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.


  1. I couldn't agree more even though I have deliberately not followed the story to avoid nightmares... I really wonder how the perpetrators sleep at all.

  2. I honestly am hearing about this for the first time and i think it is so evil! Why would one demonise children? Helen Ukpabio has been known to make very extreme films! I thought she was banned at a time?

  3. it is so so sad...and to think the National Film and Censors Board are not bothered..

    My hubby manages a Naija TV company here in the UK and they have their channel on SKY. I think, not sure if it is the same movie, but it had to do with these witches stuff, they aired it and the compliance company gave him a call to remove it quick quick. Can u beat that..I hope they ban the movie soon in Naija...

  4. You may not see this news in th National TV cos a lot of our journalists beleive in this stuff

  5. warning-Long comment

    Standtall is so spot on. Too many people believe in them. And it's worse in Akwa Ibom, being an indegene myself, I can tell you that more that 70% percent of the population believe that their problems are tied to witchcraft who are most often relatives. Helen Ukpabio(I heard her Myself)preaches that for a witch to be able to kill you,it's got to be related to you by blood.
    I had some cousins over lately and most of their sentences started and ended with 'ifod'(ibibio for witch)

    I haven't seen the film but I know Helen makes extreme films, Censors board has banned her before. I think that she sometimes releases her movies even when Censors board does not approve. They give her trouble and she gives them even bigger trouble, perhaps she herself na witch.

    I guess the issue now is what can we do to stop this craze cos the news and outcry is mostly online, it has to be extended to the physical world to have much impact.My parents who live in Akwa Ibom have not even head of these stories. How do we get the mainstream media on board?

  6. Good point Artsville, a lot of pple are onw online though and it can still make an impact. We may try and look for Community Based Organisations that can take up this case ( I am not positive I know any now, but will try and check online)

    Any media person among us?

  7. @ Walking: You and I both.

    @ Writefreak: This is my second time of blogging about it. They even have a group on facebook. I really am passionate about this course and think that it lies with us to set the course of change.

    @ Aloted: Now that is a country that works (in that regards at least).

    @ Standtall: So true

    @ Artsville: I do not get how the Censors board will not approve of a movie and it will still be released. Something is very wrong there, then. They are supposed to be an Authority. If that is the case, they have failed in their duties. Is Helen Ukpabio a witch? In my mind, she is undoubtedly evil and even mentally unbalanced. She is the new age Hitler and these children are in her concentration camps.

    @ Standtall: I think that the most important thing is to get government intervention which I am not too optimistic about. I read a truly inane interview given by Governor Akpabio. He rattled on about his does that concern the matter at hand? Akwa Ibom has enough money to change the living conditions of these children within weeks if not days...what are they waiting for?

  8. So many of our so-called leaders are fetish and they will believe in this kind of barbaric act any day.

    I believe in Int'l community and NGOs taking charge than our govt cos it's when issue like this become embarrassing to them that they react

  9. That's sad. I never liked HELEN UKPABIO. you could see she took that nonsense seriously.its a shame.

  10. Helen is an actor turned pastor and as an actor she was usually took up a role of pastor and delivery of witches used to be her focus.

    She must really believe passionately in this. And to little suffering inoccent kids, nonsense!

  11. I saw the documentary and i was ashamed! Why? They are kids!

    And the fact that nothing is being done about it is sad! Not even a paper carried the news! Sad!


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