Nigeria's Child Witchhunt Leads to Police Attack by Ebele Chizea

Nigeria's Child Witchhunt Leads to Police Attack

by Ebele Chizea
Published on Mon, Jul 13 2009 by Ebele Chizea
Sadly, in this day and age there are children in the Akwa Ibom area of Nigeria, and many other places on the continent, who are abandoned, maimed and sometimes killed by parents and church leaders for the supposed crime of witchcraft. Documentaries like, “Saving Africa’s Witch Children,” aired on BBC, Channel 4 have brought awareness to this issue.
 
CRARN, Child Right and Rehabilitation Network was founded to provide housing, food and education to these children. Sadly, their work is being threatened by the police. According to Sahara Reporters and other news outlets, on July 3rd police went into the home of CRARN’s founder, Mr. Ikpe- Itauma, and seized and destroyed many of his personal belongings. Sadly, it did not end there as they proceeded to beat up a number of children who were caught protesting the matter. Two children, according to the report, are currently in the hospital.
 
Proponents of this abuse claim that the children are witches and therefore deserve the harassment and abuse. What qualifies them as witches is not made clear. The witch hunt movement and the recent police attack are believed to have been led by a Pastor Helen Okpabio, who has gained immense popularity for her movies on child witches.  In my opinion, Mrs. Okpabio’s fascination with witches is very revealing of her unscrupulous character.
 
Currently, the security of the children and staff of CRARN is in jeopardy. The Police who are supposed to be symbols of protection in Nigeria have proven in this case to be agents of terror. With the latest event, only God knows what lies in store for these victims.
 
 
To learn more about CRARN and to donate or support the cause, visit www.crarn.org
 

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