It almost happened to me!

IT ALMOST HAPPENED TO ME. (Because, it almost happened to my brother.)

Some days ago, a friend sent a message on Whatsapp with a painful video of a pretty girl (who could have been any of my sisters). The hapless, helpless young pretty lady was in the hands of inhuman male tormentors. In that video, the girl was been bludgeoned and battered in a torture chamber that would most likely lead to her been slaughtered like a chicken (the murder scene was not shown). Her male tormentors were evidently not Nigerians (their curly wavy hairs). Even up till now, my shredded heart is still searing and bleeding from what I saw in that video. So, I can easily understand the offense taken by those who couldn’t bear the painful grizzly sight. For this, I profusely apologized to almost no end. (I had posted the video on our professional social sharing page. My goal was to warn & may be, shock and provoke someone into taking action along the chain. Unfortunately, the chain reaction never took off. Call it a case of talk no evil, see no evil and do no evil. I was afraid, my silence will mean that these maleficent vices will expand and extend their destructive reach if I had kept quiet by failing to share. So, I hit the send/share button.

I was hoping that somebody will be so thoroughly shocked to the bones, annoyed and be so provoked to want to stop this inhuman act bestiality bestiality. May be, that was too tall an order. Some folks will even say, “Hey c’mmon, what of all the other more deadly, heinous crimes and man’s inhumanity to man yet to be expelled from our land?”). Welcome to the Age of Insensitivity. This is the age in which some people, instead of helping victims of mishap and victims of man’s heart of darkness, they will rather prefer to use their mobile phones to capture videos/pictures of such painful incidents for posting as updates to their Facebook pages.

My second goal was; so that our people, those who have ears to hear, will learn from the misfortune of those that fell into such human-trafficking leading to death or at best hell-on-earth.

Well, a friend of mine almost fell in for this ruse this morning. In fact, God’s hand was in his deliverance because instead of his making his journey to Owerri where he was to meet the unknown agent, he went by mistake to join Agofure Transport from Oil Mill, headed for Warri. Folks, remember that the dissimilarity in the sounds of Warri and Owerri can easily be missed if one is tensed up, unfocused and distracted.) Eventually, he discovered his error & called off the trip after getting to Uniport/Choba. That was last week.

Today, he was to resume the trip to Owerri to meet the said agent. I had thought that he was going there on assignment. When the details of the trip (which were not initially fully made known to him came out), everything was playing out to be similar to that of the unfortunate girl in the aforementioned video.

The irony of it all was that this trip and this “connection” was initiated for my friend by his equally unsuspecting trusting and loving elder brother. In answer to my probing, he told me that this brother of his, located in another city (here in Nigeria) has never met or had dealings with the said agent. I talked at length and advised my friend with good reasons and explanations. He eventually called-off the trip. Following, my talk with him, he discussed with the said agent who by way of assurance immediately sent him a slew of several visa images he (the agent) has procured for other clients of his. Visas to countries like, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahamas, Turkey, Serbia, India etc. All these visas are in all likelihood fakes.

Mind you, it is not that our people cannot go to live and work in some or all of these countries. But there is a dark, harrowing, hell-on-earth, underworld awaiting our gullible brothers and sisters – those who failed to heed warnings but prefer to use “short-cuts” for entrance to those “paradise on earth” earthly countries of their dreams through “419” agents.

So, don’t say it cannot happen to me. (But, what if it happens to your loved ones, friends, neighbors and other fellow Nigerians or anyone for that matter?)

Some of our people who fall for these traps (set by human traffickers) are often times desperate youth who hazard their lives for these “foreign trips” due to our despairing times and distressed economy. Also, a lot of them are “half-educated” with or without O/L results or any worthwhile working-experience that can earn them means of livelihood at home or abroad. Some of them are graduates and “uneducated” graduates who cannot read between the lines or make sense out of anything in print.

Of course, there are opportunities offshore (far/near), but then, things are not easy anywhere. Why should any person ever think of getting visa(s) to “escape” to countries where we Africans are treated as animals? It hurts me as well to have to put it this way. But, it really beats my imagination.

Our youth need to remember that all that glitters is not necessarily gold and that the grass is not always greener on the other side of your fence. Even if the grass is greener in those other countries that some of our unwary youth are recklessly scurrying and aspiring to flood into (by hook or by crook) the greenery came at a cost to their governments and people. Our youth need to realize that those foreign countries are not going to offer those greener grass “goodies” and opportunities to them on platters of fake employment visas procured from unscrupulous “foreign employment” syndicates. These fake visas are procured by unsuspecting victims at huge costs. Of course any person who exhaust himself to procure a fake visa would have purchased his way into imprisonment, hardship and a living-hell in foreign countries even if they are lucky to escape with their skins.

This is a long piece and I have desisted from mentioning names to preserve anonymity. (Those who knew me will tell you that what I’m saying here is not fiction). So, don’t say, “It can never happen to me.” It almost did happened to me because it almost happened to my brother.