A report by Daily Beast has revealed how young girls of the Becheve tribe of Obanliku in Cross River State, are advertised and bought off Facebook by the community’s kinsmen.
In 2018, we published the story of how young girls are sold in exchange for food items or debt settlement in Becheve tribe of Obanliku in Cross River State.
This year, it has been revealed that the men of the community have adopted Facebook in getting the attention of other men who may be interested in their daughters. The young women who are are as young as 10 are often sold off without their consent.
According to Daily Beast, 16-year old Monica and her 14-year-old younger sister are victims of this unfortunate tradition of the Becheve tribe.
The sisters revealed that their husbands found their photographs on their father’s Facebook page and contacted him. Their father who wanted to clear the debt he owed to a distant relative sold off the sisters a month apart to men whom they did not know at all and who were old enough to be their grandfathers.
“My father knew nothing about Facebook until my elder brother bought him a smartphone and convinced him to join Facebook and post our photographs whenever he likes. He’ll buy new clothes and force me and my sisters to put them on before taking photographs of us,” Monica, who ran away from her husband less than a year after she got married, said.
“It is young people who convince old men to look for wives on Facebook. The man I married said his oldest son showed him my photo on Facebook and directed him to my father,” she noted.
A local chief explained that the practice is meant to boost the status of the men in Becheve community. According to him, the more brides you have, the more respect you gain in the community.
“Once he married me, he turned me into his slave and punching bag. He said he paid so much to marry me and so I had to labor hard by working for hours everyday in the farm to prove that I’m a grateful wife,” Monica, who—just like her sister—was sold to her husband for N20,000, along with two goats, a pig and some yams.
Regina, another teenager from Becheve was sold in January by her parents to a man already married with two wives and 11 children. Her husband found her photo on the Facebook page of her uncle, who is known for putting photographs of his female relatives on the social media site to attract men from their tribe.
Married life has been hard for Regina, who is responsible for most of the house chores. She has to look after her husband’s livestock, which includes dozens of goats and pigs, and is punished if she doesn’t work as demanded.
“He beat me last night because I said I was tired and couldn’t have sex with him. Whenever he returns home at night, he demands sex,” Regina, who is now pregnant, complains.