Cynthia had just finished her 200 level exams when she got the news of her father’s demise. She couldn’t believe what she heard from her mother who has called to inform her about the death of her father. Cynthia’s father became sick a year after his retirement from the civil service job he took about 30 years ago. He worked in the ministry of works and power, as a technician for a very long time before sick and was diagnosed with stroke. He has been maintaining his health with drugs from the general hospital as he did not want to leave the job because of his commitment to feeding his family with the proceeds he gets from the job.
Cynthia traveled home to attend her father’s burial and also sympathize with her mother on the loss of her husband. It was at the burial ceremony that she met her uncle (her father’s younger brother) who promised to serve as a father to her in all ramifications. After the burial ceremony, Cynthia went back to school to finish her undergraduate studies which took her another 2 years.
Cynthia’s mother couldn’t hide her joy when she saw her only daughter putting on a corp.’s khaki uniform when she came back from the mandatory NYSC programme. On the other hand, Cynthia was sad to see her mother in bad health condition as she has not been able to totally forget the death of her husband, coupled with the fact that she had been alone all this while when Cynthia was in school . Two weeks after Cynthia came back from service, her mother eventually died due to depression and loneliness she suffered from the death of her husband.
Cynthia was left to her fate, without a father or a mother. She became vulnerable to her uncle’s unknown plan. Her uncle ensured that she went with him to Italy where he is based. He promised to help her get a better life over there, rather than just suffering here in Nigeria. When she got there, her uncle got her exposed to prostitution; drug and he made her do all sort of immoral things with several men. She detests such inhuman act of her uncle and wept almost every day. She made up her mind to leave the prostitution business whichever way it will take. After a year of serious human trafficking she was engaged in by her uncle, she sneaked out of the house one day to see a friend of her parent who she coincidentally saw a week before during one of her outings in the prostitution business. There, she was advised to report the case to the police, which she did with so much fear in her. Her uncle was apprehended by the police and was detained before he was finally deported and handed over to the law enforcement anti-trafficking agency in Nigeria.
After the court trial, Cynthia’s uncle was sentenced to life imprisonment and Cynthia also came back to Nigeria. She was able to secure a job in an NGO through her parent’s friend in Nigeria. The NGO which Cynthia works with engages in anti-trafficking advocacy and human right activism. She narrated her ordeal to the director of the NGO and she was then made the official ambassador of the NGO, since she had gone through what they preach about so she would be in the best position to carry out advocacies against child trafficking in any part of the country. Cynthia took the anti-trafficking advocacy project as her personal project and she was responsible for taking impactful advocacy and sensitization programmes against human trafficking in the country.
Article original written by: Akinjise Daniel Olatunji (Visionary, TAD Initiative)