A true-life story of a Nigerian Teenager. Let’s pull and pool together for greatness!
ATN Power, inspired by your future.
It was after my radio talk show a couple of years ago, the phone rang and a young lady spoke at the other end, my name is Salome, she introduced herself, the West African francophone accent was such that I was familiar with, it was unmistakable. “Sir, we get a problem we think you can help us solve, me and my sister”, she continued – “well not my sister, but she has become my sister. I call so that she will speak to you, she dey afraid so I help her call, please speak to her”, she pleaded with me in the best way she could put her English together.
Hello sir, came the weak voice but with strong English intonation indicating she was perhaps better schooled or educated. I’m Elizabeth, I have something to share with you sir, I don’t know if and how you can be of help, but our Nanny, whom you just spoke with says she listens to you on radio every day and she’s convinced you can help me.
I hope so, but go ahead and please share, was my response to Elizabeth. And she began to tell her painful story.
Born by exposed and educated parents. Her father was a successful banker; a regional manager of one of the leading banks in Nigeria. Her mother was also a top public servant with the federal civil service, Elizabeth has two younger siblings, boys, they all lived in Abuja.
Acceding to her the family wasn’t particularly a pleasant one, her parents fought and quarrelled ceaselessly for flimsy and sometimes reasons they the kids didn’t understand.
So when she turned 14, her mother had to go to Kuru for a course at NIPSS, in Plateau state. And that was when the nightmare began. Elizabeth didn’t share with me the details of how it all started, but she said something about her being asleep in her room that night, Salome the maid was in the BQ and her two younger siblings were in their own room, it was raining heavily and suddenly there was power cut, then her father came into her bedroom as though to check up on her and see if she was safe, and he took advantage and slept with her. He took away the virginity of his own daughter.
As of when Salome called me on behalf of Elizabeth and the ordeal, Elizabeth was 17, and the incest with her father had been steady for 3 years!
Elizabeth had to confide in their maid Salome about 2 years ago, when she got pregnant for her father and decided to get rid of it and she needed help and support from Salome.
Though now a student at a university in Abuja, her father didn’t permit her residing in school, she went from home every day and returned home every day. She has no close friends she can relate with or share with.
Just after she secured admission a year earlier, her mother came from Jos, from where she now lives and prefers to work from after her course at NIPSS, and transferred the two boys to schools in Jos. The boys now live with her and Elizabeth was consequently left alone in Abuja with her father and the maid Salome.
So how do you want me to help you, I asked Elizabeth, Salome, then took over the phone conversation at that time, perhaps it was on speaker and she continued the conversation, “Sir, Elizabeth is pregnant again, this is the 3rd pregnancy sir, and she says she wants to kill herself”. Sir, please talk to her, killing herself is not the answer, I have told her but she is not answering me, Salome lamented.
I then went on ahead and asked for the mother’s phone number, Salome gave me the number. I assumed if I spoke with the Mum, she may be able to save her daughter from her husband.
I was eventually able to reach the mum on phone at about 7pm later on that evening. I introduced myself and she asked how she could help me. I told her her daughter called and shared some very scary things with me regarding her father – that is her own husband. And I told this woman that it appears her husband was having some kind of inappropriate dealings with her daughter Elizabeth that could really be dangerous.
I was actually expecting her to be alarmed, shocked, distressed, terrified, whatever. But this woman was so calm, I assumed she didn’t get the gist. I repeated what I said and her response to me was extremely shocking. And she said, shebi it is his daughter? No wahala now, it is better than him chasing all those useless girls in Abuja and disgracing me all around the place. I’ve always known he’s a useless man, me, I’m not in Abuja, I’m sure Elizabeth told you that. When I have the time to go to Abuja, I’ll talk to him to leave the poor girl alone.
This happened in 2014 and till today, I’m yet to recover from the shock of this response from a mother.
The next day, I called Elizabeth and told her what her mother said, Elizabeth had nothing to say to it. I asked if she had anyone else she could report to – uncles, aunties, her father’s friends – anyone who could intervene. She said she did have many people, but after reporting and exposing her father, who will take her on and continue to pay her bills? Who will pay my school fees, who will feed me, who will pay my rent, who will pay my bills sir? Sir will you? Hmmm
Ladies and gentlemen, her name is not Elizabeth and the maids name is not Salome, I changed the names to protect their Identity, but every other detail in this story is the complete truth. The phone conversation was in June 2014.
Elizabeth is one of the reasons God gave me to start the African Transformation Network NGO. There are perhaps thousands of Elizabeths out there, suffering from all forms of oppression and abuse but can’t dare to leave or escape as they have no means of decent and healthy survival.
It’s been 5 years and I sincerely have no clue whatever became of that girl and that family. I gave her the phone number of one or two institutes and NGOs in Abuja that could help, but she insisted she didn’t want to bring public shame to her family and she’d rather not call them and she’d keep praying.
If ATN was existing and active in 2014, we would have placed Elizabeth on full scholarship and our welfare scheme and perhaps, she would be okay and happy today.
African Transformation Network is an NGO as an NGO is wholly committed to supporting, transforming and helping the youth in our society. We believe before you can successfully teach a man how to fish, you feed him first, if not the hunger will distract him from your valuable fishing lessons.
We therefore, invite you to help support our various youth programs and initiatives. We help young people who suffer psychological and mental abuse through mean, unpleasant and faulty upbringing and societal nurture.
Child soldiers, teen mothers, teenage terrorists, drug addicts, young prostitutes, gang members, perverts, victims of rape, incest and domestic violence in various communities.
Join us and sponsor a youth today. Simply visit our website at www.atnpower.org and make a regular donation of just one dollar a month – that’s 365 Naira a month to help fund our projects for these young people.
You will immediately receive a confirmation of your donation and regular audited reports of our various mind-set reset programs and activities every quarter. Your suggestions on how to also improve our effectiveness is much welcomed.
Remember the good, the bad and the ugly of us all live together in the same communities and societies, our indifference to the plight of the unfortunate could eventually harm us or our children. Just a dollar a month and together, let’s buy and secure the future.
My name is Muyiwa Afolabi, presiding officer, African Transformation Network