No doubt, the media was awash with stories of baby factories uncovered across the country where young girls were being used to breed babies for sale. It is so unfortunate that this type of story has become normal to the sensibility of even rationalists among us.
The extent to which some persons can go to get money and power is unimaginable. For several years now, reports of houses, black market maternity and motherless homes where young girls between the ages of 15 to 23 are kept for the purposes of producing children have been rife. Equally, young and unsuspecting sturdy men are recruited to impregnate the girls for the purpose of mass-producing and selling children to buyers who are either ritualists or human traffickers.
Usually, these young women are paid paltry sums ranging from N15,000 to N20, 000 per month while their babies are harvested and sold at N150,000 for baby girls and N200,000 or N250,000 for baby boys. This disheartening development happens in many parts of the country, especially in the South-East of Nigeria.
For instance, on December 13 last year, the Nigeria Police said that it raided a home right inside Umuahia, Abia State capital, and rescued 19 pregnant women. It carried out the raid based on a tipoff that the owner of the house was a ring leader in the evil racket. This report was confirmed by the state police spokesman, Geoffrey Ogbonna.
Investigations also confirmed that baby factories are not only for impregnating and giving birth to babies by unsuspecting young ladies, women who take in outside their matrimonial homes, or young ladies who either by omission or commission become pregnant, run to such places for cover until they are finally delivered of their babies before they return to their homes.
In May last year, operatives of Anti- Kidnapping Unit of Enugu State Police Command were reported to have rescued six pregnant young girls from a house at Ogui area of Enugu metropolis. They were kept by a syndicate that specialises in producing and selling babies. There was a similar occurrence in Anambra State where officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic In Persons, NAPTIP, raided a motherless babies home at Obosi in Idemili North Council Area and rescued 19 children and staff of the “Home”.
This is one of the tragic stories of humankind. Why would any sane and God-fearing mother or human being for that matter, think of selling innocent babies to earn a living? Why would the destinies of young ladies be destroyed for such satanic aim and purpose? Where do such courage and strength come from?
According to the police spokesman, Ogbonna, “It is illegal to buy or sell children in Nigeria. Human trafficking, including the selling of children, is the third most common crime after fraud and drug trafficking, according to the United Nations”. But it is clear that the authorities are not doing enough to nip this ugly epidemic in the bud. For instance, where are the persons previously arrested in connection with this type of crime?
It is a big shame to the nation and we condemn this heinous act in its entirety and demand that the victims (the innocent women who are deceived into this illicit business) get justice. Where are the women civil society groups in the country? We challenge clerics, traditional rulers, as well as political leaders in the country to rise up to this problem with all sense of determination and commitment.