Edo girls wrong stereotype and tackling sex trafficking problem
The investigative documentary by CNN into continuing sex trafficking from Edo state, Nigeria to Libya shocked a lot of viewers, not least because the travails of those who were enslaved in Libya is supposed to be already public knowledge exposed by the same CNN. I think it is shameful that Edo state is now tagged the capital of human trafficking in Africa and perhaps the world.
That said, i am very grateful that CNN is shining their light on this issue. Since 2011, I have been warning fellow African’s about this trend, and that, this is exactly how transatlantic slave trade must have started. As shown in the attached image.
However lets dissect this issue starting with
1. The false and almost unchallenged stereotype that Edo girls are prostitutes
Unfortunately, when an untruth is repeated often enough, listeners begin to assume it is the truth, especially when the untruth is not challenged. At present among Nigerians, the common assumption is between 80% and 100% of Edo girls are by default prostitutes. As preposterous as this assumption is, I have had this stated to me several times, “matter of fact” as if they had factual evidence to back up their claims.
So it is left to us the Edo indigenes, to trump up the achievements of Edo women of note, and in so doing championing role models for Edo girls. In hindsight, the fact that girls of Edo origin are mostly in the news for trafficking reasons, does make them notorious and role models for impressible/unwitting young edo girls. This is made worse, when and indeed some of those who were trafficked then return back to show off in a 2 week splash, using the wealth they saved-up in about two years.
These are only eleven names (at random) of a few but apt female respectable role models who are all Edo.
– Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, first woman head of the Federal Inland Revenue Service;
– Prof. Helen Asemota, a foremost researcher in the field of molecular biology, biochemistry and Nano technology; – – – Prof. Francisca Oboh-Ikuenobe; a leading geologist,
– Senator Franca Afegbua; Nigeria’s first female senator;
– Mrs. Sandra Aguebor-Ekperouh, Nigeria’s first woman mechanic;
– Prof. Helen Osinowo, the first Professor of Clinical Psychology;
– Mrs. Mabel Segun, the first woman to play table tennis in Nigeria;
– Most Rev. Dr. Margaret Benson-Idahosa, Africa’s first female University Chancellor;
– Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, first African member of the Academic Advisory Group of SEERIL, International Bar Association;
– Justice Gladys Olotu, repelled oppressive immigration conditions for issuing passports to married women;
– Miss Anne-Marie Imafidon; worldrecord holder for the youngest girl to pass A-level computing, at age 13.
2. Why Edo state
Omon’Oba Erediauwa, the father of the present Oba of Benin “Oba Ewuare II” went to great lengths (including raining curses as in this video) to stop sex trafficking as has the reigning Oba of Benin “Oba Ewaure II” in the video link, working in collaboration with the present state governor Obaseki and Abike Dabiri-Erewa (Nigeria’s SSA for Diaspora Affairs) at the national level. The positive result is still pending, if there will be drastic reduction, to avert the lure for Europe and sex trafficking.
The main reason why sex trafficking seems to be prevalent in Edo state is historically Edo has been the hub for human trafficking in precolonial Nigeria, although trafficking then wasn’t exclusive to Edo, perhaps its a case of “old habits die hard”. However it must also be said, that because Benin city is a major Nigerian metropolitan city ie 5th biggest, girls of other origins easily blend in as if they are Edo, both in Nigeria and all through the trafficking route.
3. The parts of the problem
- Root – The root of the problem is the acceptable culture or practice of it. Albeit this is subliminal. Indeed most of these girls don’t actually process that they are going to be sex slaves. Rather they focus on the perceived benefits of having wads of cash to splash as they see those who come to lure them do, or the properties built by those who have already indulged in the trafficking business. This culture is not just customary but is spiritual, because those who seek to be enslaved are made to swear in special rituals to be loyal to their madamme to pay back total monies owed to traffic them to their location.
- These juju rites still practised are age old, such as this one from a newspaper published on January 1st 1913. A good 105 years ago.
- The video in this article also shows a young girl being bound by such an oath to a juju priest.
- Culture and attitudes
- I think what has sustained this practice recorded some 105 years ago until date, is the cultural acceptance of and adulation of oppressors, and the aspiration of others to want to be oppressors by any means necessary including enslaving others as traffickers do, and by the trafficked ones themselves.
- This image depicts this customary adulation or acceptance of oppression that pervades not just Edo state.
- Ignorance is arguably a big part of this attitudinal problem, but not all of it. 4 years ago i republished a racist article read out by radio presenter Dee Lee, published by Garett Sawyer of Pride Magazine. The article was titled THEY ARE STILL OUR SLAVES. As provocative as the article was, it is astounding, because even today most of us will find it very difficult to disprove him and his allegations.
- Especially these assertions by him
- Economy: Unfortunately the idle mind is the devils workshop. Even though prostitution is the worlds oldest profession, when there are less jobs in any economy, the human trafficking cartel will find the route of least resistance and exploit it. This is my theory of why Edo state is right now the face of human trafficking in the 21st century as spectacularly shown in the CNN video documentary.
4. The solution
- Law and legal information disseminated profusely by the media
- There are laws in Nigeria against prostitution, against human trafficking, and there are NGO’s against such rackets, but the media and government are not penetrating through to the people and they are not succeeding in flooding their minds with the awareness of this. This can only be attributed to the government not realising the value of stamping out this menace and even acquiescing and perhaps even accepting the practice, such that there is not enough funding to change the attitudes of the people. The very same investigative documentary done by CNN could have been done by any of the major or minor news outlets in Nigeria, and perhaps they are such local documentaries, but obviously they have not made enough news waves as CNN has done, because of one key factor :- FUNDING!!!
- Collaboration of NGO’s and government – The elephant in the room here, in one word is CORRUPTION!! and the solution is ANTI-CORRUPTION!!
- In the new data economy, and my book emphasizes the point that Nigeria is 9th in the world for consumption of data. This means due to mobile telephony this problem, actually becomes an opportunity to not only solve the problem, but solve the problem with an incentive of making this happen. This is why we urge all who have information about Edo state human trafficking, at any point through the trafficking route to contact us in the first instance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to host of this “Talk-show” email@example.com
- There is a solution to this problem and there are professionals who realise the longterm cost of the problem and they are invested in the solution as well.
- This video illustrates the parts of the problem and the points of solving them aforementioned.
- Send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com
~ Greg Ekhator (Debonair Training) for lyfebites.co.uk
For further research: Chapter 3 of this book, especially maps out the underlying mentality that permits this mental slavery. Which is the denial of it. Its true they say “Denial is not a river in Egypt” [ebook_store ebook_id=”452″]