Piqued by reports of a seized cargo ship that sailed from Nigeria with 7,200 refrigerated male organs found in 36 boxes labeled as plantain at Shanghai port, known as Red Market in China, the House of Representatives yesterday resolved to probe the circumstances of the development.
Noting that the Chinese General Administration of Customs had alerted that an increasingly large number of armed groups in Africa use organs harvested in unsanitary conditions to finance their nefarious activities, the House underscored a need to curb the menace.
The resolution followed the consideration of a motion, titled “Need to Investigate the Illicit Trade in Human Organs”, co-moved by Rimamnde Shawulu Kwewum from Taraba State and Olajide Olatubosun from Oyo State at yesterday’s plenary.
The House stated that the perpetrators of the illicit trade generate between $600 million and $1.2 billion dollars profit annually, adding that the poor security situations encouraged them to use the third world countries as their major suppliers.
Presenting the motion, Kwewum said: “About two weeks ago, acting on the information provided by an anonymous source, Chinese authorities seized a cargo ship that sailed from Nigeria with 7,200 refrigerated penises which were found in 36 boxes labeled as plantain on the ship that harbored at the Shanghai port, called Red Market.
“The Chinese General Administration of Customs had alerted that an increasingly large number of armed groups in Africa use organs which are harvested in unsanitary conditions to finance their nefarious activities.
“The media was awash a few years ago with horrifying stories of the harvest of organs of Nigerians and other Africans stranded in Libya for sale in Europe, the Middle East, America, and China.
“The increasing cases of missing persons, ritual killings, and trafficking of persons out of the country may be linked to the Red Market which can be attributed to the trafficking of young men and women who end up being victims of organ harvesting.
“The increased banditry, kidnappings, and spiraling violence in several parts of the country today make those parts of the country vulnerable and provide safe havens and ready supply channels for the illicit activities.
“Harvest of organs can only be done by medical surgeons with the aid of rogue public officials.
”Perpetrators of the illicit trade generate between $600 million and $1.2 billion dollars profit annually and have been encouraged by poor security situations to use the third world as the major suppliers.”
The lawmaker recalled that in early 1987, the World Health Organisation, WHO, declared that the illegal trade violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as taking unfair advantage of the poorest and most vulnerable groups in the world.
It added that the international community has also made efforts to curb the menace of Red Market, such as the Istanbul Declaration urging professionals to put an end to the unethical actions where organs of unfortunate victims of economic migrants and human trafficking in Europe and the Middle East are ripped off, thereby constituting a gross abuse of the rights to life of those Nigerians.
“If nothing is done to curb this criminal act, more criminals will set up shops dealing in human organs in Nigeria, taking advantage of the insecurity in the country,” he warned.
Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Human Rights and National Security and Intelligence to investigate the gamut of the value chain, known as Red Market or illicit market, in human organs and report back within 10 weeks for further legislative action.