By Akande Daniel

Kidney harvesting is increasingly become a common phenemenon dotting the landscape of the country, particularly in and around the federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja. There has been reported cases of cash for kidney transactions, and some cases of forcibly removed of kidneys without consent of their owners. The illict and illegal trade and transplantation of kidneys and other body organs.

We have also heard of people giving out their kidneys in exchange for cash. Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, is now plagued with the salient crisis of organ trafficking. The primary cause of this situation is poverty, strategically weaponized by successive capitalist governments in Nigeria, which have consistently neglected the utilization of state resources to improve the conditions of the working class and peasants in the country.

The reported activities around Kidney harvesting involve a range of illegal practices, including forced organ removal from vulnerable individuals, human trafficking, and the involvement of unqualified practitioners operating in clandestine environments. This negates lawful organ transplantation, which involves the voluntary and altruistic donation of organs to save and improve improving health. Legal organ transplantation takes place inside a regulated framework with strong ethical criteria and donor and recipient informed consent.

The most common victims of kidney harvesting in Abuja are unsuspecting citizens who are lured with false promises of financial compensation, healthcare, or employment opportunities etc. Some of the reasons that contributed to this heinous activity are socioeconomic inequalities, weak law enforcement and the corrupt practices amongst the law enforcement agencies, government administration and healthcare service workers contributing to the rise of this illicit trade.

This has contributed to the growing trend in kidney harvesting in the country’s capital. Still, this situation becomes so worrisome when it becomes clear that the country’s capital is not the only epicentre of this criminal activity. For instance, In 2018, a mass grave in Anambra State revealed bodies believed to be victims of organ trafficking. An ICPC investigation exposed a private hospital in Ibadan involved in illicit kidney transplantation. In 2020, a man in Lagos lured victims with fake job promises, abducting them for organ removal. August 2023 saw Dr. Noah Kekere arrested in Plateau for illegally harvesting kidneys, causing chronic pain. The NMA declared him a quack, highlighting the pervasive issue of illegal organ harvesting in Nigeria.

Even though the Nigerian government has passed the Trafficking in Persons Prohibition, Enforcement and Administrative Act, the point is that it would amount to nothing if the root cause of the crime is not addressed. Capitalism is the root of this criminal act; the high incidence of poverty, unemployment, and unequal distribution of resources create fertile ground for organ trafficking networks to exploit vulnerable individuals seeking financial stability.

To address this is to end capitalism, we need to fight for a socialist system and ending poverty requires a struggle of the working class, which will put an end to the greed of the capitalist class and create an egalitarian socialist society in which people will not have to sell their organs as a result of poverty and where a qualitative health care system will be established to respond and take the need of all of the patients who require organ transportation.