About 2500 teenagers have been rescued from ‘baby factories’ across the South-East states in the last one year. Investigations conducted by the Campaign for Democracy (CD)revealed that the victims, who were majorly pregnant minors, were freed by the Police and other security agencies from the various illegal orphanages where they were held captive.
According to a statement released by the group and signed by its Chairman in the South-East, Uzor A. Uzor, most of the girls were enticed into the trade with monetary offers by the ‘baby factory’ operators, while others were forced into the infamous trade by poverty and illiteracy.
The CD noted that within the time under review, Abia and Imo states had the highest number of teenagers involved in the infamous trade.
The group attributed the increase in ‘baby factory’ operations in the zone to high rate of youth unemployment and poverty occasioned by the failure of successive governments in the zone to put adequate measures in place to empower the youths by creating meaningful employment.
“The rising cases of baby factory in the South-East is a result of the failure of the state governments in the South-East to create jobs for the teeming youths, especially the helpless girls who are easily lured into the trade.
“There is no other part of the country that has the problem of baby factory; it is a peculiar case with the South-East.
“In Abia and Imo states, about 1,800 pregnant teenagers and babies were rescued from ‘baby factories’ in the last 12 months and the number is still rising,” the CD stated.
It further charged the South-East governors to urgently fight the menace to secure the future of the teeming youths who are currently threatened.
“The governors in the zone should collaborate with security operatives to fish out those behind the trade and rehabilitate the rescued teenagers,” CD charged.
The Imo State Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Musa Katsina, had during a media briefing in Owerri, the state capital, expressed worries that the issue of ‘baby factory’ had taken deep root in the South-East.
According to him, “the rate is alarming in all the states. It had been there until we began the clampdown on the operators and we will continue until we rid the society of this set of people and other criminal elements.”
by: Okodili Ndidi, Owerri