Funmi Iyanda Discusses Child Molestation And Sex Slavery On Episode 5 Of Public Eye
“Children are dying. Children are being molested. People need to spend their lives in jail, and you’ll see, this culture will disappear.”- Mr. James Ibor on Public Eye.
On Sunday, November 29, 2020, Funmi Iyanda had a conversation about sex slavery in the Keyi community of Cross River State with The Project Director Vision Spring Initiatives, Mrs. Ngozi Nwosu -Juba, The Principal Council Basic Rights Council Initiative (BRCI), Mr. James Ibor Esq. and the Former Lagos (now Kano) Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Mr Daniel Atokolo.
The show began with a brief documentary which shed light on “Money Wives”. Girls, some younger than 8, some from birth, are betrothed to men old enough to father them as surety for debts. The girls spend their lives as slaves. They are molested and stripped of their rights. If their “husbands” die, they are passed on to the next male in the family.
Overwhelmed with emotion from the documentary, Funmi Iyanda asked, “Why does everyone hate women?” Ms. Ngozi echoed Funmi’s sentiment. “How do you describe where a girl child is hated so much? They are slaves! Calling them money wives is painting a beautiful picture.”
It was revealed that Public Eye has a money wife on standby. Unfortunately, the family of her late “husband”, who has refused to release her even after his death, whisked her away shortly before she could join Public Eye via phone.
The conversation moved on to what the Cross River State government has done to abolish this heinous tradition. “Cross River State has not done enough. After their campaigns, they prosecuted no one to serve as a deterrent. These girls are still suffering. The practice is getting more vicious and dangerous.”, said Mr. James Ibor.
Having spent time in this region, in collaboration with the Cross River State government and other agencies, he was frustrated with the little change effected in the area.
Mr Ibor continued, “Children are dying. Children are being molested. These are felonies, yet not one “Money Husband” has been persecuted. People need to spend their lives in jail, and you’ll see, this culture will disappear.”
As regards what institutions such as NAPTIP can do to solve this problem, Mr Daniel Atokolo had this to say, “ Impunity persists when there are no sanctions. We can not pay off the debts that these girls are suffering because government policies should not perpetrate crime. What we should do is give a counter-narrative to what they believe in and show them examples of people who have come out of this experience and are doing well. They become ambassadors of hope.”
You can watch the full episode here:
Public Eye airs every Sunday at 5 pm on TVC News. You can catch them on any of these television channels: DSTV (channel 418), Startimes (channel 307), GOTV (channel 45), or channel 572 on Sky.
Public Eye is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.