Two Nigerian Housemaids Beaten To Death By Saudi Employers
Two Nigerian Housemaids have been battered to death by their employers in Saudi Arabia within two weeks of each other. Both Nigerian Housemaids were trafficked to Saudi Arabia to work as domestic servants before being murdered by their new bosses in separate homes.
The First murdered Nigerian Housemaid has been identified as Omotayo who was killed in June 2018 while working as a migrant domestic worker in Riyadh.
Omotayo had complained of incessant battery at the hands of her employer whom she alleged was abusive to a Whatsapp group that she belonged; “Strong Nigerian Ladies” a solidarity group created by Nigerian migrant domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.
She sent a picture to corroborate her claim as she insisted she feared for her life;
In her last post on the group chat before she was murdered in June, Omotayo narrated a recent incident of domestic violence which she suffered at the hands of her employer.
According to Omotayo, her employer as well as his entire family had beaten her to a pulp for being ‘disrespectful’.
She further alleged that the battery came about because she had asked for three months salary arrears that she was being owed. She had also complained about the harsh working conditions and near starvation she was being subjected to at the hands of her employer and his family.
Her boss took her request as an affront to his person and subsequently battered Omotayo for being disrespectful.
Another Nigerian housemaid and fellow group member identified as Shola, was also murdered by her employer.
Shola’s murder was reported to the Strong Nigeria Ladies Group by another member; Adeola Oladipo. According to Oladipo;
“Shola has been constantly assaulted and starved by her sponsor in Saudi Arabia. Whenever she demands for food they would always beat her up and she became so slim like somebody with HIV.
One day her male boss came as usual to beat her while she was doing chores in the kitchen. The beating became so severe she had to defend herself with a knife. In the process the knife cut her boss and her sponsor hit her on the neck and she collapsed.
When the boss saw that Shola was dying, he rushed her to the hospital where he said she suddenly fell ill. A few days later, the Nigerian gave up the ghost in the hospital.”
There are thousands of West African migrants working as domestic helps in the middle-east; especially in the United Arab Emirates, the Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia.
The case of the Nigerian Housemaids is not an isolated one neither is it new. Numerous reports abound of extreme racist treatments of Sub-Saharan Africans in the Arab world.
In Libya, West Africans trying to get to Europe from the Libyan coast are abducted, imprisoned, tortured, robbed, killed and sold as slaves.
Likewise the working conditions Sub-Saharan Africans are subjected to in Middle-eastern/Gulf countries is a growing cause for concern.
Despite the dangers in these countries, Sub-Saharan African migrants still risk it all hoping for a better life only to end up being domestic workers just like the Nigerian housemaids; Many simply go missing and are feared killed.