From Osakhare Erese, Asaba.
No fewer than 86,000 fake orphanages have been reported to be
operating within the 25 Delta local government council areas.
The discovery was made known at the weekend by a group of Church ministers who alleged that they have had the opportunity of visiting various orphanage homes across the state.
Leader of the Group, Evangelist (Mrs.) Mabel Awoniso who spoke to our reporter on the group Caring for the Orphanages
Mission, said it was an eyesore some of the orphanage homes they visited, adding that many of them operate without windows, spacious rooms, and good toilet facilities.
It was gathered that in eight local government areas out of the twenty-five, illegal orphanages were operating among faceless groups and fake companies under which they allegedly operate orphanage homes without signboards but with the fake registered companies names.
In Asaba, Ibusa, Ughelli, Sapele, Okpanam, Issele-Uku, Ogwashi-Uku communities, it is often sad stories and sorrowful tales of human trafficking and alleged sale of babies by the operators who after hoodwinking rightful mothers of the babies into illicit “deal” allegedly sell the babies for paltry.
But the police commissioner in the state, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim had last week Thursday told journalists in Asaba that security agents in the state had been having tough battle with many operators of orphanages in the state, especially in Asaba and Ibusa where orphanages are being operated in dingy environment and decapitated buildings, “We have had recorded cases of some of these orphanages operating under poor condition, under such disguise the operators sell babies to unsuspecting buyers.
“We have arrested several persons in connection with the act, and we are ready to shut down many of the orphanages” the police commissioner disclosed.
Last Monday, the police uncover illegal orphanage home behind NTA Asaba where over 21 babies were recorded, and three out of the babies allegedly sold for N1.3million.
According to Zanna Ibrahim, the state police commissioner, the operator (name withheld) is currently being detained for investigation. Expectedly, the state government through the Ministry of Women Affairs, social development, had raised the alarm over the influx of illegal orphanage homes and ordered the closure of 201, while 63,000 fake accounts were uncovered
on the net with fictitious names, and had raked estimated sum of N2billion in the last two years from unsuspecting donors, many of whom foreigners.
Mrs. Omashola Williams, the state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social Development, confirmed that the state government had been inundated by the influx of illegal orphanages across the state, adding that steps had been taken to ensure their illegalities were brought to book. Noting that the state government had closed down sixteen illegal homes in the past.
Mrs. Williams expressed the determination of the state government to put a stop to the illegality of orphanages in the state. Investigation revealed that operators of illegal orphanages hoodwink unsuspecting donors with highly placed names of board members and unbeatable letter headed papers with photographs of sorrowful orphans and in most cases, solicit for financial assistance from “big-time politicians, foreigners and well known co-operate bodies with bogus account numbers boldly typed on the letter heads. Only recently a foreign donor was hit in a hue and cry by one of these orphanages in Sapele after the operator allegedly ripped off the unsuspecting donor N3million, and in a bid to locate the address of the orphanage was to no avail.
Leader of the “caring for the orphanages’ group, Mrs. Awoniro speaking-further to journalists lamented the damage these illegal and fake orphanage had done to the state, saying that if urgent steps are not taken to stop the ungodly activities, it might be worsened.
The state government had officially recorded 520 registered orphanages last year 2016, until the current growing standard orchestrated by desperate huge financial seekers who allegedly obtained registration.
In cognito after giving out “bribes” to some government officials in charge of registration of orphanages, but Mrs. Williams the state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social Development said the incident was being investigated.