It might seem that we are quiet but we are not. Indeed, we have been working with groups to see how we could stamp out the steretypification of the innocent kids being accused of being witches. We have failed in some of our activities, and we have been tremedously successful in others. Our main headache now is a woman 'evangelist' called HELEN AKPABIO, the witch catcher!!
You would recalled that we cried out sometimes ago that HELEN is demanding a whooping sum as a compensation for Sam Itauma's participation in a documentary 'Saving the Child Witches' (see: www.hawkafrica.blogspot.com). I saw a copy of the letter sent to Sam by a law firm in Lagos when I visited the CRARN Center in April. The letter was replied legally by CRARN's team of lawyers. After the reply, we have not heard from HELEN until on July 3, 2009!!!
On July 3, 2009 at around 7am a team of unclothed Policemen forced their way into the CRARN center on the orders of 'The Evangelist'. Sam was not at the Center, he left early in the morning to visit one of the opinion leaders in the area who will take a part in a programme on community sensitization that he is organising. THE POLICE BEAT UP SAM'S WIFE and WOUNDED SEVEN OF THE ALLEDGED WITCHES living at the CRARN Center, Ikot Afaha, Akwa-Ibom state, Nigeria. The wife and a staff of the center were arrested only to be freed after 48hours as opposed the 24 hours stipulated in the constitution. Sam's laptop computers and a 500pounds donation he received for the center on his recent visit to London and other valuables were missing at the end of the operation.
After they were released on the orders of the Commisioner of Police, Akwa-Ibom state, 'The Evangelist' called the Commisioner and lampooned him for daring to free those threatening her life (what she meant by this is her livelihood because her last revival in Akwa-Ibom was not as successful as she expected; she lost her investment!!).
Various groups are planning one programme or the other to bring this issue to public discourse and seek justice for Sam and the Kids. The HAWK Project shall be addressing an international press conference on thursday 9 July, 2009 in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State. Tagged "Stop Harrassing Sam and the Alledged Witches", the press conference will renew call for Sam and the Kids protection and call the public's attention to the acts of injustices being orchestrated by Helen Akpabio.
As for Sam and the kids, they now live in perpetual fears for they know not what next the woman of terror will do!!
You see, we need you to help publicise this attack and call attention to the pains and sufferings of these innocent kids as well as that of their 'Defender', Sam Ikpe-Itauma!!
Yemi Ademowo Johnson
Coordinator, HAWK Project