Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Baby Sale Boom!

The tragedies befalling the nation today are the calamitous consequences of the disintegration of the very fabric which holds the entire society together. In the last few years we have been witnessing many bizarre incidents that testify to the collapse of those existential values which we hold dear and which give us identity as a people.
On June 9 a man identified as a medical doctor was arrested by the officials of the of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for allegedly converting his maternity hospital along Zik Avenue, Enugu, Enugu State into a home for breeding of babies for sale. Also arrested at the hospital were 22 pregnant girls aged between 15 and 18 ostensibly waiting to be delivered of babies who would be displayed for sale. A woman who allegedly bought a baby from the hospital for the sum of N340, 000 was also arrested.
This is quite shameful and degrading. Have we reached such a low level in our moral turpitude that we can no longer distinguish between right and wrong? Have we lost the sense of shame that we can no longer abhor despicable and shameful acts ?. The Enugu incident is unfortunately not the first of its kind . Baby selling has been a thriving business in different parts of the country for long. Recently in Okota, Lagos , a pregnant girl was caught with a woman after the former had struck a deal to sell her baby to the latter. In the first week of this month the police in Abuja paraded an 80 year old woman accused of running an illegal hostel in Abia State for pregnant girls whose babies are sold shortly after they are delivered. There are several reported cases of missing babies in our public hospitals. Some of the missing babies are alleged to have been sold to the highest bidders.
A baby is a human being with such intrinsic worth and inestimable value and dignity that a price tag cannot be attached to it. Besides, a society that encourages the sale of its babies is a disgrace to the entire human civilization.
We therefore call for a proper investigation into the Enugu incident. The arrested medical doctor says that he runs the home to discourage young girls from procuring abortion and dumping their so-called unwanted babies into the gutters. That is why the law enforcement agents should properly investigate the matter to ascertain the truth. If the allegation against the medical doctor is confirmed to be true after the investigation, he together with his conspirators should promptly be brought to justice. In addition, the security operatives should also identify other hideouts where such degrading practice has been going on and shut them down. Adoption of babies in Nigeria should be made hitch-free to encourage couples genuinely interested in adopting babies to go ahead and do so. The various Child Welfare and development institutions should be re-invigorated and re-equipped to perform their functions very well.
More importantly, the family institution needs to be strengthened. Teenage sexual orgy, pre-marital sex and teenage pregnancy stem largely from the dististingetation of the family, which is the fundamental unit of the society. Most Nigerian families are now dysfunctional. Family values are crumbling. The meaning of marriage is being distorted. The rate of divorce is skyrocketing especially among young couples.
A destruction of the family invariably leads to the destruction of the society. Therefore the protection of the family is the best way of protecting our young girls from sexual promiscuity and pregnancy outside wedlock which in the end leads to the selling of babies.