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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Couple Accused Of Witchcraft In Akwa-ibom Stripped And Beaten To Coma


http://www.igbofocus.co.uk/States--Link/Akwa-Ibom-State/Akwa-Ibom-2/A-Ibom-Witch-Hutting-6.jpg
If witches were horses, at least four men would never ride. The four included two personnel of the Nigerian Air Force, corporals Michael Williams and Akwaowo William; Uduak William who works with the Nigeria Police and the fourth, Ekereobong William, a civilian.....
They are brothers. They stripped Unclad their uncle, Mr. Polycarp William, and his wife, Mrs. Anna William, after beating them up. The offence of the septuagenarians is ‘alleged witchcraft’.

The attackers reportedly drove the couple from Ediene Abak, Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, after stripping them Unclad and made them walk on the streets. In their estimation, that was a just humiliation for the couple that they accused of being behind their stagnation in their chosen careers. As far as they are concerned, the couple deserve the punishment.

We wonder what the fate of the elderly couple would have been if not for civilisation and the law. Perhaps the septuagenarians would have been visited with the death penalty prescribed for witches in the Old Testament. The couple eventually relocated from the community to Ikot Obio Inyang village in Etinan Local Government Area of the state, where they are now taking refuge.

Mrs Williams put the issue in perspective: “We were stripped Unclad, ordered to sit on bare floor. They tied my neck with dried plantain leaves and hired a cameraman to take my pictures.” This corroborated an eyewitness account that: ”There were bruises on Anna’s knees as the men dragged her on the ground. She and her husband were ordered out of their home and community.” Her sister was not spared as she was also dragged out of the house. Not satisfied, the men reportedly destroyed some economic trees and a Volvo 740 saloon car belonging to their uncle.

It is a matter for regret that people who should know, are the very ones perpetrating this type of brutality with impunity. As air force personnel, Michael and Akwaowo represent the most scientific of all the armed forces. They belong to what we know as the elite force in the country. As for the policeman among them, Uduak, he is expected to enforce the law. If he too could be involved in this barbarity, what moral right would he have to enforce the law against anyone involved in such act? As they say, ‘if gold rusts, what would iron do’?

The four men manifested the worst in some of our uniformed personnel who see the arms they carry as mere toys that they can play with at any time. For instance, they were said to have threatened to shoot those who might have wanted to rescue the couple when they were assaulting them. “They beat them and threatened to shoot anyone who intervened in the matter. They cocked their guns to show their seriousness. It was a terrible Monday”, the eyewitness added.

With the matter now reported at the police station, we expect the law to take its course. Nothing should be done to give the impression that the case would be swept under the carpet because uniformed personnel are involved. It is regrettable that in some parts of the country, some people will, in this age, want to take the law into their hands because of some superstitious beliefs which are oftentimes unfounded or not supported by any scientific proofs.

If we must put a stop to the practice of people assaulting others on account of witchcraft, then we have to make scapegoats of those involved in such acts as well as continue to enlighten the people that such beliefs belonged in the realm of superstition.



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