Its the Solomon era of famine in a camp where mothers are shunning the role of a caregiver in the face of extreme hunger.
Claudia, a 20-year-old woman, has been at the Adagom refugee camp since she arrived in Nigeria on October 2018. She escaped the crisis in Cameroon, pregnant with Gina, alongside 40,000 other refugees to seek asylum in Cross River, Southern Nigeria.
Like many inside the camp, they must do anything to survive. The worst part of this sad tale came three weeks ago when she struck the deal to sell her child for $185 (about N70,000).
TheCable news reports that the buyer, whose name could not be immediately ascertained came to the camp where he met a resident named, Victor, a barber; seeking a child to adopt.
“The boy that bought the baby told the barber to find someone to stay with him. So, the boy agreed to help him get someone,” Ojon said.
“He met the girl and explained things to her. It was when the girl came that they later agreed she will sell the baby to the man. She followed him to a hotel in town where they stayed till the next morning before he settled her and paid her the money.
“I remember when she came to the camp pregnant, she delivered shortly after she arrived here but has been struggling to survive.”
“The barber told her she will take N30,000 while he collects N40,000”
All seemed to have gone perfectly well until Claudia went back to the camp with the money (having been paid), to settle Victor who had linked her with the buyer. However, Victor wanted to take the Lion's share at the ratio of 55:45 which triggered anger from the mother whose baby had been sold.
Elvis Manget, one of the refugees on the security team of the camp, told TheCable the deal was discovered when an argument ensued over the money.
“The barber told her she will take N30,000 while he collects N40,000,” he said, adding that the woman protested.
“She said no, that it is her child; so she will take the N40,000 while the guy takes N30,000. So it was when they were trying to fight that we saw them.
“The police came and they found out the money. Already, the other man had left with the baby. The barber was called and both of them were taken to the police station but he was later released.
“The money was collected from her and kept. They have been calling the guy but he is not picking. We told him there is a job we want him to do but he said he has already gone to Calabar and up till today, the police are looking for him.”
An eyewitness narrated how Claudia and several other refugees had been suffering since arriving at the camp. While many young girls have had to become sex slaves, prostitutes, Claudia's action was no doubt a result of hunger and extreme hardship.
Header Image Credit: theCable