Street Children In Calabar March In Protest Against Being Labelled Witches/Wizards | Daniel & Asuquo’s Heartbreaking Stories

This is worrisome! It is now becoming a normal practice in some states (Cross River, Calabar and Akwa Ibom especially) in Nigeria where children are branded as witches and wizards and are sent out of their homes by their parents or guardians to live on the street.

According to a recent report from the Guardian, children living on the streets of Calabar have started a protest against being labeled as witches.

Lots of children between the ages of nine and fifteen live on the streets of Calabar, sleeping on pavements and dumpsites. They survive by scavenging leftovers, while being exposed to drugs, sexual and physical abuse.

The children, popularly known as Skolonbo boys, who took their protest to the Cross River State Governor’s office in Calabar three days ago, carried placards with different inscriptions, saying ‘I am not a witch, I can contribute to the society,’ ‘Like every other person, we need a better life.’

Some of them, who spoke to the News Outlet, said the society and their families who tagged them as witches and wizards have neglected them.

A 12-year-old, who simply gave his name as Daniel, said he was sent away from home two years ago because a pastor told his father he was a wizard. Daniel said:

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“We came out today to tell the governor that we are just like everyone else in society. We live our lives here on the street; only few people give us food and clothes. It is not our fault that we are born. My father sent me out of the house three years ago because our pastor told him I was a witch, stopping him from progressing.”

Also speaking, eight-year-old Asuquo Joseph, said,

“My step mother used to beat me, that was why I left home. We want the governor to help us get a better life. We want to be special like every other person living in the state.”

Speaking on behalf of the State Government, the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor, Mr. Christian Ita, who claimed that 98 percent of the street children were not from Cross River State, said that what they need is to go back to school.

READ ALSO: 4 Female Children Abandoned By Parents After Being Branded Witches By Prophets Rescued

“The truth is that, we are not sure what they mean by better life, especially for those who have left home. What they need is to go back to school. The Ministry of Humanitarian and Social Welfare will definitely look into their matter”

said Mr Ita.

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