In Nigeria, a couple has been arrested after being found to have subjected their 5-year-old child to near-starvation, following allegations from their church pastor that the child was a witch.
According to reports from the country, this incident occurred in the Anambra state, where the Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Hon. Ify Obinabo, revealed this information in a statement on Thursday, September 7, 2023. She stated that the parents of the victim claimed that their pastor had referred to the child as a witch.
Addressing the culprits at her office in Awka, Hon. Obinabo emphasized that her primary responsibility is to protect the rights of every child in the state, whether from the government or not, and assured them that criminals would not be let off lightly.
On their part, the suspects, Mr. Michael Wosu (47) and Mrs. Blessing Michael (23) from Akwa Ibom, stated that they were not responsible for the child’s starvation as they were merely obeying their pastor’s prophecy that their child was a “witch” and therefore “unworthy to live.”
Blessing also mentioned that she made the girl sleep on a board due to frequent bedwetting. She claimed that the 5-year-old was “responsible” for her husband’s failures. Meanwhile, Michael Wosu denied having any knowledge of the child’s abuse.
As of the time of reporting, the suspects remain in police custody while the survivor receives treatment at an undisclosed hospital in Awka.