Chapter 29. Africa.
Ngozi and one other girl left Benin City on November 2009. But before leaving Nigeria, they were taken to a forest where an oath was prepared for them. According to her, they were taken to a river somewhere in the forest between Edo and Ondo State where they where made to believe that a Marmaid resided. They had spent over two weeks in the forest where they were made to deposit their underwear pants which they wore during their menstrual period. Some of hairs from their private parts were also taken and dropped inside the fast flowing river. At that stage in the forest, she didn’t know what she was doing anymore.
They were taken from the forest with a private car and were driven to a house somewhere in Lagos. Some new cloths were given to them. They were some other girls in the Lagos apartment too. They were all taken to to Cotonou through road and eventually ended up in Burkina Faso where they spent some months before going to Libya.
In Libya, they were attached to a brothel where they were made to sleep with numerous men; at times, they slept with more than five men in one day. She didn’t know where she was and where to run to. The news in town then was that people who ran away died in the deserts while trying to return to Nigeria.
It was in Libya that she met Aunty Maria for the first time. She had been so good to them that she believed things where going to get better.
A month after meeting Aunty Maria, they were presented with international passports and were told that they were finally going to Italy where life would be much better for them.
They had boarded a plane in Tripoli and came to Italy a few days before my arrival.
After her story, i asked if she would like to stay or leave Italy.
”Brother i am scared. I don’t know where i am. I have not spoken to my father for months. I have talked with my mother once while i was in Libya but she told me not to come back. I don’t know what to do” she said.
”I wanted to go to University of Benin and study theater arts. I wanted to run away while we were in Libya but i didn’t know any place. The men who were the security at the brothel in Libya would come to our room and rape us some nights. They would come with knives and tell us that if we shout or resist, they will kill us. We slept on the mats and ate only once a day sometimes. Brother i am very scared. I wanted to run away from here but i am very scared. They took some hairs and my blood-stained underpants and threw it into the river in the forest. They said that Olokun will strike me if i run. I have heard of people who were killed by Olokun for trying to run away” Ngozi was saying, she was crying.
”I want you to first of all, stop crying” i had said.
I had a feeling that Fatimah was listening to us from inside the room and since she had been acting stubborn, she could be an earpiece to Maria. Not that i was afraid of Maria but i was a visitor in Napoli. Maria was my host. It was true that i was usually touched By the cruel acts perpetrated against some young girls by those Italian Mamas, but i was still a visitor. Right inside me, i knew i was going to do something about Ngozi and perhaps Fatimah too. Before any girl could be liberated, she had to believe that she could be liberated.
The prostitution ring and other organised crime syndicates in Napoli were organised. They had ears and eyes all around the city. I recalled that when Jennifer ran away with me in Portugal, Napoli was the first place they called to ask if a new girl had arrived there. I didn’t really know how to handle Ngozi and Fatimah. Moving them away from Napoli and Italy required a lot of money. I don’t have that much money with me and i believed it would be a silly thing to call money from outside Italy for the operation. I needed to think properly before taking any action. I was also tired of running around Europe with girls. They always eventually fell in love with me and tried to tie me down in one place.
The only good idea that came to my mind right there in the sitting room was to move the girls to Marseille. They could take asylum over there and start school. A better option was the United Kingdom but it required money, a lot of money.
On our way to Maria’s apartment, i had come across hundreds of young girls in Castel Volturno. The town was like Lagos; Men and women of the African Origin were seen everywhere. Of course their excuses were very simple; things were very difficult in Africa. There were wars in some countries such as Guinea. Liberia had just stopped their own war. Sierra Leone had just stopped their own war. Sudan had been fighting for over ten years. Congo DR had been killing each other for decades. There was crisis in Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. There was famine in Niger and Chad. The Tuareg rebels were bombing Bamako and other regions in Mali. Gbagbo had refused to relinquish power in Ivory coast and as a result, there was internal crises. Paul Biya had seized power in Cameroun since the early 80s and killed anybody who opposed his government. Omar Bongo had ruled Gabon for over 30 years and had turned the country to warzone. Mummar Ghadaffi had ruled Libya for decades and killed anybody who talked against him. Mubarak and his Tunisian counterpart had been in power since God knows when. It was one sad story after another.
All over the sub Sahara Africa, it was the same story.
”If i ask you to move out of this place with me, would you do that”? I asked Ngozi.
”She is not going anywhere with you. I will tell Aunty Maria all this things you are discussing” the voice said from behind the curtain. It was Fatimah emerging from her room.
”Hello Fatimah, come on here and sit down” i said.
After standing near the door for some moments, Fatimah moved forward and sat down near Ngozi.
”How old are you Fatimah” i asked with a smile on my face.
She said she was 16 years.
”How did you come here”? I asked.
The door opened and Maria walked in.