From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Commissioner of Police Kogi state, Ayuba Edeh Ekpeji
The Association for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, NGOs in Nigeria (AONN) have condemned the use of teenage girls for prostitution and sex slavery in Kogi State.
The association in statement signed by the Kogi State coordinator, Abaniwo Nathaniel on Wednesday while reacting to a recent investigation reportedly conducted by Wadata Media and Advocacy Center, Abuja, called on the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ayuba Edeh Ekpeji to investigate the allegation and ensure that all culpable were made to face the full wrath of the law
The statement read in parts, “The Association for Orphans and Vulnerable Children NGOs in Nigeria (AONN), Kogi State Chapter attention was drawn to the recent investigation reportedly conducted by Wadata Media and Advocacy Center, Abuja, which revealed how some girls are being trafficked for prostitution, from Northern States such as Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Niger, Sokoto and Bauchi to neighbouring countries like Chad and Niger Republic, en route Kasuwan-Ruwa, a Suburb of Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
“The investigation further revealed that during the day in Kasuwan-Ruwa, traders converge to sell yam, but at night sell their bodies.
“While the man alleged to be behind the trafficking of the girls, was identified as Small Lusher (not real name) is said to gets the lion share from the trafficked prostitutes.
“Further findings also revealed that the girls are convinced to relocate to Lokoja, with the hopes that they will get jobs as promised by their master (Small Lusher) but later end up becoming prostitutes and sex slaves.
“The report also revealed how residents of the community points fingers at some security agencies for aiding and abating the illegal trade, which exposes the girls to insecurity, psychological trauma, diseases, with some of the girls getting pregnant on regular basis and giving birth, while others abort the babies.
“The report indicated how the suspect has open another branch at Saban Zango, less than one kilometre to Kabba Junction, within Okene-Lokoja-Abuja High Way.
“AONN Kogi commends the wisdom and painstaking effort of Wadata media and advocacy center conducting the investigation and making known the outcome of their findings to the general public.
“Part 3 section 30, subsection (2) of the Kogi State Child Right, 2009. A child shall not not be used for;
(a) the purpose of begging for alms, guiding beggars, prostitution, domestic or sexual labour or for any unlawful or immoral purpose or
(b) as a slave or for practice similar to slavery such as scale or trafficking or the child debt bondage or serfdom and forced or compulsory labour.
(d) for any purpose that deprives the child of the opportunity to attend and remain in school as provided for under the compulsory, free universal basic education law.
“To this end AONN Kogi condemn in its entirety this heinous crime against humanity as it involves vulnerable girl child.
“While AONN commends the prompt response of the Kogi State government through the Hon. Commissioner of women affairs and social development Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba who vowed to clamp down on cartels behind use of the under-aged girls for prostitution and sex slavery with promise to bring all the perpetuators of the crime to book.
” AONN Kogi in line with her mandate will give the Honourable Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development all the technical supports required to ensure all the cartels involved in this heinous act is brought to justice.
“We call on the Commissioner of Police to as a matter of urgent priority commence investigation on this allegation and ensure all culpable is made to face the full wrought of the law. I.e No sacred cow should be speared.
“Taking into cognisance the psychological trauma the victims might have been subjected to, we recommend that the Honourable Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development to direct the Directors of child Development and Social Welfare to ensure a the girl