A 12-year-old girl who was tricked by her family and married off to a man as a third wife has been rescued by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP).
A resident of the community, Lucky Udu, used his social media page to draw the attention of the agency to the plight of the underaged girl who he ran into at the state Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Adaka community of Makurdi LGA.
Udu stated that the girl was married off to a 50-year-old man by her family who deceived her that she was leaving home for school in the city of Makurdi.
He wrote on his Facebook page: “I just finished interviewing this 12 years old girl who is married to a 50 years old man (who is a Christian) in Benue state. Her family deceived her and sold her out to the man. The girl thought she was coming here to school but unfortunately, she was brought down to become his 3rd wife. This man is a poor unsatisfied farmer who already has two wives and his children are above 20 years old.
“He beats her every night and forces himself on her but has only succeeded once in sleeping with her. It’s been two months now, she needs help, she is crying and wants to be rescued but unfortunately, I‘m only a stranger here in Benue state and for some days now, I have been trying my best to rescue her through organisations like Naptip Nigeria but they are slow and unenthusiastic in rescuing her. I need more people on social media to be aware of this situation and help this young girl. She is only 12 years old. Pls, share.
“Her address is a green small house behind Primary Health Care, Adaka, Makurdi, in Benue State, Nigeria.
“The community seems to be protecting the man. I have been careful with my movements but I filmed her while he was away. We sneaked her out and returned her thinking we would rescue her that evening or the next day but nobody cares and I’m in a strange land with nothing but a phone and a camera.
“This is my fifth state since the beginning of my tour, lives are being changed, let this be the case for this young girl too. Thank you.”
Reacting to the post, the NAPTIP Commander, Makurdi Zonal Command, Gloria Bai, said the girl has been rescued by the agency.
“Yes; we have rescued her. We got this report from a concerned citizen, and contrary to the (social) media report that NAPTIP was ‘slow and unenthusiastic’, we swiftly went into action to search for the address where the girl was and when we got the address we planned to go first thing in the morning (Wednesday) so that we get both the man and the victim, and by 6am we were there.
“Unfortunately, the rain came in, we were able to rescue the girl, but the man had gone out. We are on it and our officers are already on surveillance to get the man as soon as he is seen.”