It is not only our children that prefer to rot to death in an inhospitable unknown foreign deserted lands than the humiliating torture of Nigerian hunger, many armed robbers said they would rather die quickly of gun shots than die slowly of hunger.
Children destined into slavery but rescued by our police would rather proceed in servitude than starve to death in the hands of our authority. If we could feed our children in the first place, why would they be sold into slavery?
We believe if these children were rescued from slavery, that if Action Aid statistic of one out of every three children is hungry in our land, we would not continue to waste billions of naira in Abuja and State capitals. We must have been made of a type of flesh different from that of our fellow Africans. As Moses led biblical Israelis out of Egypt, few wonder why they left a place they had enough to eat and drink to starve to death in the desert.
So are those who enjoy the comfort of British rule, wondering if Independence was a prank. The only change was the skin of the masters and their brazen audacity to exploit us to the bone because they are one of us. They continuously transfer loots to their colonial banks.
Some of us forget we were children at some point in our life, if not, we still find it rather odd that children rescued on their way to slavery would go on hunger strike and become hostile to protest the treatment meted out to them by police when questioned by National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons.
I had confronted myself sometimes asking how I treat the weak, the poor and the children. In some heated discussions, we have confronted one another asking the same question. It seems that the devil that takes over always wait for an opportune time to reveal itself. In that case we should hold on to certain principles and wish for that time not to materialize.
These children were convinced that their parents loved them but could not care for them and if they had a choice, would not sell them into slavery. They have enough sense to blame poverty in the land that has plenty mismanaged resources. Indeed, some of them may dream of the day they can liberate themselves and come back to take care of the same families that sold them into slavery.
Unfortunately many of them never made it back home. They are so abused, many end up too ashamed to go back home, some killed and others just lost into oblivion.
While catering and providing for these children on the brink of slavery, the anti-slavery agencies should prevail on the Government to provide for others on their way to the same foreign destination if nothing changed. Politicians are known for shedding crocodile tears to save the children when everyone is looking.
The activists amongst us have to be very vigilant and keep the pressure on them in their campaigns and demonstrations, in writing, concerts, and even civil disobedience against hunger as Action Aid did in Abuja.
We must also take the moment to cherish those children who are lucky enough to come to parents who can provide for them. It is not their choice or the choice of poor children. Our children complain too much and hardly thank their parents enough for Allah mercies. They want everything and compete with one another while the parent labors hard just to provide a better future than their own. These lucky children want those sneakers that are more expensive than their parents few shoes, while others like them go barefooted.
These children are used for a variety of luscious trade unbecoming of people with any sense of decency. In the sex trade, minors are used all over the world. As the stories go, it used to be rich men that could afford to go to places where these children are or could afford to bring them home as slave. However, because of poverty, hunger, war in Iraq and Darfur people of moderate means can now afford the previous luxury of the rich. Our Country without war gradually joined these impoverished class in spite of petrol dollars.
A report pointed to a lucrative business in Lagos where children were employed by some unscrupulous men to beg on the streets. They were dropped to certain locations in the morning and picked up at night when they would deliver the money collected. It sounded strange to many of us but also true. The only reason it worked was because these kids are brought from strange places and taken to unfamiliar areas where they cannot negotiate their ways. As they get used to the areas, locations are changed.
Human trafficking in any guise is repulsive. There were highly esteemed ladies of our Society that were busted for operating orphanage houses in many cities only to find out they were actually recruiting centers for babies trade. They exploit both poor parents who cannot afford to take care of their children and married women looking desperately for children to adopt. One would think that in Africa where your children are our children, where the children of brothers and sisters locate easily within families and where it takes a village to raise a child, adoption would be more civilized.
Humans had traded in slaves for centuries and children were born into slavery but trading children in these days and age goes beyond greed, it establish a mind full of mischief. We as Nigerians are known to be very smart and we need to direct our intelligence to certain enterprises that will lift us out of desperation for money. We all yearn for the days when anywhere in the whole world, it was a pride to be a teacher. Some of us are lucky enough to meet that period in Nigeria.
Those who have sold their conscience to the devil to the point of sacrificing children for their desire cannot find themselves at ease no matter how they try, pretend or create their own little world of no law no sin. Those who sell others children also sell their own and the future of their next generation.
Money by any means necessary or possible leads to regrets, at the end of the day, we wonder about the benefit of the money we cannot spend freely, we are disdained for, we spend our time in hospitals instead of jail for and wish we had the peace of mind we had before money came. Usually the amount of time enjoying the fruit of ignominious trade is so short compare to the rest of our life.
The warning is always there either from the juju shrine or the altar that when that money comes, time is going to be short. But then, what do I know? I may just be jealous because I do not have any!