Ouagadougou- Nigeria’s Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Amb. David Bala, has said that the power of the people has triumphed over the military in Burkina Faso’s political history.
Bala made the statement in an interview at the Nigerian Chancery in Ouagadougou on Wednesday, following the successful inauguration of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore on Tuesday.
“The transition has shown that the power of the people is above all other factors, such as the military.
“You know the military, they tried to intervene, which they couldn’t because the people rose against military coups.
“And then with the assistance of ECOWAS, Nigeria in particular, they were able to force the military to hand over power immediately back to the transition government,’’ he said.
The envoy said that Nigeria’s relationship with Burkina Faso dated back to the pre-colonial days as both the Hausa and Yoruba communities from Nigeria had two to three generations of residents, whose siblings had assimilated and become part and parcel of the country.
He, however, said that Nigerians had not lost touch with their roots.
Bala said many Nigerian were engaged in petty trading and other activities in the informal sector.
“Most of them are into selling of (machinery) spare-parts, trading in livestock, and cotton seeds which were planted in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Bala said that the Nigerian mission was battling with controlling child trafficking and suggested a mechanism that could make it difficult for Nigerian children to leave home to be used as depraved workers.
“It is not even prostitution that is the problem but when you bring children who are underage, sometimes below 12 years, it becomes a very big problem.
“And they are lured into this country to come and work in shops, salons but when they come here they are introduced into prostitution, or they take some of them into the mining areas, where there are expatriates.
“And they are forced into prostitution. They have masters who exploit them,’’ he said.
According to him, the chancery used to engage Non-Governmental Organisations to take in the children and at times pay for their repatriation to Nigeria.
He expressed worry that the children were forced into the illicit activities by their employers and placed under oath not to disclose the motive.
The envoy said the procedure had eaten very deep into the resources of the mission.
He said that the Nigerian children also lacked access to good education and parents paid up to 16,000 dollars to send their children to the only existing American school in the state capital.
He, however, said that the missionary sisters had tried to organise primary education for Nigerian children, whom they returned to Nigeria for secondary education.
He also said that some who tried to establish private schools often lacked the facilities for quality teaching. (NAN)