The HAWK Project

Thursday, January 29, 2009

HAWK Project: Of Poverty and Witchcraft

Dear friend,
My article appeared in the OP-ED of a Nigerian national dailies, the Nigerian Tribune.
We were also on the national radio news early in the week.
A feature is in the offing for the campaign in another National newspapers. We are also being invited to feature on a Radio programme soon!
You see, your petitions, supports and our efforts are never in vain: no matter how tiny, the drops will surely make ocean one day.

Of poverty and witchcraft

By Yemi Ademowo Johnson

"The campaign to make poverty history — a central moral challenge of our age — cannot remain a task for the few; it must become a calling for the many".
— Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General.

The Kofi Annan's challenge above is a mean one; a clarion call to every citizen of the world to do their bit, their very best, in the quest for a poverty-free world. To us, Africans , the call must be taken seriously to guarantee better future devoid of deprivations of essentials of life. Yet we see the probability of eradicating poverty in Africa soon, most especially in sub-Saharan Africa, as a mirage based on daily worrisome happenstances around us. Let's for example examine two of these disturbing trends of events that are giving many of us sleepless nights: belief in witchcraft and witch-killing or witch-stereotyping.

Read more here:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Mikey Times: Nigerian Child Witches: Hate and Hope

Dear friend,
There are many of us doing one thing or the other about this saga. The only problem is that we have diverse approaches which are good for the campaign.
Take a look at this web add:

The Mikey Times: Nigerian Child Witches: Hate and Hope


HAWK Forum

Dear friend,
Thanks for your supports but we still need more of it.
The National Forum was held as advertized.
Below are the pictures of the event:

Pix 1: From Left: Peter Adegoke, Director, Udo Schuklenk African Bioethics Initiative and Coordinator, Nigeria Bioethics Group, Miss Seun Sangolade (YHN), Mr. Sam Ikpe-Itauma (, Yemi Ademowo Johnson, YHN-HEF HAWK-Africa, and Mr. Temidayo Oladipo, YHN-HEF HAWK-Africa

Pix 2: From Left: Mr. David Omunukuma Olali, a Ritual Killing Researcher and a doctoral candidate at a leading U.S. University, Yemi Ademowo Johnson, YHN-HEF HAWK-Africa,Mr. Sam Ikpe-Itauma ( and Mrs Fatimoh Adebola, ChildHealth Advocate and Psychologist, who recently completed her programme at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Monday, January 19, 2009

HAWK Project: It is a Week of HOPE!

Dear friend,
This week is a week of hope. President-elect Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the President of the United States of America.

Need I remind anyone of the drama and political scheming that herald his emergence as the 44th President of the 'most powerful country in the world'?
The author of "The Audacity of Hope" is one person many citizens of the world are banking on to actualize their hopes and aspirations within the next four years.

Take a look at the picture here. Look into the eyes of these children and deny being moved to help them survive victimization, in the name of witchcraft. Help give them HOPE of a victimization-free future!

Help give them HOPE of a victimization-free future!
Send-in your own/group's petition today!

Yemi Ademowo J

Friday, January 16, 2009

Just Before the Weekend!

Dear friend,
Sorry to bother you again.
But come to think of it, why am I disturbing you or sending these mails? I wont say much but implore you to please find time to watch some of these youtube videos over the weekend. Please spare the time.
I want to believe that you will HELP by sending your or your group's petition in the coming week.

Please watch any of them:

1. African Children WITCHES


2. Child Witches, Nigeria

You can also find time to read some of these local editorials on the issue:

1. The Guardian Newspapers: The Akwa Ibom Debacle On Child Rights

2. The Punch Nerwspapers: The plight of Akwa Ibom children

3. The Daily Trust: Tackling the witchcraft question in Akwa Ibom

Dear friend, please SEND-IN YOUR PETITION TODAY!!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

HAWK Project: National Forum on Witchkilling and Stereotyping in Nigeria

Dear friend, as a follow-up to other YHN HAWK Project activities, a national forum/advocacy seminar on 'The Akwa-Ibom ChildWitches Saga: Ethnographic Report and Possible Solutions' will come up at the Alumni Center, University of Ibadan, Ibadan on 21 January, 2009 between 10am and 2pm.

This will be preceeded by a Youth Leaders' Interactive Session on 20 January, 2009 at a yet to be agreed venue.

We sincerely hope that you will assist us with YOUR PETITIONS as this will ease the work of the youth leaders that will attending the forum from the south-south zone.

Thanks for your anticipated co-operation.

Yemi Ademowo J

HAWK Project: Legal Advocacy Tempting as a Catalyst

Dear friend, we know your time is precious, yet MUST we allow this INJUSTICE to continue unabatedly?

We have decided to pursue this case legally, at the court of law, that is, to seek legal redress on behalf of these victimized children, with the hope of compelling the Akwa-Ibom State Government to take action on our demands.

Our search for pro bono legal services has commenced. By mid-February, if our petitions have not done the magic, then we shall use a court order/injunction as a catalyst.

And your petitions? They will be part of the evidences. Kindly let us know when you have sent a petition letter.

You see? You are vital to thisn struggle for justice!
We need you!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What is YHN Doing?

Dear friend, we are trying to get everyone involved in the cause to end this dastard act, the affected or victimized, the community (including some churches), the government and every other persons that could help.
Our activities are four phases:

1. Advocacy to dissuade members of the affected community from taking that cause of action
2. Whistle blowing the activities of the pastors involved in such acts
3. Participate in, organise and collaborate on projects that will dissuade the act
4. Train the youths, who are the change catalyst in societies, on how to reject being tools in victimizing, tormenting and even stoning the alleged witches, as well as how they have to fight against it.

On January 8th, 2009, YHN organised one of such advocacy training at the Youth Council Hall of the Ibeno Youth Council, with youths within Ibeno, Esit Eket, Mbo and Eket in attendance.

**This project is supported by Human Etisk Forbund, Oslo Flyke

In case you are wondering, how to get there,I mean Pastor Akpe's church,dont worry.
The church is located in Esit Eket Local Government, Akwa Ibom State Nigeria. The signpost above will show you that you have entered Esit Eket, where the death of countless young men (who died on motor bikes) and teenage mothers have been blamed on many children, within the area.

Pictorama of Churches involved II

Dear friends,
Below is the [picture of the Christ Apostolic Church, Ikpa, Esit Eket, where Pastor Akpe Alfred help to 'send' witches out of countless children, using all manner of devices.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pictorama of the churches involved

Here are the two churches I was able to get their picture during my recent visit to Akwa-Ibom.

The Presiding pastor here is Pastor Akpan Samuel

HAWK Project: Help Petition to Save these Children!!

Dear friend,

Having realized that everyone is important in these quest for a sane society where human rights of all humans will be guaranteed, the Young Humanist Network, Nigeria is seeking to compel the Akwa-Ibom State government to among others:

1. Enforce the newly enacted Child Rights Bill, recently passed by the Akwa-Ibom State House of Assembly,to the letter,without any executive interference.

2. Enjoin the State Assembly to also enact a Bill that will also Protect the Aged, most especially the vulnerable old-women.

3. As the Chief Security Officer of the state, Governor Godswill Akpabio should as a matter of urgency constitute a special task force , which will comprise members of the police force and the civil defense corps, that will stem the current tide of jungle justices rampaging the state

4. We will also like to enjoin the state to suspend the activities of churches investigated and found to be involved in child abuse in the name of exorcising witch-spirit, and the pastor prosecuted according to the Child Act operative in the state.

5. Finally,we want the Governor to provide security for and around Mr. Samuel Ituama, the Director of Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network, Eket, where over 160 children and about 5 old women, who have been accused of being witches, are housed.

These five DEMANDS are what we are requesting that you help us state in your petition letter which should be sent to:

His Excellency,
Godswill Akpabio
The Office of the Governor
Akwa-Ibom State Secretariat
Uyo, Akwa Ibom State,

Kindly write 'PETITION' at the right-hand corner of the envelope.

Thanks for your anticipated cooperation,


Yemi Ademowo J
International Coordinator, The HAWK Project
Young Humanist Network
P.O. Box 38201
Dugbe, Ibadan
Oyo State

The HAWK Project

The recent spate of child-witchkilling in south-south Nigeria is leaving sour taste in everyone's mouth and a source of serious concern to many Nigerian, and non-Nigerian alike.

This continued insanity in religious disguise has been a source of serious concern to many of us who are humanists. For, we are baffled, at the rate at which many parents and guardians are turning their children and wards into the streets in the name of their being witches.

The situation is being fueled by the religious jobbers, many of whom are pentecostal pastors. These evangelists maurading and 'exorcising' in 'God's' name have claimed the fact that over 2.3. million of 3.9. million population of Akwa-Ibom state, a south south state in Nigeria, are witches. Based on this incredible claim, their business of deliverance have been thriving profitably. Now, they charge between N30,000 and N200,000 as the exorcising fee, mostly for child-witches. To exorcise the witchcraft spirit, these evangelists usually beat starve and torture these suspected child-witches and old women.

Based on my recent visit to Esit Eket, Eket, Ibeno, Mbo and Etinan local governments of Akwa-Ibom state, I have come to realise that indeed the problem need to be tackled headlong. The data gathered from the one-week fieldwork is revealing: over 215 children and about 52 old women have been accused of witchcraft between 2005 and 2008. About 12 child-witches and 4 Oldwomen have also been killed, directly and indirectly, through stoning(2) and tacit abadonment in sickness. This to us, as humanists and concerned citizens of the world must not be allowed to continue unabated.

In fact, it is time we all pick up the gauntlet to fight against these oppressive, vindictive and exploitative pentecostal jobbers such Bishop Sunday Okon of Spiritual Church, Ibaka, Mbo LG, Pastor Alfred Akpe of Christ Apostolic Church, Ikpa, Esit Eket, and Pastor Akpan Samuel of the Christ for the World Mission Inc., Ibeno.

Lets Speak Up!!!!!!