Sunday, February 21, 2016

ACCUSED 'WITCH CHILD' ABANDONED BY PARENTS: IS IGNORANCE TO BLAME?



In this day and age, one would hear unbelievable and heartrending deeds happening to children. We hear the stories and we wonder when such evils in the world will cease. In Nigeria, before  Civilization and Education enlightened the people; twin babies were regarded as evil and thrown into  evil forests and deep pits to die; until a strong willed Scottish missionary Mary Slessor put an end to it. Present Nigeria, we hear of children  physically and sexually molested, child labour and child marriages. And still trending is the case of 2 year old abandoned by his  parents, because he was  actually thought to be a witch child!
This particular story is not old news, it's been viral for some time and people are still talking about it. In Akwa Ibom state, a 2 year old boy was found and rescued by a Danish aid worker, Anja Ringgren Loven; who is the founder of the African Children's Aid Education and Development Foundation. The poor emaciated boy was found wandering about in Uyo; apparently living on scraps for several months. Ms. Loven immediately gave him water and something to eat before taking him away for a much needed bath and medical care. God was obviously watching over that poor child, it's a miracle  when he was found he was still alive. It breaks my heart imagining Hope (as he's now called) wandering about alone and starving all those months but seeing pictures of his smiling face assured the world he's in good hands. What his future is going to be, we are yet to know but it better not be Hope being handed over to the heartless parents who abandoned him in the first place. I sincerely doubt they would dare show their faces and claim Hope back. Hope deserves far better than them.
Ignorance goes a long way in the worst possible way; especially when it involves children. Ignorance was the main reason behind the killing of twins so very long ago, until Mary’s intervention; at the time they were thought to be abnormal. Education has enlightened us since then but unfortunately, there are still some primitive practices carried out and superstitious beliefs held. What was the basis behind  Hope's parents' accusation in the first place? A strange birthmark on the child's body? Something they thought they saw in him and  "collaborated" by some dibia? How could they bring themselves to do what they did to this boy; a 2 year old who had no means of looking after himself after he was thrown out. We still don't know on what grounds they accused Hope of being a witch child in the first place. But if they still believe such a thing about him, then should we blame ignorance behind their wicked action?
Frankly, I don’t know what to think in terms of their reason for abandoning Hope. But all I can say is that they did a terrible thing and I hope they will forever live in guilt.
Feel free to leave your comments. 

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