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Nigerian mother uses 4-year-old daughter as collateral for N100 debt

Veronica Igwe, a 38-year-old woman from Ebonyi obviously didn’t understand the message which preaches that children are gifts from God that should be loved and cared for. While other parents are busy sweating to provide for their children, Veronica however, has decided to use hers for business transactions. She alleged used her 4-year-old daughter as collateral for a debt she owed. Veronica said she had “business transaction” with one Josephine Nwali at the Rice Mill in Abakaliki in August 2017, where she bought some items from her, after which she owed her N100. Unable to pay the money, she then suggested to her debtor that she could bring one of her children in exchange for the debt and thus she handed over her little daughter into the hands of the other woman.

Desk Officer in charge of Child Abuse/Maltreatment Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Cecilia Elom, said the ministry received an emergency call March 20, informing them that a mother had exchanged her four-year-old daughter due to her inability to settle N100 debt.

On getting to the CAS campus of Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, where the alleged creditor, Mrs. Josephine Nwali, resides, they found little Uloma and another boy hawking. Mrs. Cecilia Elom further stated: “On reaching the residence, we saw little Uloma Igwe with another seven-year-old boy hawking. On interrogation, they confessed to have been lured into hawking by Mrs. Josephine Nwali who they were living with. Uloma’s mother, Veronica, informed our officials that she did not even know the woman she gave her child to. “Officials of the Ministry of Women Affairs invited Mrs. Josephine Nwali to the Office, from where she was handed over to the Ebonyi State Police Command for interrogation,” Elom added. The Ministry of Women Affairs has concluded arrangement to take little Uloma Igwe to hospital for proper medical treatment.

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