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Actress turned prophet, Helen Ukpabio accused of causing violent deaths of thousands of children

Former Nollywood actress turned preacher, prophet Helen Ukpabio has been accused of being the cause of the atrocities metted out to children in Southern Nigerian over allegation of witchcraft.

This grave accusations were made by Nigerian author, film-maker and researcher, Albert Afeso Akanbi who added that the prophet had caused the death of thousands of children.

“Many of the stigmatised children are tortured by being bathed in hot water, branded with hot irons, locked up in dark rooms for months, chained in prayer houses, abandoned and thrown out by their families”, he claimed.

 Below is his letter shared by Child’s Right And Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) charity organisation based in Akwa Ibom, working to safeguard the rights of children.

“Religious Madness, Child- # WitchKilling and the Inaction of the Authority.

By Albert Afeso Akanbi.

“The woman whose picture appeared on the billboard image attached to this post is Helen Ukpabio, the founder of the Calabar based Liberty Gospel Church…The current evil, unspeakable atrocities and the gross abuse going on against kids between the ages of 1 to 15 years today in southern Nigeria, especially in Akwa Ibom State, can mostly be traced to her activities…

At a time when civilized countries like the United States and Israel are talking stem cell, robotics, nanotechnology and the likes, and China and Japan are doing everything they can to harness the potentials of kids the world has identified as “star kids” and “gifted children” , self-acclaimed “Lady Apostle” Helen Upkabio and are co-travellers in their Voyage of Evil, are talking about witchcraft and believing that the only way to legitimize their spirituality and outdo their competitors is the art of defrauding unsuspecting worshipers is the naming and denunciation of kids as “witches”…In her pamphlets, dramas, crusades and preaching, she has consistently insisted that a child who is often sickly, deformed, bedwettings, and sleepwalks, often running off to play, talks in her sleep, displays intelligence not consistent with kids her age and so on, is a witch…

As a result of her activities, over 15,000 children have either been denounced, abandoned, stigmatized, mobbed, rejected by family members and even killed in the last 10 years in Akwa Ibom State alone…and largely because of her also, a number of other charlatans have arisen and taken upon themselves the task of “delivering” and “exorcising” the witchcraft from children, even as some of them charge as much as from between 200,000 to 400,000 naira from gullible and unsuspecting parents and wards…and most of these exorcisms are done under very gruesome conditions, sometimes leading to severe injuries to the kids…and for parents who can’t pay, the kids would be detained like battery chickens under very horrendous conditions, many times going without food for weeks…People like Mr Sam Itauma, founder of the Eket based Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network CRARN, who has been working to assist these kids have variously been attacked…his orphanage home in Eket is grossly underfunded and thoroughly overpopulated…and at least 4 kids, newly denounced and abandoned and are lucky not to get killed, find their way to his orphanage every fortnight…Over the years,

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I have written articles in the papers about this issue, in fact, my upcoming book whose picture is also attached to this post is intended to call the attention of Nigerians to this evil going on in the name of Christ in southern Nigeria…

From the information I gathered, I understand that being a former member of the Olumba Olumba Obu fraternity, Helen herself maybe suffering from psychological problems…but the problem now is that, she has managed to breathe the confusion inside her head into the world around her and depressingly too, she’s making so much money from it…

This is very sad, and my greatest disappointment is in a society that permits mentally, morally and spiritually bankrupt people like this woman to continue to operate…

A society that eats up its own brightest kids is automatically setting the mechanism for its own demise…this is a fact I like Nigerians to allow to sink in, especially given the fact that ours is a country with over 70 million of her almost 200 million population comprising kids between the ages of 1 to 15 years, and yet over 30 million of them are at risk of one form of abuse or the other…

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From the 10.5 million mostly girl child who are out of school, more than the entire population of three countries put together by the way, to the 2.1 million who are scattered across various IDP camps in northern Nigeria, displaced by terror, the 2.1 million alimajiris in northern Nigeria, child destitute to child labourers, child artisans, streets hawkers, child househelps, just name it, ours is a broken society in shambles when it comes to issues of child welfare…

And these conmen and women parading themselves as prophets, instead of lending a hand, are making matters worse…While the government and big corporations appear to be stealing the wealth of the people of southern Nigeria and leaving in its wake land degradation and sea pollution, mentally disturbed people like Helen are stealing their conscience by making them do unspeakable acts of evil to their kids…Among countless victims of these “prophets” are a girl of 15 who had a three inches nail driven into her skull in a bid to make her confess, she became mentally retarded before she died shortly after… a boy of 9 who was made to drink a concoction of cement, another who was bathed in acid who, when he died, his death was celebrated as “one less mouth to feed”, all in a bid to make them all confess to their witchcraft…In as much as I do not claim to understand the concept of witchcraft, or cannot say whether or not it exists, my problem is with the abuse of people especially kids and that is why I am using this opportunity to call on society to look into this issue of child abuse…and to say it is time the government begin to regulate religious activities in the country… We need to support NGOs working for kids in that region, and we need implementable new child protection laws…Thank you…Akanbi is an author, film-maker and researcher.”

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