From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Human traffickers in Edo State have reportedly devised means to avert the wrath of the curse of the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, which he pronounced on them and those abetting them in the illicit business.
Zonal Commander of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP), Nduka Nwanwenne, who disclosed this, yesterday, said traffickers now take their victims to neighbouring states to take oaths.
He spoke in Benin City, the state capital, at a two-day training programme for journalists on Understanding and Reporting Modern Day Slavery, which was organised by the O-Centre for Journalism Development (OCJD).
He said the traffickers felt that the Oba’s curse would not be effective in other states. According to Nwawenne, the decision to use herbalists in neighbouring states was part of human traffickers’ ways to re-strategise. He alleged that some transport firms are encouraging human trafficking despite attempts to educate them to help save lives.
Last year, the Oba of Benin placed a curse on human traffickers and those aiding and abetting them in the state.
The Benin monarch, who forced native doctors in the state to revoke the curses and oaths placed on trafficked victims, declared that the trafficked victims were now free from their traffickers and whatever oaths they were placed on.
He warned those aiding and abetting human trafficking, through the use of black magic and subjecting them to the oath of secrecies to desist from the act or face the wrath of the gods. The monarch said so long as the traffickers walk on Edoland and eat food cooked with salt and oil, the juju must kill them.