The Nigerian king who cursed the sex traffickers

Edo State is Nigeria’s capital of human trafficking, and local authorities are seemingly powerless to protect vulnerable women and girls. Enter His Royal Majesty Oba Ewuare II, the ruler of the ancient Kingdom of Benin, who – like the traffickers – plays by a different set of rules.

Benin City, the state capital, is a global hub for the trafficking of women. Up to 10 000 are trafficked from Nigeria every year, usually to Europe, and nine out of 10 of these women are from Edo.

They are sent along the migrant trail — a dangerous route that has claimed the lives of thousands of migrants — usually along the Benin-Auchi road to Kano or Sokoto states in northern Nigeria, crossing over into Agadez in neighbouring Niger and on to Libya. From there, migrants take a rickety boat across the Mediterranean.

In March last year, in front of all his chiefs and the priests of Edo’s indigenous religions, he [His Royal Majesty Omo N’ Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo — better known as Oba Ewuare II] pronounced a royal curse on the heads of human traffickers and their support networks. “Whoever does it from today will face the wrath of our ancestors,” he said — and Edo State listened.

read more here @ Mail & Guardian


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