Child Trafficking: Rescued boy seeks scholarship, rejects reunion with parents

He was rescued from the cold hands of child labour, in faraway Imo state, where he was sold and resold since 2015, allegedly by a kinsman.
With the harrowing experience fresh in his mind, the 13-year-old Daniel Nweze has turned down reunion arrangement with his relatives.
But what does he want? EGWUAGHA AMARACHUKWU discloses in this report
The 13-year-old boy, Daniel Nweze, from Umuezeoka, Ezza North local government area of Ebonyi state, who was sold at N300,000 and resold N340,000 has appealed to Ebonyi state government to grant him scholarship to complete his education.
Sold into child labour due to father’s death Master Daniel who was sold and resold in Imo state by a kinsman was rescued by Ebonyi state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in collaboration with National Agency for Prohibition and Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) lost his father in 1999.
The demise of his father has brought untold hardship to the family which made his mother to yield to the deceit of one Amaechi Ukwa, a resident of his community in 2015.
Last week, Blueprint reported exclusively how the poor boy was eventually rescued.
Daniel was on Wednesday handed over to his relatives led by his uncle, Ven.Silas Nweze by the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
But the boy rejected going to the village with the relatives, saying he was afraid that he would not be properly taken care of and fears he may drop out of school.
Seeks to be in Ebonyi govt’s custody But he seeks to remain under the custody of the state government even as he solicited for scholarship from the government to continue his education.
His exact words, “my mother took me from Ebonyi to Imo state.
She gave me and my siblings to one woman and since that day, we have not seen her again.
The woman took us to another man and said I am the man’s child.
“One day, he called me Jah Bu Ike and I told him that my name is not that name, that I remain Daniel Nweze.
“I was not going to school before I left for Imo.
It was in Imo state that I started school.
The man was taking good care of me.
He had girl children and I was the only male child.
I didn’t know that I was sold to him.
I am in school and I am in Primary four.
The name of my school is Great Time Nursery and Primary School, located in Oji, Okigwe, Imo state.
Lost mother, two brothers “I want our Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha to help me.
I have lost my mother and my two brothers; they are nowhere to be found.
So, I want the Governor to help me and give me scholarship so that I will not stop going to school.
I took first position in my last exams and I have been taking first position since I started school.
I want scholarship so that I will not drop out of school.
I was schooling in the Great Eminent Nursery and Primary School, Oji Imo state and I was in primary four.
“I will be entering Primary five by September.
I will not like to drop out of school, I want assistance to continue my education.
I am not happy going back to my village with my relatives because I was not going to schooling in the village before they took me to Imo state.
I want government to keep me in their custody and put me in school, I want to continue school.
But if I go back to the village as they are taking me to the village and the scholarship is given to me, I will be happy.
All I want is education”.
Uncle recounts ordeal Daniel’s uncle, Ven.
Silas Nweze recounted his ordeal since the boy and the family were taken away.
“It was on July 2015 that I got a message that Policemen from Imo state came to our family with Daniel.
I rushed to Imo state to find out what happened.
When I went to Imo, I saw Daniel in police custody.
The police told me that a man from a compound close to our house by name Amaechi Ukwa, took Daniel, two brothers and their mother to Imo state and then disposed them.
“The police told me that Daniel was sold to one Solo who bought him N300,000.
The Solo took the boy to one Madam Pepe who sold him with the sum of N340,000.
He made a gain of N40,000.
“I reported the matter to a family law centre in 2016, Rev.
Fr.
Abraham Nwali who is incharge of Welfare and I ran to the state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs.
Rebecca Ogbuewu.
Since then, we have never heard about the mother of Daniel.
“Is only once that we heard from the one who took them to Cotonu and it was in 2015.
One Amaechi Ukwa was the one who took them to Imo state.
It was only once that we heard from Amaechi and when we called, Amaechi told us that he will never step into the community again that he is now residing at Cotonu.
He told us that he will never come to our place again that we should forget about him.
He told the family that they should send his wife and the only child he has back to the woman’s family.
“I reported the matter to our traditional ruler and family law centre in Abakaliki.
Our traditional ruler and the entire community are aware of this matter.
Daniel, the two siblings and mother were taken away from the village on 15th June, 2015.
Then on July, the information came to me and I took up the matter and reporter to the traditional ruler and the entire community”, he said.
Handing over Daniel to the relatives, Special Assistant to Ebonyi state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Steve Ali, said the Ministry will from time to time monitor Daniel to ensure he was properly taken care of.
Ali who represented the Commissioner, Mrs.
Rebecca Ogbuewu, during the handover said efforts were on top gear to rescue Daniel’s mother and his siblings.

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