Survivors of Nigeria’s baby factory tell their stories


Below are stories of the girls who have been forced to become reproductive machine in infants factories.

*all names have been changed

Miriam, a 16 years old girl, whose story began with a middle-aged woman approached her when she went out of her tent to fetch water. Miriam called this woman “Aunty Kiki”. The woman offered Miriam to work as a housemaid in Enugu and promised her with monthly income. Miriam accepted with no hesitation.

While preparing for the trip to Enugu, Miriam told her cousin Roda about Aunty Kiki. Roda met the women and asked if there was any jobs for her too. Aunty Kiki said yes so Roda packed her luggage too. They didn’t have time to tell anyone about the trip. They just left everyone behinds and fled together.

The excitement was real. After suffering so much for four years, Miriam and Roda were really happy to start a new life at a new place.

Their first location was Maiduguri, next was Abuja, and at last they reached Enugu after a nine-hour journey. This was a long journey from the north to the south-east part.

Aunty Kiki took them to a compound where she handed two girls over to an older woman called “Mma” and that was where their hell life began.

“The compound filled with young girls, some are pregnant,” said Miriam.

At first, Miriam and Roda thought that their jobs was to clean the compound and do the housework just as what Aunty Kiki suggested. But that was not even close to the horrible truth.

Miriam and Roda was asked to sleep in different rooms. ” We were surprised seeing other girls in the compound sharing rooms.”

Later that same night, a man walked into Miriam’s room, commanded her to take her clothes off, then he held her forcefully, and raped her.

Roda met the same thing, but her rapist was much more brutal. “When I tried to scream, he covered my mouth and slapped me. If he saw tears in my eyes, he slapped me even more.”

On the next day, they were sent back to the shared room. They were only divided in single room when they were asked to “work”. Both Miriam and Roda claimed that they were raped almost everyday by different men.

Only in one month, they were both pregnant. But the rapping never stopped.

“If any man wants you, you cannot say no. It doesn’t matter if you are six weeks or six months pregnant.”

The compound was guarded by men with guns, so it was hopeless and pointless trying to escape. Inside, the number of girls changed occasionally. The old girls gave birth and were sent away, then the new girls were brought in to continue “working”.

They believe that Aunty Kiki and Mma are from the same human trafficking cartel and Mma is the leader.

Miriam and Roda both gave birth to a baby boy and got thrown away after that. Their babies were taken away from them immediately. Three days after labor, they blindfolded Miriam and sent her back to the north. So did Roda. The cousins reunited in Madinatu, where they are now living together in a small mud house. Now, they make a living by cooking and selling groundnut cakes just outside their compound.

In this horrible business, baby boys are more expensive than baby girls, but Miriam and Roda don’t know the exact price of their kids.

According to Abang Robert, Heads of Public Relations of Caprecon Development and Peace Initiative, “some cartels would let the victims go after giving birth because they think the girls would expose them if they stays longer.”

Infants factories are more common in the south-east part of Nigeria. Miriam and Roda are not the first case from the Madinatu camp. There have been many young girls being deceived and trafficked to cities in Nigeria, even to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Libya and Italy. The victims believed they would get jobs with good pay, only to end up being enslaved and exploited as reproductive machines.


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