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126 CHILDREN DISAPPEARED FROM KOMA REGION IN NIGERIA - suspected child trafficking

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default 126 CHILDREN DISAPPEARED FROM KOMA REGION IN NIGERIA - suspected child trafficking

Post  pam supportfromireland on Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:39 pm

Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:51 pm posted by pam supportfromireland



This day online, Nigeria

25 July 2008

Koma community protests over 126 Missing children

* This is an absolutely shocking story. Please pass on to any Nigerian friends you may have living outside their country as they may have contacts that can help.The world needs to know this story!!

http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=117807


KOMA HILLS

Koma hills is located on the mountainous fringes bordering the Republic of Cameroon and Nigeria in Jada, a local government area in Adamawa state, North East of Nigeria. Koma people, the inhabitants of the hills is a pre-modern race representing a past way of life probably of stone age, compact with primitive themes and mode of dressing bordering on nudity which they uphold as a cultural heritage.
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default Re: 126 CHILDREN DISAPPEARED FROM KOMA REGION IN NIGERIA - suspected child trafficking

Post  merlynsam on Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:21 am

allafrica.com

3 August 2008

Child-Trafficking - Disquiet On the Koma Hills

Lagos — The indigenes of Koma, a hilly settlement in Adamawa State are distressed and up in arms with some missionaries operating in the area. They are worried that the missionaries may be involved in child trafficking by taking away their children in the guise of giving them western education, allegations the missionaries have denied. Who is telling the truth? Matthew Onah writes

The spirit of late Colonel Yohanna Madaki, former military governor of defunct Gongola State might not exactly be at peace with the recent happenings in Koma, the long forgotten hilly settlement on the verge of the Nigerian-Cameroonian border which he in 1986, with much military bravado drew attention of the world.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200808040238.html





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default Re: 126 CHILDREN DISAPPEARED FROM KOMA REGION IN NIGERIA - suspected child trafficking

Post  merlynsam on Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:45 am

allafrica.com

12 October 2008

Koma People - the Storm Over Missing Children

Lagos — The life of Koma people on the hills of Adamawa State has been characterised by controversy since they were 'discovered' in 1986. Recently, the natives accused some missionaries operating in the area of child trafficking. This is a result of allegations that about 89 children that left the community on the guise of excursion have not returned after over nine years. Matthew Onah writes on the state government's effort to resolve the problem

Controversy has continued to tear the Koma people apart over the alleged missing 89 children as Adamawa State Government waded in at the weekend. Worried by the news and allegations filtering out of the Koma Hills over missing children and alleged human trafficking involving 89 pupils invited the security operatives to unravel the mystery. Parents and guardians had pointed accusing fingers at Mr. Kayode Momolosho, a private school proprietor in Jada Local Government Area of the state over the disappearance of their children.

But Momolosho, in his responses, have continued to claim that pupils were in various schools in the country and in safe hands. But, the Commissioner for Education, Recab Bongi, however, said the government was not satisfied with the response of the school proprietor. He told THISDAY however that the matter has been handed over to the State Security Service (SSS) and other agencies for proper investigations.

He said the state government took the decision, following the findings of a committee set up by his ministry. Bongi, who described the findings as frightening, said Governor Murtala Nyako had been briefed on the matter. He said security operatives have commenced investigations nationwide to identify the schools Momolosho, mentioned and find out whether the pupils are actually there.

He said government had taken keen interest in the matter, especially because Momolosho's school was singled out among many missionary and Islamic schools in the area for child trafficking. Bongi assured that security agents were keeping vigil, to ensure that the remaining pupils do not fall victims, pending conclusion of investigation. However, in a contrary view concerning the accusations that missionaries were trafficking in hundreds of Koma children, emerged from a group of parents in the area who maintain that the allegations that some children were stolen, were false and a mere propaganda.

The group of parents who addressed the press in Yola, last week, said the alarm over the stolen children was false, adding that those that floated the news were used by politicians who needed favour from the government. The parents who also accused the alarm makers of attempting to deny them the golden opportunity of what evangelism had done in the area, stressed that for several years they have benefited nothing from the government and would not want to be absolute losers, saying they have confidence in the missionaries.

THE Koma community led by its district head, Mallam Hammajoda Abba, had alleged that hundreds of children have been taken away from the community in the last twenty years by religious organisations, under the guise of educating the children in the cities on exchange programme. They specifically accuse the project coordinator of Dominion Evangelical Organisation, one Pastor Kayode of spiriting away, over 89 children without the permission and consent of the community or the parents of the children.

But the parents who spoke on Tuesday claimed that many of their children in the custody of the missionaries still have a sense of community with them and that they have adequate records of their whereabouts/ performances in their schools, which they do communicate on phones with the children.

Speaking on behalf of the parents, Mr. Simon Yabo told journalists in the conference that on his part, his two children with the missionaries and that during the last holiday he spoke with his children. The parents faulted the confusion of the rumour of stolen children on officials of Jada local government council, whom they said has no welfare package for them except the collection of heavy taxes placed on them.

The parents who also passed a vote of confidence on the accused pastor stated that he was their 'governor' at Koma Hills and that they know, no other 'governor' except Pastor Kayode who sleeps on the hills with them and car for them. The contention of the parents now is that the withdrawal of their children from school has never been in their interest, arguing that since politicians are sponsoring the village chiefs against evangelism in the area, they should bring schools to them as the missionaries have been doing.

The spirit of late Colonel Yohanna Madaki, former military governor of defunct Gongola State may not exactly be at peace with the recent happenings on the hills of Koma, the long forgotten hilly people on the verge of the Nigerian-Cameroonian border which he in 1986 with much military bravado drew attention of the world to their plight. The Koma people had existed on the remote hills for ages without any trace of civilisation, wearing leaves instead of clothes and without education and health facilities, neither do they have roads through the rocky difficult terrains that will enable them fraternise with their brethrens in other communities.

At their locations consisting of 39 communities principally of Koma Nassarawo, Mani, Tantalle, Tulli, and others tribes spread over the mountains had little or no contacts with modernity and had existed with their cultures and traditions preserved until a news item from then Gongola Broadcasting Corporation by a reporter named Aaron Artimas Abaare on the plight of the Koma people caught the attention of Yohanna Madaki. Since then, the Koma people have not rested.

The governor renowned for his human right postures even then as a military officer took it upon himself to go to Koma hills to see for himself and see the veracity of the broadcast of the reporter. What he met on the hills was not only astounding to him, he was shocked beyond words. The governor was surprised to see that a group of Nigerians were still leaving in prehistoric conditions even in his territory of governance. He drew the awareness of not only government authorities to the Koma Hills, but also the attention of other non-governmental agencies, especially religious organisations who perhaps, pricked by conscience went to Koma hills in droves.

The missionaries both Christian and Muslims established schools, hospitals, and other facilities that have today not only change the lives of the Koma people but eased the process of transforming their cultures and traditions fundamentally. The Koma people are today in the dilemma of whether the activities of the missionaries and government are in their interest or not.

Since 1986, missionaries have provided schools, hospitals, and other social infrastructures which have uplifted the standard of the living of Koma people although roads are still virtually non-existence and visitors to the area are forced to use motor-cycle on the cattle tracks on the hills or trek to the various communities. In spite of the good works of the missionaries in bringing civilisation to the Koma people. Today there is serious crisis ignited on the hills by the missionaries both among themselves and within the community that if not checked quickly will be capable of erasing all the good things and developmental projects that have transformed the lives of the Koma people.

In fact if the allegations that are wafting out from the Koma hills are in any way true, it will be one of the folly of humanity that the man is capable of doing good and evil simultaneously. Investigation by THISDAY revealed that there is a sinister plot among the various Christian missionaries to rubbish each other while they engage in their missionary duties. Recently, some missionaries in Koma hill had been engaging in child trafficking and mass movement of the Koma children from the community to the outside world. In fact, the allegations are that hundreds of the children taking out of Koma have not been seen in the last nine years.

The Koma community, which is in Jada local government area of Adamawa State, accused the Christian missionaries of child trafficking, following the discovery by the community that over 126 children taken away by one of the missionaries have disappeared in the last nine years.

The Koma district head, Mallam Hammajoda Abba, confirmed that hundreds of children have been taken away from the community in the last twenty years by religious organisations under the guise of educating the children under exchange programmes. They specifically accused the project coordinator of Dominion Evangelical Organisation, one Pastor Kayode Momolosho, of spiriting away over 89 children without the permission and consent of the community or the parents

Corroborating the district head's allegations, the education secretary of Jada local government council, Alhaji Mahmud Abubakar stated that about 27 pupils in the primary and secondary schools of the dominion academy are yet to be accounted for by the school authorities. He further alleged that the organisations were fond of taking away children ostensibly on excursion or exchange programmes and not returning them.

Abubakar explained that the organisation was about to take away another 16 children to unknown places when the community leaders intervened following massive protests from the parents of the children. He called for more stringent guidelines governing the operations of such organisations in the area. According to Hamma Joda Abba, hundreds of children have gone missing from the Koma hills ostensibly taken away by the missionaries in the guise of educating them outside the community and that none of those children have come back to the community in the last nine years.

He stated that only recently the attention of the community was drawn to the issue of child trafficking for the first time when three children were found in Gombe State while waiting to be smuggled to a neighbouring country by an unscrupulous person. He stated that the member of House of Assembly representing Jada local government and other stake holders in the community had to spend large amount of money to bring back the children to the community.

Hamma Joda Abba said it was then that it dawn on them that a large number of children have left the community in the last twenty five years and they have not heard from them. He accused the missionaries of systematically taking away the children. Another Koma indigene, Aliyu Misawa who claimed his sixteen year old daughter was taken away by one of the missionary agents have not been seen in the last nine years. He said what ever good the missionaries might have done in the past was capable of being rubbished unless the children taken away are brought back.

To him, the traditions and cultures of the Koma people are fast being eroded as the children that are supposed to inculcate the cultural norms of the society are being taken away to other societies to acquire foreign influences which according to him are detrimental to the survival of Koma people. He also accused the missionaries of depleting the population of the Koma people through the massive children trafficking that have been almost institutionalised. Collaborating Misawa's view, another Koma indigene, Mohammed Duso particularly accused Pastor Momolosho of arbitrary taking away their children and not returning them back to Koma people.

Incidentally, the entire child trafficking allegations by the Koma community came about as a result of a petition written by Momolosho, project coordinator of Dominion Academy Mani Koma, to the Adamawa State Commissioner for Education and copied to the National Universal Basic Education Board, Abuja alleging some irregularities in the admission and withdrawal of children from the school in Koma hills.

A stakeholders meeting was thus convene at the instance of the National Universal Basic Education Board to unravel why children were been massively withdrawn from the Dominion Academy. The Koma community led by their district head now had the opportunity of giving ventilation to their grievances. Speaking on behalf of the Koma community, the district head and the education secretary gave a graphic detail of their grievances, why children are being taken away from Pastor Momolosho academy.

Apart from the child-trafficking charges, another missionary, Gabriel Barau, accused the school authorities of engaging in immoral relationship with their pupils. According to him, one of the teachers in the Dominion Academy was allegedly said to have impregnated a school pupil. Barau said that he has been in Koma Hills for the last twenty five years. He accused Momolosho of negative influences stressing that Momolosho was unnecessarily arrogant and vain in his approach to issues affecting the Koma people.

But Momolosho, rebuffed all attempts made to make reveal the where-about of the 89 children, he admitted, he took out of the koma community on the educational exchange programme. He also admitted to sending out 89 children to various schools across Nigeria like ECWA academy Ibadan, Redeemers College Lagos, and Cherubim and Seraphim College Ilorin. He stated that of the 89 children said to have been taken out and not seen for the last nine years, 37 are in schools in Lagos, 32 in Ilorin, four in Ibadan, seven in Abuja, one each in Port-Harcourt and Ondo respectively.

Although Momolosho decline to give the specific locations of the children, THISDAY checks however revealed that none of the children could be traced as they believed to be in private homes, names and addresses of whom Momolosho declined to give, even to the state government officials. According to Momolosho, some of the children are being trained by private volunteers who had kindly accepted to train such children.

He accused a section of the Koma community and some of the missionaries of being afraid of the impact the Dominion Academy is making on the Koma hills and hence the series of allegations against his mission. He said most of the pupils taken away on exchange programs by his mission are deliberately indoctrinated to come back to uplift the standard of living of the Koma people. The pastor said his divine mission is to serve Koma and nobody else and that most of those making the series of allegations are from Jada and Kojoli.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200810131032.html?page=2


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Anything that I say which is not referenced to an original source is entirely my own opinion.
May we all continue to work together to bring Madeleine home.
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