Seven Nigerian girls currently stranded in Abidjan have called on the Nigerian embassy in that country to assist them return to their families.
Speaking at the embassy premises on Monday, the girls said they were brought to Cote d’Ivoire by three persons they identified as Dele, Rose and Cynthia.
They claimed that they were provided accommodation in a brothel in Sikensi, an outskirt of Abidjan, and made to serve as sex workers.
Narrating their ordeal, one of them, Miss Blessing Elohor, 18, from Delta, said they were rescued by leaders of the Nigerian community in Cote d’Ivoire.
“I was showed a picture of a “white man” who, they said, owns a shop in Abidjan; they said I will serve as a waiter in his shop.
“I was surprised when they showed me a room and gave me condoms. They refused us making calls or even having discussions with people,’’ she said.
Tracy Ekuagbe, 17, said she was told that she was being taken to Germany, and was promised a paid job on arrival.
She described her current experience in Cote d’Ivoire as a clear case of slavery and intimidation.
“I started suspecting them when they took us to a motor park. We did not board an aircraft, and I know you do not travel to Europe by road.
“They always had stories to tell us until we got to Abidjan and was taken to a brothel where I ended up staying for three months,’’ she said.
Others stranded Nigerians in Cote D’Ivoire gave their names as Esumei Blessing, Joy Omojevwe, Tessy Obawangi, Esther John and Daivy John.
Mr Collins Chiaha, Secretary-General, Nigerian Community in Cote d’Ivoire told that the community would continue to support relevant authorities to tackle the menace of trafficking Nigerians.
He said that the issue of trafficking in persons was embarrassing to the image of Nigeria.
“I urge government to evolve ways of tightening border security to ensure that under-aged girls are no longer forced out of their homes into foreign lands,’’ he said.