Uduak Etim: Kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirl reunited with family after 20 years in captivity

Thanks to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NATIP), young Nigerian woman Uduak Etim has been reunited with her family.

Miss Etim was abducted and trafficked as a child 20 years ago. She was six years old at the time.

She was said to have been abducted while attending classes at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Primary School, Idu, Uruan local government area, Akwa Ibom state, and taken to Benin City.

After 20 years of working as domestic servant, hope, however came Etim’s way when a Good Samaritan petitioned NAPTIP in Benin to report the case of a young lady in his neighbourhood, who was being tormented daily.

Mrs Ijeoma Uduak, the Zonal Commander, NAPTIP, Benin Zonal Command, said investigations revealed that the victim was trafficked from Idu Uruan and taken to Benin City by one woman who gave the victim out to another woman as a domestic servant.

She said both suspects have been arrested by the agency and were being prosecuted.

Mrs Uduak, who handed over the victim to her mother, Madam Esther Udoh, at the palace of the Village Head of Idu Uruan, Uruan LGA, advised parents not to fall for the deception of traffickers.

“This is a victim that was trafficked from the classroom when she was six years old. The woman came there and deceived her and picked her from Akwa Ibom State to Edo State. Today, we came to reunite the child and the family. They told us that they thought she had been dead and forgotten,” she said.

She said after the agency discovered that the abductors of Miss Etim did not give her a formal education or help her to acquire any skill, NAPTIP decided to train her before she could be released to her family.

“After her training, the NGO purchased all hairdressing equipment, foodstuffs and supported her with the sum of N300, 000 to rent a shop,” she added.

The victim, Miss Etim thanked God for using NAPTIP to rescue her and expressed her gratitude to the Benin Zonal Commander, Mrs Ijeoma Uduak.

The mother of the victim, Madam Esther Udoh, who wept uncontrollably, said she was full of joy seeing that her daughter was alive.

She added that she had lost hope of ever seeing her again.

The Village Head of Idu Uruan, Chief Godwin Okoho, said the return of the girl showed that NAPTIP was working.


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