Exposed:Nigerian ‘Baby Factories’ In Child Harvesting Raid

Many families are in tears and agonies because of inability to have their own babies while others are daily selling off theirs for money. What had brought this level of moral decay in our society today?

Baby factory or baby farm is a location where girls are deliberately encouraged or forced to become pregnant and give up their newborns for sale. Some poverty-stricken women have stated they voluntarily worked at baby factories, motivated by the prospect of monetary gain. The children are sold for adoption, will work in plantations, mines and factories, will carry out domestic work or are sold into prostitution. Less commonly they are tortured or sacrificed in black magic, witchcraft rituals- Wikipeadia

Two years ago,this news was published by News 24:
“Lagos – Police in southern Nigeria have raided a purported orphanage where they found 17 pregnant girls, arresting the owner on suspicion of planning to sell their babies, a spokesperson said on Saturday.

The owner and a young man “suspected of having been hired to impregnate the girls” were arrested, police spokesperson Emeka Chukwuemeka told AFP.

“We are suspecting that young girls are deliberately encouraged to become pregnant so once they give birth to the child, the child will be sold to interested persons, maybe childless couples,” he said.

Police acted on a report of “suspicious activity” at the institution in Ihiala, in the southern state of Anambra, that claimed to be an orphanage, Chukwuemeka said.

The police were trying on Saturday to contact the girls’ parents.

“We’re making arrangements to reunite the girls with their families; we believe they have parents,” he said.

It was not the first time Nigerian authorities have dismantled a so-called baby factory.

In May, police in the state of Abia, also in the south, freed 32 pregnant girls thought to be forced bear children destined for sale.

Some of the girls said they were promised between $150 to $180, while the children were sold for between 300 000 and a million nairas, according to the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP).

Human trafficking is widespread in West Africa, where children are bought from their families to work in plantations, mines and factories or as domestic help.

Others are sold into prostitution, and less commonly they are tortured or sacrificed in black magic rituals.

Human trafficking is the third most common crime in Nigeria after economic fraud and drug trafficking, according to the UN cultural agency Unesco- News 24: 2011.10.16″

And today more cases and instances of baby factories springing up all over the nation still abounds.

The case of the proprietor of Nigeria’s Moonlight Maternity Clinic Dr. Ben Akpudache,a stout 74-year-old man who was not interested in discussing allegations that he sells newborn babies, with boys fetching higher prices than the girls confirms that.

“Doctor” Akpudache, whose medical credentials are under question, had his clinic raided in July after a three-month sting operation in which the security forces discovered a so-called baby factory.

“We had our people posing as if they wanted to buy a child,” Nigeria’s Civil Defence Corps (NCDC) spokesman Denny Iwuckukwu told AFP.

Police had separately stormed his home in May, where they discovered that babies were also for sale.

The “factories” are usually small facilities parading as private medical clinics that house pregnant women and offer their children for sale. In some cases, young women have allegedly been held against their will and raped, with their newborns sold on the black market.

But security services say the majority of cases, including that of the Moonlight clinic, have seen unmarried women with unplanned pregnancies arrive voluntarily or through persuasion.

Their newborns are then sold for several thousand dollars, with boys fetching higher prices. The mother receives roughly $200 (150 euros).

Typical was Ebere Onwuchekwa, 29, who became emotional when asked about the sale of her son Prosper.

Speaking at the office of a child rights NGO, she said the father demanded she get an abortion, illegal in Nigeria, and she refused. Her mother ultimately brought in a “midwife”, who delivered the baby then sold him for $1500.

“She took him away… He was a day old,” said Onwuchekwa.

After learning what happened, her uncles tracked Prosper down and got him back. The 18-month-old sat quietly on his mother’s lap as she spoke.

When asked about the woman who sold her son, a resentful Onwuchekwa said “she doesn’t want me to say anything about what happened”.

As for Akpudache, he is out on bail and his facility, which he insisted in a brief, tense encounter was a “registered maternity clinic”, remains opens.

Authorities said it was not been shut down because they were waiting for the courts to take action, though the NCDC spokesman insisted Akpudache would face justice.

“Human beings should not be sold like animals,” said Iwuckukwu.

When police stormed Akpudache’s expansive, three-storey home in Ogui Eke village, roughly an hour outside Enugu, they found six pregnant young women.

In a video provided to AFP by the Enugu police, one of the women said she wanted to continue studying, not struggle as a single mother. Akpudache’s offer to host her through the pregnancy then sell the newborn seemed a solution.

In the same video, Akpudache said he was just trying to “help people in need”.

Despite a 2003 law against human trafficking, including selling children, it is Nigeria’s third most common crime behind fraud and drug trafficking, the United Nations has said. The European Union has cited Nigeria as the African country where the scourge is most common.

The maximum sentence is life in prison but sentencing remains at the judges’ discretion and offenders can get away with just a fine.

Baby trafficking, in particular, has intensified in the southeast, which is populated mainly by the Igbo ethnic group. The NCDC has several ongoing undercover operations targeting suspected baby trafficking rings in Enugu, underscoring the severity of the problem in this region.

The reasons given for why this “baby” market has developed here vary widely.

Some fear newborns are being sold to witchdoctors for rituals in a country where occult practices still occur. Some say fraudsters in the region had simply found another reliable way to earn cash.

But the security forces and activists said the majority of buyers are likely married couples struggling to conceive.

Official adoption, managed by state governments in Nigeria, is excessively bureaucratic and involves a public record, a problem in a society where stigmas about adoption persist.

More gory tales of illegal child adoption and baby factories abounds ! What do we do to curb this menace eating up our society?

Source:Huffpost

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