Wednesday, December 14, 2016

There Are Communities In Abuja Who Kill Twins, Infants Who Lose Mom At Birth, Because They Believe They Are Evil

Missionaries running the Vine Heritage Home, Kuje, Abuja have rescued no lesser than 103 infants, including sets of twins and albinos from 55 communities practising infanticide.

The youngest of the children are a set of twins, David and Davida, and another female infant, Angelica, whose mother died during childbirth.

The operators of the home, Mr. Olusola and Mrs. Chinwe Stevens said 55 communities in the Federal Capital Territory engaged in killing of twins and albino infants in the belief that they are evil.

According to the couple, the communities also killed infants who lost their mother during childbirth, noting that such children were believed to be responsible for the death of their mothers.
The missionaries spoke to Northern City News when members of a non-governmental organisation, Latinwo Projects, headed by Cathy Amato visited the home in company of Regina Hess, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to Nigeria.

Olusola said he established the home in 2004 when he found that the communities were killing innocent infants, adding that he set up the home because he could not ignore the dastardly acts going on in the area.

He stated that the oldest child among the rescued infants was Ruth, now 20 years old and attending a secondary school in the area.

The Osun State indigene explained that through their missionary work, four communities namely Kutara, Dogoruwa, Gbangede and Nasarawa have stopped killing twins, albinos and infants whose mothers died during childbirth.

Olusola attributed the high maternal mortality in the area to the lack of access to hospitals, noting that the women often gave birth at home and died when complications arose.

He said, “The communities also believe that if a child grows the upper teeth, he is evil and should be killed. It’s difficult to stop such killings because we don’t know and can’t monitor when a child would grow the upper tooth. They kill albino infants and twins in the belief that they are evil, but where I come from as a Yoruba man, having a set of twins means you are a special person, but they are being killed here.”

The missionary said twins and other infants marked for death were often poisoned with local herbs or abandoned to die of hunger.

“Majority of the children in the home lost their mothers at childbirth and we had to move in quickly to save them, otherwise they would be killed,” he said, adding that over 20 were killed before he could rescue them.

The media aide to the FCT Minister, Abubakar Sani, said the FCT Administration was aware of the practice, saying that sensitisation was being carried out in the communities.

“The administration is not happy about such cultural practices and we have been carrying out sensitisation programmes to educate and enlighten the people in the communities. We are also building clinics to make health care accessible to the people in order to reduce maternal and neo-natal mortality,” he stated.
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