Thanks to Facebook, a mum of eight in Calabar, Margaret Effiong, has reunited with one of her lost children, Nkoyo, 9, who was reportedly given out as a housemaid to a child trafficker who is now on the run.
Punch reports Nkoyo and another 8-year-old child, Patience Stephen were rescued in Calabar on September 16 by a lawyer and child rights activist with Basic Rights Counsel, Mr. James Ibor, following a tip-off.
The poor children were reportedly found hawking coconut on the streets of Calabar and had bruises on their body, following alleged severe abuse by one Eka Obong, who is on the run.
Ibor was said to have shared the children’s photos on Facebook, where it went viral and someone identified one of them.
He was subsequently able to trace the identified child’s mother, widowed 5 years ago, to Ikot-Effanga community in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the state.
“After the post on Facebook, someone who is the distant relation of one of the kids (Nkoyo) identified her. He had to call our numbers, which were included in the post.
We traced the mother, who is a very poor woman and mother of eight. She admitted that she gave out her kid as housemaid to someone in Calabar.
But we are not going to press for charges against her. All we shall do is to counsel her so that she recovers all her kids. She already has three of the kids back with her.
She felt sober when she saw her daughter and the daughter (Nkoyo) also felt happy when she saw the mother. We are encouraging her that she could raise a happy home even in her poor state.”
Speaking in her local dialect, Margaret admitted as a mother of eight, she had to send most of her children to work for people as housemaids because she had no money to send them to school, adding that she provides food for the three left with her through her small scale farming and petty trading.
Photo credit: Punch