OBANLIKU, NigeriaMonica, 16, is one of two sisters sold as wives to men who found their photographs on their father's page and contacted him. She and her 14-year-old younger sister never wanted to get married until they completed their secondary education in Ogbakoko, a small village in Obanliku Local Area in Nigerias south-central Cross River state. But the teenage sisters fell victims to a culture which subjects little girls, some as young as 10, to de facto through a tradition called money marriage.

The sisters belong to the Becheve , a large tribe of 17 villages in Obanliku where there is a long tradition in which young girlsoften referred to as money or money wivesare sold in exchange for food or livestock or cash, or to settle debts.

Like hundreds, or perhaps thonds, of girls from the Becheve clan who are victims of money marriages, Monica and her sister were sold without their consent. Their father wanted to clear the debt he owed to a distant relative. The two sisters got married a month apart to men whom they did not know at all and who were old enough to be their grandfathers.

Their respective hbands got in touch with their father after seeing the page where he posted photos of his six daughters to draw the attention of his tribesmen. The men of the clan have found the new helps to extend and expand their old, exploitative traditions.

My father knew nothing about until my elder brother bought him a and convinced him to join and post our photographs whenever he likes, Monica told The Daily Beast. He'll buy new clothes and force me and my sisters to put them on before taking photographs of .

ually in the Becheve , parents of the money brides take the girls to men who can afford to pay for their daughters whenever they think they are fit for marriage, or wait for interested men to request their daughter's hand in marriage. But in recent months, families who are so desperate to give their children away for money turn to so their kinsmen can check them out.

It is young people who convince old men to look for wives on , said Monica, who ran away from her hband to live with a friend less than a year after she got married. The man I married said his oldest son showed him my photo on and directed him to my father.

In effect, they e , quite literally, as a face book, although the actual exchange of money or goods does not take place online.

Spokespeople for , when contacted by The Daily Beast, were not familiar with the phenomenon as practiced in the Becheve .

In other cultures where brides have been auctioned online, measures have been taken to stop the tractions.

Reports of being ed as a tool to facilitate child marriage arent unique to Nigeria. Last November, the social platform came under fire after posts discsing the sale of a 16-year-old girl in South Sudan. The victim was married in the process after her father, in exchange for his daughter, received 530 cows, three Land Cruiser V8 cars and $10,000. The teenager reportedly was bid on by five men, including senior officials in the South Sudanese .

said it took down the post as soon it learned of of it on Nov. 9, but that wasn't until after the victim, Nyalong Ngong Deng Jalang, had been married off as the 10th wife of Kok Alat, a wealthy binessman from the countrys capital city of Juba, on Nov. 3. The post seeking bids for the teenager reportedly was published on Oct. 25.

After ation of the winning bid, Jalang achieved a certain notoriety in local as the most expensive woman in South Sudan.

But the money wives of Becheve rarely receive any ity, and often endure very dficult times as, in effect, chattel servants. They are ually not allowed to go to school and could be given out to another man their hbands so desire. the hband of a money we dies, his next-of-kin becomes her new hband. The Becheve ctom demands that a money we dies without bearing any child, her parents can bring another girl in the family to replace her. Regardless of the treatment she gets in her hband's hoe, a money we is not to run back to her parents.

The practice is meant to boost the stat of the men in Becheve , Magn Ejikang, a local chief in Ogbakoko, told The Daily Beast. The more brides you have, the more respect you gain in the .

But for many money wives in the Becheve , the experience in their hband's home is often disastro, with reports of marital abuse and exploitation.

Once he married me, he turned me into his slave and punching bag, said Monica, whojt like her sisterwas given away to her hband for 20,000 Nigerian naira (about $50), along with two s, a pig and some yams. He said he paid so much to marry me and so I had to labor hard by working for hours everyday in the farm to prove that I'm a grateful we.

Monica and her sister, who is still married to her 65-year-old hband, aren't the only girls to have ended up in forced marriage after their photos appeared on . Regina, another teenager from the Becheve tribe, was sold in January by her parents to a man already married with two wives and 11 children. Her hband found her photo on the page of her uncle, who is notorio for putting photographs of his female relatives on the social site to draw the attention of men from Becheve seeking child brides. She was then forced into marriage after her uncle pressured her parents, to the dismay of her older brother.

Our greedy uncle, in his ual way of manipulating his brothers into selling their daughters, convinced my parents [to give out their daughter in marriage] becae he wanted a share of the bride price money, John Ashua, brother of 15-year-old Regina, told The Daily Beast. He earns a living by looking for hbands for the girls in the family even when they are not ready to get married.

Married le has been dficult for Regina herself. Besides having to drop out of school and carrying out most of the chores at home, she has to look after her hband's livestock, which includes dozens of s and pigs, and she is punished she doesn't work as demanded.

He beat me last night becae I said I was tired and couldn't have sex with him, Regina, who is now pregnant, complained to her brother on the telephone. Whenever he returns home at night, he demands sex.

is hugely popular in Nigeria with about a fifth of the country's 98 million internet ers connected to the site. But in rural areas like the Becheve , where literacy levels are not so high among the elderly, the social platform is mostly common among young people, who are the greatest owners of smart phones. Activists say youths in the clan are actually the b behind men searching for money wives on .

The majority of Becheve men knew nothing about until their sons and other young relatives began to show them photos of young Becheve girls on the platform, Queen Eteng, a er with the Nigerian 's rights NGO, Our Network, told The Daily Beast. Most fathers don't run the pages opened in their names. Rather it is younger family members who create the pages and post the photos.

In the Becheve , the practice of child marriage is deeply rooted in its ctoms and tradition. While rights campaigners admit it will be challenging changing the age-old tradition, they do nevertheless believe that the scale of the practice could easily be reduced.

Young people have a huge role to play in putting a stop to this brutal tradition, said Odey, whose organization works to end child marriage in Cross River state. We are reaching out to young men in Becheve to put a stop to the e of to display photos of girls for the purpose of having them married.

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