The President of the National Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), Hajia Bilkisu Abdul, has given an insight into how Nigerian women are sold into slavery abroad.
The NATOP head was reacting to recent cases of Nigerian women in Lebanon crying out for rescue after realising they are in servitude. The most recent was the curious case of a Lebanese named, Wael Jerro, wanted to sell his Nigerian domestic worker, one Peace Ufuoma Busari, for $1,000.
He advertised the sale on Facebook.
“Domestic worker from Nigeria for sale with new legal documents. She’s 30 years old; she’s very active and very clean. Price: 1000$,” Jerro had posted.
Giving an insight into how foreign agents from Lebanon and other countries ferry Nigerian girls into servitude overseas, Hajia Bilkisu Abdul, said:
“You know that this is not the first time that this kind of thing is happening. Both in my capacity as NATOP President and NATOP as a body, we have been able to get to the roots of this illegal and inhuman business.
“We tried to trace how these trips are packaged for the girls, how they get their tickets and so on. My personal investigations show that most times, these dubious foreign agents who enslave our girls in places like Lebanon and Dubai (United Arab Emirates) have agents here in Nigeria.
“These agents are not bona fide tour operators. They approach their agents in Nigeria to get them girls for domestic jobs in these countries.
“The agents would sweet talk some naïve, unexposed girls into trips abroad to work and make money.
“Once they get girls who are willing, they will send their names to their foreign partners after collecting money from the girls.
“The agents in those countries are the ones who prepare their visa and pay for their tickets.
“These girls would embark on the trip without knowing what they would be facing until they get there.
“On getting there, their passports would be seized and they would be forced to work under inhuman conditions and treated as slaves.
“These agents are not real tour operators and are not registered with us.
“Nigerians should be very careful about such trips.
“Parents also should be wary of allowing their children to go on such trips. It is very dangerous and could lead to death.”
The WORLDLINKnews reports that Busari was not the first Nigerian to be rescued from servitude in Lebanon.
In March, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons [NAPTIP] rescued two female Nigerian trafficked victims (names withheld) from Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.
NAPTIP Press Officer, Mr. Vincent Adekoye, said the agency arrested a Lebanese for allegedly aiding the trafficking of the victims.
Weeks before Olayide’s rescue, one Omolola Ajayi, a Kwara-based 23-year-old single mother who was trafficked to Lebanon on the pretext of becoming an English teacher, was rescued by the government.