Saturday, January 4, 2014

2,500 Pregnant Teenagers Rescued From ‘Baby Factories’ In South-East In 2012 – Report


teenagers-620x330In what could only be a testament to the thriving industry now known as ‘baby factories’, an investigation by Campaign for Democracy (CD) has revealed that no fewer than 2500 teenagers have been rescued from such ‘factories’ across the South-East states in the last one year. The investigations also revealed that the victims, who were mostly pregnant minors, were freed by the Police and other security agencies from the various illegal orphanages where they were detained.
According to a statement released by the group and signed by its Chairman in the South-East, Uzor A. Uzor, most of the teenage pregnant mothers lured 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 period under review, Abia and Imo states topped the list with 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 region 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 tasked the South-East governors on the need 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.
It would be recalled that the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Musa Katsina, had during a media chat in Owerri, the state capital, lamented the rising cases of discovery of ‘baby factory’ in the South-East but vowed that the police would not relent in its effort to stem the ugly tide.
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”.