No fewer than four parents in Uvwie and Okpe Local Government Areas of Delta State are now in anguish and despair this yuletide following the alleged trafficking of their female children to Cote D’Ivoire.
One of the victims of the child trafficking syndicate, Peculiar Chika, aged 15, is a Senior Secondary School Class One student of Ugbomro Secondary School, Ugbomro in Uvwie Local Government Area.
NewsNet gathered that Peculiar is among a set of schoolgirls who are of 15 years of age that fell victim to the child trafficking syndicate which operated at Alaka and Orerokpe before disappearing into thin air.
Speaking with NewsNet, Peculiar’s father, Mr Kingsley Chika, said it all started in the month of September 2020, when their daughter began to put up strange behaviours to the extent that sometimes she runs out of the house.
“Suddenly the child started behaving strangely. She ran out of the house to Alaka to stay and when she was brought back, she went there again.
“I was thinking something must have gone wrong and that this is not ordinary. Hence, I took her to the General Hospital at Ekpan but, the doctor who attended to her said she was normal.
“At this point, we took her to church for deliverance and for two days our her behaviours were normal and we were happy. But, suddenly again she ran out of the house to Alaka and the next thing was a call from her in Lagos and later Cote D’Ivoire,” said peculiar’s father.
Narrating further, Mr Chika told NewsNet that the syndicate have been calling his wife’s mobile number from time to time demanding for Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300,000) before they could send her back to Nigeria when the borders are opened in this month of December.
The father of five children resident in Ugbomro community said after several futile efforts to get his daughter back through the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and authorities of Uvwie Local Government, he was left with no other option than to report the matter at the Police Station in Ebrumede covering Ugbomro community.
He said, “When I got to the Ebrumede Police station they said some people took some girls to Cote D’Ivoire; about four girls and even a Yoruba woman was arrested because they used one of the numbers to call her.
“Some of the families were from Orerokpe so they were referred to the Police Station at Orerokpe.”
Mr Chika who said he and his family have been traumatised by the ugly development appealed to relevant authorities in Delta, Nigeria and beyond to assist in getting his daughter back.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, confirmed the arrest of a woman in connection with the alleged trafficking of some girls in Uvwie and Orerokpe.
She explained that some of the reported cases at the Ebrumede Police Station were transferred to Orerokpe Division because of jurisdiction adding that the matter will also be transferred to the State Police Command for further and proper investigation.
Also in a phone chat with NewsNet, the Delta State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Flora Alatan, said the matter has not been reported to her ministry noting that it is only when that is done that the matter can be referred to the agency in charge of child trafficking for necessary action.
“If we are relating directly or the parents can come to the ministry and make a report the matter, the child trafficking agency will pick it up.
“If they have issues like that let them write to the ministry. It is only when complaints are made to us that we can take action.
“Come to the office directly or meet the Child Trafficking Department or the Permanent Secretary to lay your claim and it will be taken off from there. They don’t need any protocol,” Alatan stressed.