Florence Abu, 26, a victim of human trafficking, has sent a save-my-soul message to the Federal Government, the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, and the international community to come to her aid over threat to her life allegedly by those responsible for her travail.
Abu said since the court sentenced her traffickers to different terms of imprisonment, she had been receiving strange calls and text messages threatening her life.
Recall that Abu’s harrowing experience had reverberated round the world as she told the story of how her pastor, Endurance Ehioze, in cahoots with his suster, Vivian, and their mother, lured her into international prostitution in Russia in 2012. She was then 17 years old.
Crying out on Sunday in an interaction with journalists in Benin, strongly believed that her present ordeal had to do with the recent successful prosecution and conviction of some of her traffickers by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
A court in Benin had on Tuesday, sentenced the family of three who participated in the trafficking business to various prison terms.
The mother who played a fetish role as the juju priestess, got 10 years; the pastor, who canvassed and deceived the victim on the pretext that she was going to work in a hairdressing salon being a stylist, bagged 14 years, while his sister, the ‘madam’, (sponsor) who received the girl and subjected her to forced prostitution for over five years, got 14 years.
Abu, who had since become an advocate against human trafficking, alleged that since the judgment, her life had been in danger due to the different threat messages and calls she had received.
She said because of the strange calls she had been receiving for days now, she had to go into hiding.
According to her, one of the calls came from Russia where she was trafficked to for sexual exploitation and was made to pay a staggering sum of 45,000 US dollars to her ‘madam’ after which she was abandoned and was eventually deported.
Abu, who was 23 years old when she was deported, after she was afflicted with a strange illness, appealed to all relevant government agencies, the international community, particularly the UK government, the EU, and others who had been monitoring this development in Edo State, to come to her rescue.
She specifically called on Governor Obaseki who she noted had been in the vanguard of fight against human trafficking, to intervene in her predicament.
In her words, “If I am not encouraged, supported, and protected now, other victims who have been trafficked may not have the courage to speak out. When victims don’t speak out, the case will be dead and you may not get conviction like this”.