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Nigerian Girls Sold At Burkina Faso-Mali Border For N.4m– Report

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) has revealed that traffickers now sell Nigerian girls for CFA 350,000, which is equivalent of N400,000 to slave masters at Burkina Faso-Mali border.

This revelation formed part of the report of a Fact-finding Delegation to Mali. Presenting the report before Session of ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, yesterday, the director general of the NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli said, most of the trafficked persons are tricked to leave their livelihoods in Nigeria for “greener pastures” in ‘Mali-sia’ (Malaysia).

She said, “On arrival at the border town between Burkina Faso and Mali, we discovered that many of the girls were sold off for CFA 350,000 (N400, 000); and their new owners then made them to pay back about CFA 1.8m (N2 million) because CFA 1000 is equivalent of N600.”    

She said her Agency rescued 275 Nigerian girls trafficked to Mali, while about 20,000 are still in servitude in country. She also revealed that about 50 are awaiting repatriation as at December 2018.

“The figure keeps increasing with 50 Nigerian Girls being trafficked every day. Some of the victims are abducted from Nigeria, including some that arrived in school uniforms,” she said.

She further revealed that while some Nigerian girls are trafficked mainly to the mining areas in the south and central parts of Mali, substantial number is trafficked to rebel-held areas in the North, where they become radicalised.

“Most of the madams force the victims to sleep with numerous men without using any protection, hence, the high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and other ailments among the victim-community,” Okah-Donli said.

She bemoaned a situation whereby; the victims are treated as salves; and less than second-class citizens by some of the Malians and law enforcement agencies.

In her word, “The Malian authorities collect ‘taxes’ from the victims on a weekly basis, and sell condoms and other medications compulsorily to the victims every month.

“This development is making Malian women grumble that Nigerian women are taking their men, and there are fears of imminent xenophobic attacks.

She revealed that between November and December of 2018, three Nigerian girls were killed. Okah-Donli mentioned that a notorious woman, who has 150 girls under her control, was apprehended with the support of Malian Authorities, and is currently serving a three-year jail term.

Traffickers, she said, “no longer accompany their victims to Mali, but “waybill” them from a particular motor park in Cotonou, Benin Republic for onward transmission to Mali.”

Speaking on the duration of enslavement, Okah-Donli revealed “The victims are usually able to pay up within six to eight months, and then go into business for themselves.”

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