Photo: Woman Allegedly Trying To Sell Her Three Children Arrested In Enugu State

Odinaka Ali, a 25 year old woman from Ezilo, in Ishielu Local Goverment
of Area of Ebonyi state has been arrested for trying to sell her three
children.

According to Desk officer of National
Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP) in Ebonyi
State, Florence Onwa, the lady was arrested by the police after they
received a tip-off from a waitress whom she had contacted to look for a
trafficker who could buy her children because she could no longer take
care of them after her husband abandoned them eight months ago.
 

The
woman has however denied trying to sell her children stating that her
arrest was a total frame up and that all she did was to ask the waitress
for assistance in paying her house rent. Narrating what happened, she
said, “My husband is from Amaekpo Ohafia, Abia State. I and my husband
had issues before and we later reconciled. We did not have any problem
when he abandoned us in April this year”. When I stayed few weeks I did
not see him, I started doing menial jobs with my little children to
enable me feed them. I kept doing this till it became so difficult for
me to continue it and I decided to return to my village”. I didn’t want
to sell my children at the initial time because I passed through
caesarian operation before giving birth to all of them. I met a girl who
sells food in a restaurant and narrated my problem to her and she
promised to assist me. l met the girl before, so she asked me to come to
her and wait for a woman who will enter into discussion with me. I
waited for the woman and she did not come. I did this three times and I
told the girl that I will not come again”. She persuaded me to continue
coming and I changed my heart. Before I could notice it, Policemen
stormed the place and started asking me what I was doing there and the
whereabouts of the three kids I wanted to sell”. I told the policemen
that I didn’t want to sell my babies because I gave birth to them
through operations. The policemen asked me to follow them to their
station and I refused. They immediately invited a policewoman who came
and asked me to follow them to the station, that I should obey before
complain and I followed them to the station. While in the station, the
girl who asked me to come to her said I told her to start looking for
who will buy my children.”

Godwin Igwe, head of Child
Development Department, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development
has called on well meaning  individuals to assist the woman take care
of the children.

 “The three children and their mother just
repatriated from the Enugu Ministry of Gender and Women Affairs to
Ebonyi. The woman is from Ishielu local government area of Ebonyi State.
When we interviewed her, she said she is finding it very difficult to
survive let alone feed her children. She said her purported husband
abandoned her and the children in April. She said it was very difficult
for her to be carrying the third child of eight months old for menial
jobs and she became a wanderer. So, the Enugu state government
repatriated her. Her mother is late and the father is very old and has
nothing doing. Her major problem is how to eke a living. She said if the
government or public spirited individual can assist her, she is ready
to take care of her children. If she is allowed to continue to wander in
the streets, the children are at risk and if anybody approaches her for
the children, she can easily release the children to the person and
they will become victims of child trafficking. So, the Enugu government
did not repatriate her out of malice or hatred but for safety of the
children.” Mr Godwn said