The monarch of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has forced the native doctors in Edo State to revoke the curses and oaths placed on victims of human trafficking in the state.
The men and women being trafficked in the state are usually made to swear to oaths and some of their body parts are collected as collateral to make them pay back the money used to sponsor them.
Following the revocation of the curses on Friday, March 9, 2018, Oba Ewuare II declared that trafficked persons are now free from their traffickers and whatever oaths they were placed on.
The monarch also placed a curse on human traffickers and those aiding and abetting human trafficking in Edo state, which is the hub of human traffickers in Nigeria.
The king also cursed the native doctors who subject victims to oath of secrecies and banned the violators of the Community Development Associations and others whose business is to initiate the sons and daughters of the land into various cult groups.
Those who took part in the swearing exercise were priests from various shrines in the state such as the Ohen Okhuae, Ohen Ovia, Ohen noriyekeogba, Ohen Ake, Ohen Niwuo, Native Doctors, Ohen Sango, Odionwere, Iwueki and the Enigies.
The monarch said, “you native doctors whose business are to subject people to the oath of secrecies and encouraging this evil act on the land, you have to repent, stop doing it. This is not a joking matter and if you do not repent, you have to wait for the repercussion.
“The palace is not against those practicing the act of native doctors but those who use it to perpetrate evil in the land through aiding and abetting human trafficking in the state.
“We want to use this medium to tell those who are under any oaths of secrecies that they are now free. We revoke the oath today.
“What the Palace stands for is peace and the development of the state. I want to use this medium to tell you that the act of using charms to aid trafficking, the palace seriously frowns at it.
“We want us to join hands together to fight against human trafficking in the land.”
He added that the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, pleaded with him to help curtail the spate of human trafficking in the state.
According to the United Nations, nine in 10 of the Nigerian women trafficked to Europe come from Edo State, a predominantly Christian state with a population of about 3 million.
Edo capital city, Benin is known to be a hub for human traffickers and young women who travel to Europe for prostitution.
Some embark on the perilous trip knowing they would trade their bodies for money in Europe while others were made to believe they would get a decent job and make enough money to send back home to their poor families.
Either ways, their first assignment is to make money to cover the exorbitant cost of their trip which is usually sponsored by a trafficker.
Before going to Europe, the women must sign a contract with traffickers to finance their move, racking up debts of up to $100,000. They then must seal the pact with a juju ritual – the repayment takes years to cover and there is no escaping it.