By Okereke Wilson Ogbonnaya
A house help and resident of Mile 50, Miss Chinaza Nwafor who absconded her home following alleged constant torture by her mistress, Mrs. Ogechi Nwome, was penultimate weekend returned home by a good Samaritan at Ishieke axis in Abakaliki.
Narrating her ugly experience, Miss Nwafor an indigene of Ucheke, Amamkpuma village in Ukawu community of Onicha LGA, told Citizens’ Advocate that she was given out as a domestic servant following the untimely death of her father and the condition of her mother whom she said found it difficult to fend for her and her 3 siblings through menial jobs.
Miss Chinaza, a former primary 3 pupil of Ucheke Central School said that she had not been enrolled in any school since seven months that she came under the woman’s roof, rather she was seriously engaged with full house chores.
According to her, Mrs. Nwome has the habit of beating her regularly with wire like object over any mistake, coupled with name-calling which in most cases she had been addressed as a thief.
Miss Nwafor cited a similar incident that took place on Sunday night 7th July 2019 where she was beaten blue-black by Mrs. Nwome because she ate the remnant of her own share of food without obtaining approval from the mistress.
She added that it was based on the ill treatments always meted out on her and decision to go back home that prompted her escape but in the process, she got lost.
Mr. Joseph Nweke, a business man at Ishieke area and Good Samaritan who picked the girl told Citizens’ Advocate that his attention was drawn by a group of persons whom he said clustered around her and upon his enquiry, it was discovered that the girl lost direction in the process of running away from her madam.
He disclosed that after he had listened to the child’s pathetic story, he then empathized with her and in order to save her from being stranded, he abandoned his daily activity and took the girl to Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Ebonyi State where she was handed over to members of staff.
The Head of Department (HOD) of the Ministry, Mr. Godwin Igwe frowned at the incident while pointing out that he had on several occasions warned parents to desist from giving out their children, because it is modern day slavery that entails child abuse and neglect.
He said that the maltreatments which the child was subjected to included incessant beatings, starvation and denial of access to education and along the line felt happy as the child did not fall into wrong hands where she could have been trafficked.
He commended Mr. Joseph Nweke for his kindness and meanwhile disclosed that both the victim’s biological mother and her madam would be made to face penalty in proportion to their individual offences concerning the issue.