"child witches" participate in peaceful protest

I have been following the Akwa Ibom child witch phenomenon for some time now. unfortunately the only time i mentioned their plight on this blog was in reference to Maduekwe's incredible denial of their existence. For more information and the organization that seeks to protect our society's most vulnerable members, Child's Right and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN), I would check out the following posts from members of the Nigerian blogosphere...

naijablog - has been following the story since 2007
bellanaija - her personal take on the situation
Nigerian Health Watch - a more recent piece on the CRARN attacks

Fortunately, the children of CRARN are taking matters into their own hands, peacefully, and protesting police brutality against the children and staff members. See the article here. Inspiring. However, I went to the comments and found that one particular fellow seemed to deny the existence of maltreatment of these children. Of course I reacted (hopefully 234NEXT will publish my comments soon). However, I began to wonder, beyond Maduekwe, how widespread is this attempt on the part of Nigerians to close their eyes to the horrible "child witch" phenomenon in Akwa Ibom? I have talked primarily to my fellow Naijamericans here who do believe that such is happening and needs to be addressed promptly (however, I have noted that many have used it as a platform to rehash their horrid stereotypes about the perceived backward-ness of some ethnic groups in the South-South - to which I whole-heartedly disagree with....).

Anyway, it may be my naivete....but how and why would someone read about the plight of these innocents and then figure that such news is not real? Am I missing something?

2 comments:

  1. Artsville said...:

    Hi, good to see that you are back. we just made a movie on the issue and it will be premiering on the 17th in Lagos. we have invited steppingstones, crarn, british council and some govt officials and hope that someone is moved to make lasting changes not just for the kids but the parents as we consider them victims as well.

    Frankly, 80% of Nigerians or more actually believe in childwitches.I found that out while making the movie.They may not agree with the beatings and stuff but they do believe that children and(for some crazy reason)all househelps are witches. It's a huge issue and we are hoping to educate the parents/guardians. For the affected kids, we will give a percentage of the proceeds from the movie.

    Sorry for the long comment.

  1. nneoma said...:

    @artsville - I do appreciate your comments. please send more info about the viewing so i can pass it along. you are very right, we often neglect the fact that the parents are often victims of this mass senselessness as well. in regards to househelps, the own plight is incredible, and we have not yet scratched the surface of attempting to protect their rights. i can't remember who said it, but the measure of a society is found in how they treat their most vulnerable citizens - and we, as Nigerians, have failed woefully in that respect. But yes, would definitely like to know more about the screening and possibly how we in the diaspora can view it as well. thanks again for your comments.