Monday, November 24, 2008

The witches of Akwa-Ibom

My daughter woke up with a fever today. According to Helen Ukpabio, she must be a witch for daring to have a body temperature above the normal.

I have read and watched with horrific interest the stories concerning the child “witches” of Akwa Ibom. There is a small clip on the documentary that shows the movie that is believed to be the “whatdunnit” that started or at the very least catalysed these winshing of children. A lot of emphasis has been put on Helen Ukpabio and while I agree that it should be put on her, I have noticed that there has been no word from the actors, producers, directors of this dastardly production. They are almost as guilty as Helen Ukpabio ( I use almost because while they must have moved on to shooting movies with other subject matters, Helen Ukpabio has used the platform the movie has helped build to spread the “child witches” propaganda and thus is in my humble opinion more culpable than her accessories in this crime). I refuse to watch the movie so I do not know the make up of the cast, but I do know from the documentary that Teco Benson directed it. Has anyone heard a word from him? He probably sleeps soundly every night despite the fact that he has helped in spreading this evil. And I thought we had a National Film and Censors Board. They let this pass through the cracks? So many questions....

I have not seen a single actor/ actress/ producer/ director in End of the Witches stand up to denounce their part in the making of that movie that has changed the course of the lives of a lot of children. Has led to deaths, forceful imprisonment or even a life worse than death as in the case of the girl who had a 3 inch nail driven through her skull.

The noble thing to do in the face of all this would be to find a way to right the wrong. Do TV interviews that will reach the masses - the very people that watched the movies and felt that the message was clear: Children can be evil and spread this evil within the family and their communities. It is everyone’s duty to kill/get rid of them so as to stop this.

And the PFN guy in the documentary who sort of denounced the movie, has he done so in his own church or asked fellow pastors to do so? He is in a position of authority and can effect change by giving a sermon highlighting the fact that the treatment being meted out to these children is nothing short of evil. Has he? Has any pastor under the PFN? Or are they worried about what would happen to their incomes if they should make bold to denounce this evil and distance themselves from it? Whatever happened to that all popular tool of the churches: excommunication? They have not excommunicated Liberty Church or the other churches that have sprouted from them so they must accept that their teachings are okay.

And why is it that no local TV station has gone down there to carry the news? Admittedly, I watch very little TV- National and otherwise but if it had been investigated and aired, I would have at the very least heard about it. Rather, we wait for foreigners to come and do out work for us. Shame.

This really is the end of times.