Tag Archives: Nigeria

Babies For Sale In Nigeria

At a hospital in Enugu, a large city in southern Nigeria, neighbors were confused about the extensive activity in the building late at night when supposedly most patients were asleep. People in the area wondered why there were no patients going in and out of the clinic during the day. Police finally conducted an investigation and discovered the clinic was actually a “factory” which was producing babies for sale. The doctor who ran the clinic offered free abortions to teenagers who were pregnant. The girls were locked up in a room after the baby was born and forced to sign over custody of the child to the clinic which then found someone who wanted to purchase a baby. The girls received about $150 but those purchasing the babies had to pay over $3,000.

Nigerian authorities have long suspected there was a baby selling operation in their nation, but the current situation became apparent when a woman was caught trying to take a baby to Lagos. Several of the girls who were trapped in the scheme reported doctors raped them after they delivered the babies.

Nigerian Militants Threaten Oil Supplies

If the United States did not have enough difficulty trying to handle oil problems in Georgia and Venezuela, militants in Nigeria are threatening to upset American oil shipments from that nation. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta(MEND) said it might broaden attacks on oil companies to include off shore oil fields. Its aggressive actions in the region already have raised the price of oil to $94 a barrel. Militants have bombed pipelines, platforms, gas plants and oil fields. Mend argues it is fighting for more local control of the region’s oil wealth so more of the profit is retained at the source of oil.

Mend has warned oil workers to leave the area before fighting intensifies. They are ready to expand the range of attacks to include offshore facilities. As fighting continues, and the possibility of reducing oil exports rises, the United States consumer will be hurting.

Flawed Elections-OK-If You Are On Our Side!

A new report by Human Rights Watch denounces hypocritical western nations for accepting flawed election results if the winner turns out to be a friend of the “good guys.” Last year Nigeria experienced an election where there was widespread and credible accusations of election violence and vote-rigging, but not a word of protest emanated from western governments because the winner was viewed as friendly to the West. It is any wonder President Kibaki manipulated vote counts to ensure his victory in Kenya? After the fraudulent vote count indicated he had been “re-elected,” within hours he swore himself in and immediately had his victory recognized by the American government! In fairness, it should be noted the US State Department later had second thoughts, particularly since the entire Kenya nation erupted in violence, rapes, murder and thousands driven from their homes.

Western powers believe the mere fact there has been an “election” means one must acept the fact regardless if the process was fair and honest. Of course, when Hamas gained a victory in Palestinian elections, the US refused to recognize the new government leaders and denounced them for opposing democracy! What would have happened if Hamas Prime Minister Haniyeh had been invited for discussions in Washington and accorded respect? Would Hamas have followed the road to violence? No one knows the answer to this question, but, no one has attempted to respect winners who refuse to mouth cliches and platitudes about terrorism and the wonderful war being raged in Iraq.

US Drug Company Tested Drugs On Nigerian Children!

The Nigerian government is taking on Pfizer for the drug company’s actions during a 1994 epidemic in their country during which at least 200 Nigerian children were used as guinea pigs to test a new drug according to an article in today’s Der Spiegel. It is estimated at least eleven children died and others were left with disabilities. Batatunde Irukera, a Nigerian lawyer was eating breakfast last October when approached by an old man who turned out to be a journalist who had devoted years to investigating the case. The man discovered the remnant of a file folder containing the statement: “Pfizer Meningitis Study” and a pink card which had the initials, “A.M.” They were able to trace the A.M. to a sixteen year old who was among the children that were tested. Pfizer in 1994 wanted to place on the market a new drug named Trovan which supposedly dealt with a variety of infections. Testing new drugs in the United States can be a long, drawn-out process so Pfizer was delighted it could test the drug in Nigeria which was experiencing an epidemic. There are now four law suits pending in Nigeria against Pfizer.

This incident raises questions more than furnishes answers. Should drugs be tested in poor areas of the world because it is time consuming to test them in post industrial societies? What type of information should be furnished impoverished people, who might lack education, concerning a drug program?