This man, by name Edem Okon, sitting with his two kids as shown in the picture is from Udung Uko. He came to the CRARN Children Centre, Eket, Nigeria, two days ago with the sole aim of killing one of his two sons under our care.
His reason, being a dream he had in which his 6-year-old son Elijah, purportedly came to stab him to death while he was sleeping in the night.
It is very strange for a father of two children, both of whom we look after in our Centre, instead of taking both of them home, to demand to take only one.
He said he wanted to take him for deliverance to his church on the request of his pastor. When we turned down his request, he came out with another spurious and fetish idea of taking the child out to buy things, like bread, and biscuits in the store, for him. This too was rebuffed.
We later discovered that he came with a poisonous seed called 'Esere' or 'Calabar bean', concealed in bread and biscuits, to give the unsuspecting son.
When all effort failed, he charged and started speaking angrily and warned his son not to visit him again in his dream otherwise he will have him killed one day. He also told the poor child in his native Oron Language that if he was allowed to accompany him, he would have removed the witchcraft spell in his stomach by force. (Ma afu ama kongo mi, ma mbifi nka nke sighi ifor ke udip, ke ulo)..
When a volunteer asked what he would have done to remove the said witchcraft spell from his son’s stomach, he said he would have used a knife to puncture his dirty stomach and throw him into the river!
This, as far as we know, is by no means a joke as many children have been killed in this manner over a fantasy witchcraft belief.
There's no doubt that we have come across individuals who are sadistic and maniacal in brutalizing their own children, but not one who is so vicious and audacious to come into our children center with the sole aim of snuffing out the life of his own little son without fear of the attendant consequences.
This is sickening and appalling.
It behooves on governments at all level, to treat witchcraft superstition as a pivotal issue that must be crushed, as the levity with which this has been handled over the years has given room to the avoidable violence against innocent children and elderly people that has resulted.