Horror in Akwa Ibom

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This disturbing program aired on Channel 4 UK looks at the superstition and poverty, coupled with false Christian teaching in Akwa Ibom, and the subsequent effect upon the lives of innocent young children.

Contains disturbing images.

Please watch all six parts

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE8epBkSPfo Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXUKF8dHf4A {cmp_end}

Re: Horror in Akwa Ibom
Mikky jaga posted on 12-29-2008, 11:46:11 AM
The Party was held on the 23rd but no mention was made of NVS in the Nation report I read. The Sunday 28th December Edition. Are we publicity shy? Or are some of us secretly afraid of child witches?

It was a serious omision sha.
Re: Horror in Akwa Ibom
WaleAkin posted on 12-29-2008, 14:06:25 PM
Are we publicity shy? Or are some of us secretly afraid of child witches?

......Mikky, u dey buy newspaper at all abi na free reading you dey do for Bus stop?
Re: Horror in Akwa Ibom
WaleAkin posted on 12-29-2008, 14:53:02 PM
Re: Horror in Akwa Ibom
Mikky jaga posted on 12-30-2008, 08:52:51 AM


So, where was NVS in the link you posted? Or is "Nigerian Child Group and the Nigerian Child Organization (NCO)" equivalent to NVS? I said no reference was made to NVS, you posted something to confirm what I wrote, yet you called me a member of Free Readers Association.

Na wah for Walata o.
Re: Horror in Akwa Ibom
Kenn posted on 12-30-2008, 10:27:49 AM

So, where was NVS in the link you posted? Or is \"Nigerian Child Group and the Nigerian Child Organization (NCO)\" equivalent to NVS? I said no reference was made to NVS, you posted something to confirm what I wrote, yet you called me a member of Free Readers Association.

Na wah for Walata o.

Mikky Jaga & All,

This note is to clear up the misconceptions or more like answer the questions raised in Mikky Jaga's posts with regard to NVS and the Christmas party for the kids of CRARN. If you recall, NVS was never part of the Christmas party at any time. What happened was that some of us discussing the issue here opened a Google group in the name of The Nigerian Child Google Group where we joined up with several others who are not NVS members to form an organization known as the Nigerian Child Organization (NCO). It is this organization that conceived of the Christmas party for the kids, raised money for it and joined with Mr Sam Ikpe-Itauma and CRARN to put the whole thing together. That is exactly what The Nation reporter, Evelyn Osagie (whom I spoke to on the day of the party) reported in her piece that WaleAkin has linked here. NVS has nothing to do with it, even though some of us who are members of the Nigerian Child Organization (NCO) are also members of NVS. The party was not done in the name of NVS; money was not raised in the name of NVS and majority of members of the Nigerian Child Organization (NCO) who raised the money are not members of NVS and didn't do so on behalf of NVS.

Below are links to:

The Nigerian Child Google Group:


The Nigerian Child Organization (NCO):


There're still a lot to be done. The Christmas party was just a short-term affair. We have more short, medium and long-term objectives as enunciated in our Project document which I'm going to post here as well. Membership is still open. If you are interested, all you have to do is go to any of the sites above and register.

Re: Horror in Akwa Ibom
Kenn posted on 12-30-2008, 11:02:24 AM
Please, find below the Akwa Ibom kids Project document from the Nigerian Child Organization (NCO)

The Nigerian Stigmatized Children Reclamation Project (NSCRP) is the official name of the campaign we are presently involved in. Its aim is to support the children branded as "witches" and "wizards" and who are now being cared for by Mr Sam Ikpe-Itauma at his Child's Rights And Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) Centre at Ikot Afaha in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

We do not think it is appropriate to continue using the term "witches" or "wizards" to describe the children, whether by those who hate them or those who love them. If the whole idea is to cure them of that witchcraft mentality and return them to better psychological and physical state, then we need to desist from using the term of oppression and stigma employed to alienate them in the first place. So, rather than call them "witch children" or "witches" or "wizards", we call them "stigmatized children". We are in the business of reclaiming for them the dignity and humanity denied them and this must be reflected in terms we use to describe or refer to them as well.

The project has short, medium and long-term dimensions. One of the short-term aspects of the project has to do with our immediate decision on formation of the Nigerian Child Organization (NCO) to first organize a proper Christmas party for the kids. Firstly, there is no underlying religious reason for choosing Christmas – it just happens to be the most popular children holiday in that part of the country and it is the one that is most imminent. Indeed, the kids have always had a Christmas party before now, even if not on the scale now proposed. Thus, in a lot of ways, we are just continuing with a tradition already established at the Centre.

Secondly, the Christmas party project is not only about giving the kids rice and sweets. We intend to use the party and activities around it to send a message to the world, Nigeria, Akwa Ibom and the immediate community where the children are based. That message is that these kids are normal kids like others, that they have people who love them out here and who think the world of them. We want to use the instrumentality of the party to invite policy-makers and supportive religious and well-regarded community leaders to come to the occasion and help spread the word that these kids are no different from other children elsewhere. It is the beginning of our attempt to make people around them to see them more positively. We are placing emphases on using the party this time for better public awareness campaign purposes.

A budget of £3,000 (three thousand pounds) has been earmarked for this party. We are presently raising money for this purpose. So, please, donate to the cause. You can go to our Donation Page to choose the method and means most suitable for you Please, note that if you are donating to CRARN directly for the purpose of the Christmas party, we would appreciate if you let us know by email. Just state your name and the amount you've donated. This is to enable us keep account of how much exactly we are raising for the party and from what source).

One immediate challenge we will need to address is the obvious lack of structured and sustained support from the government for the Centre. In view of the epidemic proportions of the problem of stigmatized and abandoned children and the positive role being played by the Akwa Ibom State government and the police in picking up perpetrators now, the Child's Rights And Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) Centre at Ikot Afaha needs sustained government support to be able to cope with minimum expectations. Sam Ikpe-Itauma is struggling to cope with over 170 children (and still counting) with different types of needs twenty four hours a day. He's doing a huge social and moral service to the state and needs sustained support in form of a monthly budget for running the place and looking after the kids. While we applaud the Godswill Akpabio administration for standing up and doing something, we believe there is more to be done. We are ready to collaborate with the state and national government in all aspects of development of the Centre and the children. We will always help with resources and we will always contribute ideas when called upon to do so. But government must take the initiative. Indeed, we shall be putting pressure on governments at all levels, nationally and internationally, to stand up. While it is necessary in the short term to feed the children and all that, the long term goal should be to influence political power to guarantee the children's survival. But the work to get there must start now.

Another immediate aspect of the project is security. This is one that is just becoming obvious as a result of developments relating to the recent and ongoing arrests of some of those behind the incidences of child abuse and stigmatization of children. Mr Sam Ikpe-Itauma has been very helpful to the police in their work of arresting these people and presently, he's being threatened by supporters and followers of these fake prophets and prophetesses. The Centre where Sam and the children live is not secure. There is now the need to provide Sam and the kids some kind of security. Sam will be speaking with the police about this and we shall also be doing the same. Indeed, we shall be making appointments to see the police and government officials concerned in the coming week and when we do, we shall be proposing that a police post be stationed very near the Centre.

The last of our short-term goals is to open up channels of communication with church leaders and organizations within the state with the aim of letting them know what we think of the activities of their fringe membership and their responsibility to disown these people and help stamp out these practices from the body of Christ. We need to engage with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and the traditional denominations as well over this issue. There has to be a proper dialogue between us and church leaders to establish what the ground rules should be, based on the gospel and their responsibility to children and community. We have to let them know that they have to be part of the solution to the problem they helped create. They have to call their rogue fringe to order and contribute towards proper rehabilitation of the children. They must take to the road to convince superstition-ravaged parents that the prevalent teachings about child witchcraft are wrong. They must use a combination of faith-based teachings, common sense and sheer reason to get to these people. We are not saying they should try to tell the people that belief in witchcraft is wrong or unscriptural. What we are saying is that they must tell the people that Christ's love for children comes before all else. They must tell the people that Christ never rejected any child or ask that they be tortured to confess to witchcraft.

We have members of the Nigerian Child Organization (NCO) who are practicing Christians, but who know that there is no gospel that enables child abuse under any guise. They and the rest of decent society will never stand for anyone giving Christianity a bad name. The Nigerian Child Organization NCO) shall be taking a very close look at doctrinaire Christianity as practiced by these various churches and would be exposing those whose doctrines and practices support child abuse and stigmatization. We shall continue to liaise with the larger church on these issues with a view to pressurizing them to lean on their erring membership to do the right thing by the children as commanded by Christ.

Medium-term goals of the project include fundraising activities for the Centre's other near-immediate needs. Mr Sam Ikpe-Itauma is struggling to cope with looking after these kids in a very challenging environment. There is a serious case of poor and irregular feeding there in the camp and lack of basic healthcare facilities. Those taking care of the kids right now are volunteers, but there may be the need to involve professional nutritionists, psychologists and doctors to come take a look at the children and their environment. We may have to organize missions from abroad for these purposes as well as part of our own fact-finding exercise. Of course, another way we can help ameliorate the situation is to help put pressure on the federal and state governments to provide the Centre with some kind of standard financial help, not something dependent on the whims and caprices of an official. Their survival does not have to depend on luck. The state has a duty to protect, feed and heal the children at the Centre.

Long-term goals would look into the educational infrastructure available with a view to improving these. The fact that the CRARN children are prevented from attending the Stepping Stones Model School at Uquo is a big scandal. Now that the Child Rights Act 2008 has been signed, we would expect the state government to put its foot down and, if necessary use force, to put the children in the classroom at the Stepping Stones Model School at Uquo. Obviously, we support a process of mediation and persuasion first. Local community leaders have to take the responsibility to convince their people that the CRARN children have as much right to education at the Stepping Stones Model School as their children. But, if talks and persuasion fails, then we would expect the state government to implement the provisions of the Child Rights Act 2008 which has now been signed into law. And, as we've said, if necessary, we will support the use of force to put the children in the classroom at the Stepping Stones Model School at Uquo or any other school, primary or secondary, in the area refusing to accept the CRARN children. In America, when racism and bigotry was at its height, government used force to put black children in classrooms and today we can see the result of that in a Barack Obama winning the presidency of the United States! It may be practically more difficult to effect the same policy with those learning trades, but the solution to that may be in the provision of vocational courses and training around the Centre.

Whatever the situation, we have to lead efforts to ensure that the kids' education at primary and secondary levels is not compromised by the presently hateful attitude of the community around them. While we will join the government to engage community leaders in talks, we shall also be investing in facilities within the Centre while constantly putting pressure on government at all levels to do same.

The social integration and awareness aspect of the project is one that overlaps in terms of time. It is something we have to start now and sustain as the kids grow up. One of the ways this can be achieved quickly is through public enlightenment campaigns and publication of targeted literature to be constantly distributed in the area particularly and throughout the state generally. We can employ the native press (the town criers and cultural troupes, for instance) to spread certain targeted messages across villages and towns. Another way is the involvement of the traditional press. The celebrated Nigerian press, with its vibrant reportorial and investigative culture must prove its worth over this issue. Of course, we understand that the Nigerian press is also part of the traditionally suppressive social culture that sometimes defines crimes and punishments in superstitious terms; but as the Fourth Estate, they are capable of easily breaking free of that circumscription as they've done severally on matters of huge national importance. There can be nothing of bigger national importance than the life and wellbeing of children.

Indeed, it is time the national press begins to enlighten and train itself as to what its role should be in this matter, just as they are expected to enlighten and educate the people. Our role would be to continue to encourage them to shine the light on the issues and to help highlight their negative effects on national development. We will do our bit to collaborate with the press closely in this matter because of its sensitivity and seriousness. We believe with proper management of the issue, they will rise up to their responsibility and help with spreading the awareness nationally. That is why, for starters, their presence is crucial at the Christmas party.

It is important that now that the Child Rights Act has been passed in the state that the press plays its role of maintaining vigilance against those who wish to continue in the old dastard way. This means that the press will be critical during investigations and prosecution of persons still engaged in this children stigmatization business. The press will need to constantly help educate the citizenry about their responsibilities in this matter. Social integration is not going to happen overnight, but we must all be working towards it with vigour and commitment.

Finally, it is necessary to note that in order to achieve our objectives above, we may need to organize ourselves into work groups, with specific targets. But all that can wait until early next year. Nonetheless, it is important for members to put all the above in mind, so that we know exactly where to concentrate and what to aim for when discussions on these aspects of our programme begin.

NB: The above is by no means an exhaustive list of what the Nigerian Stigmatized Children Reclamation Project (NSCRP) should be all about. Anyone would appreciate that there are issues that are not yet in the horizon, but which may come up anytime and which may need to be addressed. Indeed, there are issues such as monitoring the children's progress in their educational development, self-help efforts (through agriculture, for instance) and progressive study of individual attitude of each child in order to see how they can best be helped to adjust to society outside the Centre when the time comes. Indeed, what we have done is to assume the role of parents for each child. We therefore are not only going to provide financial and political support, but sustained emotional support as well.
Re: Horror in Akwa Ibom
Kenn posted on 01-05-2009, 11:45:27 AM

Ahaoma Kanu

Everybody that saw them took a minute or two to get entertained as they watched how beautifully cute and lovely they looked; they laughed, they danced and they really showed the world that they were humans, innocent boys and girls that deserved to be treated with respect, love, affection and an understanding that they are the future of their state, their country and the world in general and there is no stopping them.

The children of the Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) based at Ikot Afaha in Eket LGA of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria were a sight to behold as they celebrated their Christmas Party on the 23rd of December 2008. And they have the Nigeria Child Group (NCG) and other organisations to thank for the fun galore and exciting moments they had during the event.

Eleven year old Comfort Bassey, a child at the centre, captured the celebration as being a day they lived and were seen as normal children by the community and people that had hitherto branded them witches and wizards.

"People watched us and smiled; they waved at us and danced to our music. For once, they saw us as normal children doing things to make them happy."

It is no longer news about the infamous and nefarious man's inhumanity to children going on in some communities in Akwa Ibom State and its environs after the United Kingdom's Channel 4 Television broadcasted the documentary "Saving Africa's Witch Children" on Wednesday, 12th of November, 2008. The world was informed of the how some religious institutions ordained traditional practices and beliefs in witchcraft to perpetuate a massive pogrom on children by diagnosing them as witches and wizards responsible for assumed misfortunes and ill lucks lurking in some families. Their verdict most times was passed according to a law culled from a verse in the bible which commands them to "suffer not a witch to live." While an uncountable number of the defenceless children from the ages of three months to 15 years were unlucky to lose their lives by being tortured to death, buried alive or roasted through a trial of ordeal to make them confess to being witches, some lucky one were banished from the land or left in thick evil forests to die. Many survived and became members of the CRARN founded by Mr. Sam Ikpe-Ituama to cater for them and protect them from a society they were once part of.

The emotional documentary shook the whole world and made many curse the churches that were involved in the act while others wrote petitions to the government to act on some of the perpetuators of the act especially a self-confessed Bishop that claimed to have killed 110 children. The government of Akwa Ibom State led by Mr. Goodswill Akpabio suddenly woke up to their responsibilities to protect the lives of the affected children and went on a face saving operation to prosecute the offenders.

A group of Nigerians and friends of Nigeria took a step than actual criticisms and condemnations associated with the exposé; they came under the umbrella of the Nigeria Child google group to find a means of affecting the children in a way that would be sustainable. The group soon metamorphosed to the Nigeria Child Group after member participation became overwhelming. Their interaction and actions gave rise to a Christmas party for the children and it was one hell of a gig.

The party started with a Awareness Rally and carnival-like ride through the major streets in Eket and Esit Eket communities of Eket Local Council, cheering people dressed in their silk attires with painted faces and jerry curled hair style for the girls while the boys had a smart looking hair cut. The people were taken by surprise and had to give in to their better judgement as they waved at the carnival train that blasted cool Nigerian music to the delight of everyone. If the carnival train and the music did not get your attention, then the dance steps of the children will surely arrest your admiration and leave you with a smile that propels the hand to wave and dance at the same time.

After completing the round down Eket town, the train came back to the beautifully decorated CRARN centre which was the venue for the event. Already, the venue was bearing a party setting with canopies mounted, chairs arranged and ribbons of different colours giving the arena a silky feeling of Christmas.

As the two MC's that took charge of the occasion declared the party started, it was never a dull moment till the end.

The party started with an opening prayer by 8 –year old Joshua who prayed a touching prayer asking God to make the day a memorable one and bless the people that helped in making the event a grand one.

"God make the people keep seeing us as normal people as they all did today and also touch the hearts of our parents to know that we are not witches and wizards," he prayed.

The MC ordained him Pastor Joshua immediately to the applause of the crowd. Personalities were called to the high table starting from the President of the CRARN, Sam Ituama, followed by Mrs. Anne Medikong, a Nigerian by marriage who has been helping the centre for a long time. Interestingly, the white lady has married and being in Oron since 1974 and could speak the Ibibio language fluently. The representative of the Nigeria Child Group, Mr. Ahaoma Kanu, was also called to the high table. Other guests like the Governor, the wife of the governor, the Commissioner for Information and leaders of different religious institutions were visibly absent with nobody to represent them but it was not noticed as the excitement that hung in the air added more distinguished feeling to the event.

The first presentation was by the CRARN children who were clad in their different coloured clothes of pink, sky blue, green and yellow, they performed their welcome song to the delight of all. The welcome song was emotionally moving with lyrics that pleaded with society to have a change of mind towards the children. It welcomed everybody from far and near with whatever belief or insinuation to their Christmas party in the song that had part of its lyrics thus:

"We are here to celebrate with you on our Christmas Party day

We are kids from the CRARN academy and we are here to bring knowledge to the land

We are here to celebrate with you on our Christmas Party day.

You are welcome; you are welcome to our Christmas Party day."

Isn't that touching?

After the welcome song, the President and Chairman-in-waiting, according to the MCs, of the CRARN gave his opening speech. He welcomed everybody to the party and used the opportunity to thank the organizations that helped in making the party a reality.

"We are very grateful to you all for showing us that people really care for us and love us as human beings without any prejudice."

He also advised the communities to see the children as normal kids with normal lives that need love, care and affection.

It was then time for the first act of the day to present their performance and PRG, three –man group, made an appearance on their stylish white shirt, loosened ties and black trousers. They started by giving the children some soothing words of encouragement concerning their circumstances.

They said that the environment oppressing the children inspired the track.

"We feel very sad about what is happening to the children, parents needs to call these children home and show them love because they are the leaders of tomorrow," they said.

"Maybe your parents have done something bad to you, don't give up because you are special and you will get there," they said. They went on to perform a track that boosted the confidence of the children entitled, Don't Give Up.

The next act called Ame P came hard on the parents that were involved in the inhumanity to the children but consoled and gave hope to the CRARN kids in his song Change Your Way. His performance was strictly for the children and he faced them throughout the duration of his show time. He waved his hands in the air and all the kids waved back and chorused after him, Change Your Life style.

Ame P confided to NCG that he had to hit the parents because of how he feels about the discrimination going on.

"When I look around the society and see the discrimination going on, it brings pain to my heart and I feel like crying. I sat down and composed something that will touch people to change their lifestyle," he said.

After the thrilling performances, the children choir of CRARN led by the head teacher, Mrs. Rebecca Abiana and Juliana John came and delivered Christmas songs to the applause of the crowd. A comic member of the choir that made the children laugh a lot due to his demonstrations was the Party Mascot called Ekpeyong who danced to the Christmas carols to the envy of Santa Claus who though all day long that the party was supposed to be his thing. Both found a way around the event and became friends throughout the event.

It was during that time the first set of visitors of repute came, the entourage of Obong Mkparawa, King of the Boys, Obong Marcualay Thompson Akwaowo and the Village Chairman of Ikot Odiong, Mr John came into the event to give a cultural and traditional colour to the occasion. The children marched out to welcome the guests before reading out the keynote address that focused on their plight on being regarded as witches and wizards.

To buttress the point, the CRARN cultural troupe performed three presentations that depicted how the Child Witch phenomenon destabilizes families, disintegrates the child from receiving parental love and care and sets them on collision with the society which hunts them as predators. The result of the assault most of them pass through is gory, painful and results in psychological trauma, social discrimination and in most cases instant death without a chance of the children defending themselves. They called on the people and the government to have a rethink and accept them as normal as none of them are guilty of the sins for which they are sentenced for.

After the sympathy-loaded speech by 13 year old Emmanuel, the Obong responded by assuring the children that their plight is being looked into by both the traditional council and government.

"For the fact that I came here with my entourage right from the local council from which I collected my certificate shows you that our community accepts you all as our children," he said.

It was then time for the CRARN beauty pageant to produce Miss CRARN 2009, girls from the ages of 8-12 were called upon to participate in the beauty contest and they came out ready for some show off and they did present the crowd with majestic catwalks that elicited excitement, happiness and joy from the crowd.

After close to 30 minutes of careful unbiased display of the most captivating catwalks in the face of the whole Ikot Afaha, Miss Ime Godwin Mbok (11 years) emerged the winner and was declared Miss CRARN 2009, her victory attracted a whole lot of jubilation and she was showered with gifts of money amounting to over N2000.

When she did her victory dance around the arena, there was no doubting the decision of the jury which comprised of a democratic process of asking the people to elect their Queen; Miss CRARN became the dancing queen and showcased dance steps fit only for a royalty.

The boy's competition was in dancing and Etuk (8 years) beat his counterpart Ubong (11) to become the newly crowned Mr. Dance of CRARN.

The competitions then opened the floor for the CRARN cultural dancing troupe to present their dance drama that saw almost all the women and men joining in the dancing that involved a lot of waist bending and foot shuffling in a manner known only to the dancers but drew admiration from the crowd. The ovation was the loudest and was made more pronounced by the explosion of canon fireworks courtesy of the Obong.

The most colourful display involved the masquerade section by the CRARN children; their masquerade danced in a circular motion amidst traditional hailing from both his entourage and the crowd who were delighted to have the masquerade display which came as a surprise.

It was then time for group presentations by the kids and it came in a couple form; the children, dressed in cultural clothes depicting the different ethnic groups in Nigeria, entertained the crowd by informing them of the culture they represented as well as performing the dance of that particular ethnic group.

The cultural display gave room for refreshment and the children were fed to their fill as they were served with packaged rice and the drink of their choice; they all ate to their fill and that gave room for the dancing that soon ensued till the end of the party.

While delivering the vote of thanks, the CRARN president thanked all the guests that were present and showered his gratitude on the Nigeria Child Group that sponsored the party.

"We are very grateful and will keep saying special prayers for you all," he said.

Some of the children expressed their gratitude to NCG for giving them a wonderful Christmas party.

"I will like to say thank you NGC for coming to our aid and we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year," Comfort Bassey said.

One of the children went round the arena holding a placard that summed up all what the children had to say to the group; the placard read, "THANK YOU NIGERIA CHILD ORGANIZATION."
Re: Horror in Akwa Ibom
WaleAkin posted on 01-08-2009, 18:56:50 PM
Some photographs from the Childrens' party.
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Remember Mary? The Girl chased away from the family house by the Uncle with a matchete in the Channel 4 documentary..........She is happy at CRARN
Re: Horror in Akwa Ibom
WaleAkin posted on 01-08-2009, 19:05:33 PM
More Pixes...........

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The March past

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Re: Horror in Akwa Ibom
WaleAkin posted on 01-08-2009, 19:10:32 PM
The Man himself Mr Sam Ituama(Middle). Lets give it to him cos hes a rare breed. and our very own amiable Okenikpoto
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