Wonderful work, Jeremy. many kudos. I wish I can join you in this work, but I live in a rural area of lekki peninsula in Lagos.kind wishes.Charles.
It surprises me that as a nation we have relegated to a mere NGO the active response that is desperately needed to save and protect these vulnerable children . Chapters 25 and 26 of The Criminal Code Act (Chapter 77 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 1990 contain sufficient legislation under which the perpetrators of these cruel acts of child abuse can be successfully prosecuted in courts of law.Section 17 of the Act provides as follows: Subject to the provisions of any other written law, the punishments which may be inflicted under this code are death, imprisonment, caning, fine and forfeiture.These people can be brought to court, convicted and punished. A task force needs to be set up, even if composed mainly of non-indigenes of that general area, the idea being that a non-indigene is less likely to be subject to the fear of witchcraft that appears to be endemic to that area.Since this story broke over a year ago, (I even recall that in December 2007 Jeremy blogged about it), the most that we have seen is an outpouring of outrage. In the Channel 4 documentary, it took a protest march to the Akwa Ibom State House by the children themselves, organised through the efforts of the NGO Stepping Stones Nigeria in collaboration with their partners, for the Akwa Ibom State government to take any notice at all of the occurence of hideous child abuse in that state.
I just left akwa ibom state and there are churches everywhere,i mean everywhere,some named after rivers and others with weird names with even weirder worship practices.rev king's still groovin in lagos,he burnt someone alive,this wont be different that bishp will end up bribing his way out,he has a lot of monry already(40k a child).In every 6 people from akwa ibom u'l find either a deacon,an evangelist or a pastor,am leavin out self proclaimed reverends and bishops.It's such a shame it took Mary Slessor to stop the killing of twins in calabar,another foreigner's tryin to end this.God help us.
Everybody is thinking "this is not my problem". The Federal government and the various state governments probably consider this to be a problem for Akwa Ibom State alone. Let Akwa Ibom deal with it! But this is a problem for all of Nigeria and for all Nigerians. The children who are suffering this abuse are Nigerians. In the eyes of the world, we all are culpable. It is as if we have abused those children ourselves. The responsibility is ours to do something about it.The Akwa Ibom State government itself is clueless, going by the puny attempt it has made recently in reaction to the public outcry. Perhaps, even those within the Akwa Ibom State government who are tasked with the implementation of policy action are themselves fearful of witchcraft! Unless a determined effort is made to bring this madness to an end, vulnerabe innocent child citizens of our country will continue to be brutally abused. Many will be accused of witchcraft and some of them will still suffer the fate of having 6inch nails driven into their heads!
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