(Episode 18) Chasing Shadows…Travails of a Sojourner on the Smiling Coast!

The head of the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons, Mr Dawda organised a lecture in creating awareness to the masses on how to combat the bane ravaging the country- Human Trafficking. He addressed a cross-section of NGOs and intelligence officers in the country.

Mr Dawda: “Good day ladies and gentlemen. I greet you all this very moment. I believe we all know the reason we are here, so, there is no need beating about the bush. Sequel to the meeting our team had with the US Department of State on the issue of human trafficking, a panel of intelligences have been set up to fight the battle to finish. We can’s fold our arms and say we are not or less concerned because our own children are not affected or victimised. We know one of the ways the country generates its revenue is through tourism, so we have a lot of tourists in the country. These tourists in conjunction with some in-house traffickers subject our women, young girls even boys to sex trafficking. So, we are in one way or the other affected either by directly or indirectly. If we fail to tackle the issue now, it will be a huge slap on the face of this country. We can’t fold our arms and let these foreigners rob us of our future. We need to come together and act in accordance to combat the issue. Like I said earlier, anyone suspected to be involved in this should please be reported to the right authorities, and we promise to carry out thorough investigation before anyone is arrested to avoid punishing the wrong persons. So, I would like to pause now, if anyone has question or contributions to make, please feel free to ask.

A lady among the NGOs personnel, raised a finger indicating to ask a question.

Mr Dawda: “Yes, young lady, ask your question”

Lady: “Thanks. I am Tilewa Gomez representing the Sacred NGO. My organisation really commented the good job you and your team are doing.  I would like to contribute to what you have just said. My NGO is really working hard to save these vulnerable kids from the hands of these traffickers, but the major challenge we encounter is grants from well-meaning people in the society. If only we can get more supporters, it will go a long way in jointly fighting the good fight Sir”

Mr Dawda: “That is lovely. The UNICEF with USAID is providing grants to support all these social issues, so we shall share how you can benefit from them. Moreover, let us join hands together to fight this as it will in one way or the other affects us. My team is really working hard to ensure that anyone caught in sex trafficking irrespective of their race or nationality will be made to face the penalties if found guilty of the offence in the court of law. I rest my case for now.

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Mama Tope a member of the same church with Matilda’s mother came to pay her a visit in her house and to invite her for a revival programme in another church she attended.

Matilda’s mother: “good evening Mama Tope. How family?

Mama Tope: “We thank God o, my sister.

Matilda’s mother: “hope there is no problem?” she asked as she sensed the woman must have come with one issue or the other- either to borrow money or to complain about one issue or the other.

Mama Tope: “nothing o mama Matilda. I just say make I come invite you for a church programme

Matilda’s mother: “You don change church or when dem announce revival for church wey I no hear am? She asked her looking puzzled.

Mama Tope: “No o. this one na one church wey dey Aboru side after Iyana-Ipaja. The name na Fountain of Deliverance Ministry. The pastor dey pray well well. You know sey as person dey so and how things be, one suppose to dey pray well well because of all these katakata wey person dey see everyday. Look at you now, your husband people collect the property wey you suppose dey enjoy come leave you with children make you dey care for them without help from nobody. You no know sey no be ordinary eye?” she said, opening her closing her eyes with her lashes going up and down as if a fly entered it.

Matilda’s mother: “Hmmmm, I no know sey you dey see me so. With all the suffer wey I suffer with my husband, na how e family fit reward me be this because death snatch am from us early” She said, sobbing as she wiped her tears with the hem of her wrapper.

Mama Tope: “See you no need to cry at all. This is the time to fight your own battle and especially for your children. The revival na three day, dem dey start next tomorrow, Wednesday till Friday. Make we go nail all the devils wey dey torment our lives sey we no go enjoy wetin we labour for. We go fight am with the sword of God, and na fire for fire prayer be that” She said as she stood up lifting one leg up and tying and loosening her wrapper, sweeping the ground with the hem of the wrapper.

Matilda’s mother: “Okay expect me there. You go come call me for house or make I come una house?” she asked the hyper-active mother of four whose case was synonymous to Matilda’s mother.

Mama Tope: “No worry yourself. I go come call you for house.

====

Mariama looked restless as she paced her large living room, wondering and thinking how to go about her ways.

Mariama: “Come on bitch, pick call your call” She yelled at the phone speaking through clenched teeth, referring to Wendy, who had refused to pick her call. “Oh no, this moron is trying my patience” She held her head stamping on the floor as she yanked her phone to the floor of the room.
Wendy entered the room as the phone shattered on the floor.

Wendy: “Mariama, what is wrong with you?” she moved to her holding her shoulder as she sat down and buried her face in her palms.

Mariama: “What the hell is not wrong with me? Are you dumb? Can’t you see we are on the watch? We are being hunted should you not know. As you know, I have some informers feeding me with information on the strategies the NAAPTIP is using to hunt us. Now, I want to tell you, mind where you go, your conversations on phone. Every movement we make as I speak is being monitor, therefore be on the watch out. So, be careful” she warned.

Wendy: “Hmmm, this is becoming serious” she said shaking her head sideways.

Mariama: “The major issue I have right now is how to get rid of the girl with me. I need to start processing my papers, I don’t have much time to spend here. And you, you are lucky” she said, facing Wendy

Wendy: “How am I lucky? You are talking as if we are not in this together.

Mariama: “You can always go back to Nigeria you know to start afresh”

Wendy: “Just like that?” She gesticulated.

Mariama: “Of course. How again?

Wendy: “And you are talking as if you don’t know Gambia and Nigeria are sister countries, they work hand in hand, especially in this serious case like this.

Mariama: “I think I have said a piece of my mind, it is left for you to decide what action to take. Just find your way out of here before to gets too late.

===

The NAAPTIP team were discussing with their head, Mr Dawda, giving account of their investigation so far.

Mr Dawda: “Okay guys, what is the latest so far about your ongoing investigations?

Mr Henry: “We are having a headway sir. Some of our intelligence officers are working undercover. So, we are being fed on daily basis about the traffickers. Though there are many factions of the group, but there is a lady called Mariama Senghor, a divorced mother of two British citizens, who is like the backbone of the traffickers. She has some other girls working for her. And from our investigation, the lady found dead in her apartment some months ago was also working for her.

Mr Dawda: “Good, so what are you people still waiting for if you have enough evidences, why not act accordingly?

Mr Henry: “We are taking our time to investigate her and some other suspects. So, we have some persons working as spies for us so we can have concrete evidences to use against them.

Question: “There is sure no peace for the wicked, Mariama and her cohorts are sure in for their lots. Who are the spies the intelligence officer is taking about?

SEE Episode 19 Below…(You Don’t Wanna Miss This!)… Adelove Stories… Premier Naija Inspirational Blog!

See Episode 1

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See Episode 4

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See Episode 12

See Episode 13

See Episode 14

See Episode 15

See Episode 16

See Episode 17

See Episode 18

See Episode 19

See Episode 20

See Episode 21

See Episode 22

See Episode 23

See Final Episode 24

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