HomeCover StoriesDrama as Oyo food vendor refuses to release Kano maidens, demands transport...

Drama as Oyo food vendor refuses to release Kano maidens, demands transport reimbursement: NAPTIP investigates

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In a troubling case that highlights the harsh economic realities facing many Nigerians, a food vendor in Oyo State has refused to release two young maids from Kano to their parents without reimbursement for transportation costs.

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is investigating the incident involving three girls from Kadage Village in Sumaila Local Government Area, who were lured to Ibadan with promises of well-paying jobs.

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Upon arriving in Ibadan, the girls discovered they would be working as food vendors for just N10,000 monthly, significantly less than the promised N35,000 to N40,000 for househelp positions. The girls’ grandmother and another woman who traveled with them were rejected due to age and other factors.

Desperate to return home, the grandmother and her family were told by the vendor, Hajia Salamatu, that the girls would not be released unless the family reimbursed the N75,000 spent on transportation.

“Upon reaching there, she rejected us and told us that we were not fit for the kind of job she has. That was how we began to question her motive with the young girls and we immediately asked her to release them to me because we are all going home but she refused, insisting that we have to refund all the money she spent to transport us to the South,” said the distressed grandmother.

Forced to beg for food, the grandmother and her companions were eventually helped by members of the Hausa community to return to Kano. They reported that the teenage girls faced harassment while selling food in Oyo.

The food vendor, Hajia Salamatu, maintained her position, stating, “Our terms are simple, they either pay the money or work for the amount before we release them and I think that’s fair on both sides.”

Her husband, Malam Yakubu, confirmed the girls work long hours, selling food from morning until 9 PM.

NAPTIP spokesperson confirmed the receipt of the complaint and stated that their Oyo State office would investigate further.

Following the airing of the report, Hajia Salamatu called to confirm that the girls were on their way back to Kano. When asked if the money had been paid, she responded, “God is my witness.”

The girls’ family confirmed they did not pay any money before the girls were put on a bus to Kano.

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