Migration — most times — illegal migration from Nigeria to ‘promised lands with gold’ has been a subject of debate for too long and it seems we are only going round circles, discussing and fighting against the same thing with more or less no result.
Out of this debate comes child trafficking, human trafficking, forced prostitution, and all that relates to it. Sometimes, you wonder if we have a Ministry of Internal Affairs or a Ministry of External Affairs.
American news-based channel, CNN, published a story detailing how a park in Paris, Bois de Vincennes, has turned into a mini-nest for human traffickers – A “cross-continental trafficking network that has channelled tens of thousands of Nigerian women and children throughout Europe…,” the report states. That number is quite scary.
The report starts with Nadège (real names withheld for security reasons) who managed to escape and does not “have hope for myself,” as her “past already destroyed my future.”
“No matter what I am tomorrow, I’m still going to be useless. Because I can’t proudly say my story. I can’t proudly tell the world who I am.”
Just like other reports of “madams” and the promised road to freedom – paying off a huge debt – Nadège was trafficked from Nigeria to France and forced into sexual slavery.
Nadège was promised to lead a better life when she got to Paris as she had been left to fend for herself after falling victim to rapists at a tender age and the death of her aunt. She was an easy prey.
“I was told it was like a paradise,” Nadège says. “But getting here, it was like from frying pan to fire.”
This is just a typical instance of the so many Nigerian women who are ‘taken’ and forced into sexual slavery; made to swear an oath that they will pay their ‘acquired debts’ before they are given the freedom to enjoy the ‘promised gold’.
“Some are free, but the prostitution has eaten deep into them,” Nadège says.
The issues of sexual exploitation have been discussed widely and, it is rather disheartening that Nigeria, the so-called Giant of Africa, is oblivious of this weighty issue.