While the country is still grappling with the horrendous story of Samuel Akpobome, an 18-yeard-old who allegedly killed his mother and had carnal knowledge of her corpse in Ologbo, Edo State, another befuddling news hit the airwaves last week. Ibrahim Umar, a native of Filaya village in Shagom Local Government Area of Gombe State, sold off his 19-year-old son, Adamu Buba, for N15 million. His alibi? He wanted to surmount some financial challenges. According to the police prosecutor, Buba’s mother died some years ago. The suspect himself claimed that he was lured into the deal by a friend, Umar Musa, who told him that selling off one of his children to solve the myriads of financial challenges confronting him was a good idea. Buba was then allegedly sold through Adamu Bitrus, a resident of Kwanar Huguma in Takai Local Government Area of Kano State.
Following the sealing of the terms and conditions of the deal, Umar allegedly took two of his 16 children from Gombe to Kwanar Huguma in Kano State where, he claimed, he was told that Buba would be engaged in farming and get paid every day. He then provided a justification for taking two children instead of one to Kano: “The plan was that the boy would feel comfortable if he is with his brother up till the time the prospective buyers would come and take him away at night.” He added that he regretted his decision, but reiterated that he was misled by a friend. Umar and his two accomplices, Musa and Bitrus, have been remanded in prison by a Kano State Magistrates’ Court. According to the court, the offence contravenes sections 95 and 97 of the Penal Code.
ALSO READ: World Diabetes Day: Genital itching may be the first sign of diabetes — Expert
It is indeed disturbing that from North to South, the Nigerian society appears to be unravelling very quickly. Ordinarily, it would be inconceivable that a father would take the decision to trade off his own son for money. Whatever happened to the filial love, the engine by which every family, nuclear or extended, runs? How can money be assigned a higher value than human life? Almost on a daily basis, horrendous acts are committed by young and old people which suggest that the family as a social unit either has collapsed completely or is on the verge of doing so. The African family, bound by love, is subject to the lores and mores of the community with inbuilt mechanisms for curbing deviance and abberant behaviours, and it is surprising that rather than proffer creative and legitimate solutions to the problems confronting their friend and kinsman, Musa and Bitrus actually aided and abetted Umar in the ruinous path he chose in order to solve his financial difficulties.
Pray, if Umar’s own father had sold him off to solve financial problems, where would he be by now? Or did Umar never for once consider that his own parents must have experienced financial challenges at some point? Besides, what kind of financial problem will selling one’s children solve? In his utter lack of common sense, Umar even failed to consider the possibility that Buba’s buyers would not have minded taking away his brother as a bonus to their illicit bargain. Worse still, there is as yet no evidence that he realises the deep agony into which he has plunged the young men by his utterly despicable action. From all indications, they accompanied him to Kano without the slightest knowledge that one of them was to be sold off. What kind of society does the country aspire to be when children can no longer trust their parents? If a man can sell off his own son, what can he not do to another person’s?
On current evidence, the story is hardly an isolated incident. There is a high probability that some other persons suffered the fate that would have been Buba’s lot had Umar and his accomplices not been arrested by the police. In this regard, we urge the police commands in Gombe and Kano states to conduct a thorough investigation and unravel the brains behind the trade in human persons in the states. Who are those involved in the illicit trade and what is their modus operandi? Are the victims retained by their buyers or resold within the country or outside it? Are they used for money ritual? Do the operators of the illegal business have networks within the security agencies and other organs of the society? We encourage the police to provide answers to these posers. We believe that treating the current case in isolation is not the best course of action to take.
To be sure, Umar and his friends must face the full wrath of the law. This society can only progress when people reap the full benefits of their actions in accordance with the laws of the land.
The post Ibrahim Umar’s sale of son for N15 million appeared first on Tribune.