Narrate their ordeal, how they were enticed into it.
The girls who were approached by a suspected unidentified female trafficker at Ekpoma in Edo state to seek greener pastures as workers in a restaurant in Ivory Coast ended up in Togo to work as prosti-tutes.
The girls were to pay the woman who never told them her real names but was called “Madam Excellent” the sum of 800,000 cefas in their prosti-tution business.
Can you tell us what happened and how you ended up in Togo to prosti-tute?
Franca: It was in Epkoma in Edo state where I met one lady… I was actually going to church when I met her and she approached me and said she was looking for girls that can work in her restaurant in Ivory Coast. So, when I got home I told Ehinon and we arranged to meet her and she told us what the plan was and when we will be leaving Nigeria for Ivory Coast.
And did he take advantage of you girls while you were in his house?
Franca: Not at all, he really took care of us and only God can repay him for his kindness. And when we got to the embassy on Monday, there was still no hope for us until we met Mr. Moses Owaro, President of the All Nigerian Community Ghana, who took us back to the embassy with a letter explaining our situation to them, and still no help was forth coming due to financial constrain, and eventually had to fund our trip back to Nigeria with the help of Chief Christopher Obareki, a member of the board of trustees of ANC-GH with the sum of 800ghc to buy our tickets back to Lagos and also gave us N6,000 for our trip from Lagos to Edo state.
Did your families know you were embarking on such mission?
Ehinon: Hmmmm, we didn’t tell our parents because we wanted to surprise them by going to Ivory Coast to work and come back home with lots of money to help us start our businesses, because we just finished learning fashion and design, so we were hoping when we make money, we can come back to Nigeria and buy sewing machines and open our own place and that was a big mistake on our part. But Mr Moses Owaro spoke with my brother in Nigeria to explain the situation of things. So, currently our families are aware that we are in Ghana and will be returning home soon.
How were you able to cross the boarder without the authorities suspecting any foul play?
Ehinon: Anytime we got to the boarder, we were told to come down from the car and cross over to the other side on foot. And what the woman kept telling the immigration officers and other security personnel was that we were going to the next country to buy goods to sell. They told us not to show any sign of fear or fidget in front of the officers.
So, how did you feel when you realized that you are being tricked into prosti-tution instead of working in a restaurant?
Franca: We felt bad, and we just wanted to leave that place even when we had no place to go, rather than sleeping with different men while she takes all the money.
So, what is your advice for young girls like you who are looking for fast means to get rich?
Ehinon: My advice is that, if anybody approaches them and promises to take them somewhere for greener pastures, they should not go, find out if indeed its legitimate. Please confirm before you travel with any stranger that offers you job in foreign land, please don’t go, especially the girls. I’m appealing to you, because you will end up in prostitution and that was the mistake we made. We need to be patient, though there can be delay in reaching our goals but with God it will surely happen.
Franca: You know it is not everybody that tells their parents their plans, especially when it is this kind of travel. They should please not hide anything from their parents.