Two children accused of being witches have been rescued by Basic Rights Counsel Initiative, a Calabar-based child’s rights organisation.
The rights group had come to Ikot-Abasi-Effiom community in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State to screen a movie when they were notified about the boys.
According to Punch Newspapers, the children (ten and seven years old) were about to be lynched by members of a church when the group rescued them.
According to a source in the community, Sunday Nta, the children were condemned as witches after a female family member accused them of attacking her in the dream and snatching her unborn child.
The children were ostracized from the community but were later taken by a church, led by a prophet, to the bush for torture.
An uncle of the two boys thereafter made contacts on how to rescue the children.
“The kids were stigmatised as soon as they were branded as witches. But the situation took a new dimension on Friday when the children were taken to the forest and tied to a tree.”
“They were battered and assaulted by some members of the family, leaving them with cuts and bruises all over their bodies.”
“Respite came the way of the children when an uncle, who arrived from town, demanded the release of the children with threats of calling the police and on learning of BRCI’s visit, took the children to the venue where, coincidentally, a movie was being screened.”
Secretary of the rights group said that the tortured children have been taken to a health center for treatment.
“The rescued children have been taken to the Community Health Centre and we have paid the bills for them to be given proper medical attention.”
“We also ensured that the uncle who rescued them temporarily keep the children in his custody.”