Witches are feared in most part of Africa, Asia, America and Europe for being harbingers of misfortunes, badlucks and calamities. Be it he or she, a ‘witch’ is never loved by any but treated shabbily based on the presumptions that they are being treated in the same measure they treat others in the coven.
As could be gleaned from the foregoing, the fear and the shabby/inhuman treatment meted to ‘witches’ are based on an assumption that there is a ‘place’ caled coven where witches converge, mostly at nights, to decide on the quantum of wickedness to be inflicted on individuals, and groups, for whatever wrong they have been adjudged to be guilty of.
In the past, most alleged witches are old women and the bravest of the women folks. Hence, many feminists have accused males of imposing their male ‘machismo’ ideology on the society by accusing the wise old women and brave women of being witches so as to eliminate them from the society, as punishments for their effontery against the patriachial societies.
This resistance buoyed by the intensity of gender/feminist advocacy has now made ‘men’ to turn to children. Today, many children are alleged as witches in different African and Asian countries (where the belief in witches and wizards are still existing). According to recent report released by the Stepping Stones Nigeria, UK, thousands of children have been killed, brutalized and stigmatized as being witches in Nigeria. Events in Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda have all shown that the African child is faced today with another uphill task of transcending witchcraft stigmatization, amidst other wants that has stunted their psychological growth.
Blamable in all the cases reviewed so far are the pentecostal pastors who have demonized virtually all objects and acts as ‘witch-induced’. IHEYO, as a group, should team with other NGOs working with these children to ensure that they are weaned from these criminals, parading as ‘men and women of God’, and feeding fat on peoples’ ignorance. It wont be out of place for IHEYO member organisations to assist in highlighting/popularizing this new ‘pastoral terrorism’, so that the pastors involved could be treated as ‘terrorists’ and prosecuted as such to save many children from the agony of a stigmatized future.
‘Yemi Ademowo Johnson, Editor