Date Published: 05/12/11
Re: “Witch” Children Cries Out
The attention of the government of Akwa Ibom State has been drawn to an alarming publication by media organizations notably elombaho.com , an online news site, alleging that over 38 ostracized Akwa Ibom children have been abandoned and abused at the moribund Qua River Hotel and the Eket Township Stadium both located in Eket.
On getting wind of the information, government immediately swung into action and came out with the following;
Twenty one children of ages between seven and twenty (20) were found taking refuge in the two locations. Of this number, five reside at the Qua River Hotel while 16 others find solace in an abandoned truck at the vicinity of the Eket Sport Stadium.
An inventory of all the children has been taken by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, with a view to immediate evacuation of the said children. A temporary facility has been put in place by the government for the accommodation of the children while a permanent facility is underway.
Only one of the children age 17 was discovered to be an expectant mother and was immediately taken away by the government for prompt medical care.
Government wishes to reiterate that the safety and well being of all Akwa Ibom children is sacrosanct and as such, government will not fold its hands and watch few misguided elements who take pleasure in trampling upon the rights and privileges of Akwa Ibom Children as enshrined in the Child Right and Protection Act, 2008.
We again strongly warn parents, guardians and whoever person that engage in the habit of sharp practices against children, especially labeling the children as witches, to desist forthwith or risk incurring the full wrath of the law.
Government is not leaving any stone unturned in ensuring that all those culpable in the neglect and abuse of the children are brought to book in line with the provision of the Child Rights and Protection Law.
The Akwa Ibom State government hereby reiterates its determination to do everything in its power to ensure the protection of children, and indeed the safety and wellbeing of all residents in the state.
Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information & Social Re-Orientation
Akwa Ibom State - Nigeria