraham Lincoln

The  successful conviction  of Osezua Osolase 42, was  welcomed   by  AFRUCA(Africans Unite Against Child Abuse) that  commended British government on the successful prosecution  of  a  prolific  child  trafficker. The  agency stated such  conviction  will  serve  as  a  warning  to  others  who are willing  to  exploit  young  girls with  a promise  of  a  better  live in Europe  only   to  be  sold  into prostitution.

Osolase, who has HIV, was found guilty after a six-week trial of five counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation, one count of rape and one of sexual activity with a child. Police identified flight records, mobile phones and pre-paid credit cards to show that he recruited 28 girls and escorted many of them abroad over a 15-month period from 2010 in a scam that could have netted him around £1.5 million.

He received a  20-year  jail term and will  be  deported  after  he  served  his  sentence. He, like  others like  him, use  the  threat of witchcraft and ‘juju’ rituals to coerce and subjugate his victims while handing them out as ‘commodities’ by selling  them  to criminal  gangs who  send  them off on the  street as prostitutes. Child trafficking is one of the most horrendous crimes threatening our society  and  those   who  perpetuate  these crimes are profiting from  the  exploitation ,suffering  and  abuses  of   children.

Some  people   don’t see  a  distinction  between child trafficking  and  house help, but   let’s  cut  the  fat   and  it is   modern  day  slavery.  Having   a house help is   common place at home and abroad. Young  people  are  sought   from  the villages,  with a  promise  of life  in   city  and money  that   can help the  family in   the  village. These   young  people are  worked  so  hard,  treated   so   badly  without  pay  and  respite.

We have similarly  heard  such   horror  stories  of   some  families inviting  young  children  over  to  the  UK and  they  are  used as servants  and  house  helps. Those that  escape the  life  of  servitude  and suffering   have  described  their lives behind   closed  doors  as  never ending  misery of  menial  work  at  the  beck  and call of  the  family.

In  this  day  and  age , we  have  got   to  move away  from  this  dogma  and  educate  poor, young, deprived  girls  in  particular  to  a level   where they  can  work  their  way  out  of  poverty and be  a  useful   member of  society.  They   say  that  when  you   educate  a  girl, then  you  educate  a  whole  generation.   There  has   to  be  some national   awareness  programme  that  addresses these  nefarious  activities  and   give  the   family an  alternative   to  selling  their   children into  slavery and  a life  of  suffering.

Abuse of power

He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander- Aristotle

The  abuse  of  power never  ceases  to  amaze  me especially  when it  comes  to  Nigerians.  Where on  earth in  any  civilised  country  would you  get  a  governor  of  a state physically  abusing  the  top man  of  an  energy  company  for  not  producing   enough power outage !

On Saturday, 20th October, 2012 the  management staff  were  summoned  to the  governor’s residence  and  according   to  the papers, the   Sokoto Governor, Aliyu Magatarkada Wamakko  got  out  his  Bulala and  whipped  the acting Managing Director of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, Mohammed Adamu  and  then  he  ordered  the security officials to  carry  on   the   beating !

Funny that the Governor has failed to explain his   brutality and madness.

Mixed bag of e-mail

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life-Winston Churchill

Last  week, I  must have   touched   a  raw  nerve  re: “ Jesus   does   not  do  coins”,  and  I  received   a  mixed  bag  of   emails,   some   good  and  some  well, full  of  hot air.  Without exemption, thank you all for your comments.

What  I  have  learnt  is that there are  certain  subject  matters  that  riles  some  members  of  our  society – religion,  known  personalities, pastors, any  tribal  comments and citizenry immoral  attitudes.  Oh, it is like waving a red   flag   at a bull!  How  I   wish  these same people with  their  vitriolic  could  put  it   to  better  use. Perhaps  they  can  write and  share  their  opinions  on more salient   topics   like  extensive  poverty,  insecurities , politicians, corruption, domestic   violence,  inadequate social  and  health  care  facilities.

4.     Let’s move the world

I received a post, a response to my  article, Generation X: writer says his name is Victor Okoronkwo, a young engineering professional based between Lagos and London. He says he his very passionate for stability, growth and prosperity in Nigeria. He says:”Thank you for such a compelling article ‘Generation X’ in the Sunday Vanguard, 21st Oct 2012.

I believe it is both accurate and timely, however the primary challenge remains how many people in position of authority would read this article and its like and would feel the need to institutionalize policies or reforms that can transform the development of the young Nigerian.

If this remains such a major challenge, whilst not continually hoping it occurs, I agree with you that we all have a role to play. This would be targeted at developing the young Nigerian’s moral and educational standard.

How do we, who share this same feeling of urgency for change, organize ourselves as one unit with a clear, achievable goal? (Never mind what/which groups/movements for change we may belong to)

– Do we reach out and become reachable to the young Nigerian who desperately needs a role model?

There is a few other ‘how’s ‘ that must be considered to deliver a changed Nigeria; I strongly believe it is achievable when good preparation has been put in place.

I am committed to playing my role for a better Nigeria; your article suggests you share a similar stance. Let’s start to organize ourselves with more who share such a passion for excellence in our land. Kind regards, Victor.”

Well, if there are more people like Victor, who are as passionate about making a difference in our youths’ lives, let us work together and make a positive change in the lives of the youths. As Leonardo da Vinci said: “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”

¯ So I am directly challenging well-meaning and forward thinking Nigerians to contact me and we can work towards a lasting legacy.

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