The NewWatch Big Rip-off and The Fuss About Sam Itauma
1/7/2012 1:59:43 AM -
I might have missed this as well. The NewWatch magazine edition of December 5, 2011 is smack of shame to new breed journalism in Nigeria and indeed a dent on their image. It calls for probe of those who are on the editorial board of the magazine as their integrity has been called to question. I think an attempt to blackmail Mr Sam Itauma or CRARN for the rescue mission work is merely sacrificing the heroes for the villains. Is this the only way you can seek revenge for the Liberty Gospel Foundation Church after failing in the court battles? A gracious loser in all court cases against CRARN for that matter! This is indicating that our judicial system, in spite of the mounting challenges, can still be relied upon for the dispensation of justice. I know I might be criticised at this point. But this is the fact.
Ini Ubong of LAGOS, Andy Effiong in faraway BELGIUM, and others who try to make people believe the deliberate calumny stunt of NewWatch magazine need to come out with their fact and not breeding insinuations. I think if they cannot surf the web to get the correct truth or find out about this cooked and distortion story of Victor Ukutt, the lazy lawyer of Helen Ukpabio or that of master liar of Godswill Akpabio called Aniekan Umanah they better humble themselves and ask those who are in the state to help with the truth. Or are they deliberately trying to sell themselves for the BIG buyers of lies as a few of them are doing? This might be why those requesting the actual whereabouts of Itauma might be having a dubious motif, given that they already know geometric rise in the number of the present government’s hit-men. Are they quick to forget that Itauma who does not believe in witchcraft and campaigns against dubbing children witches was arraigned in Oron High Court by Gov. Akpabio himself for accusing children as witches? This is how a lot of people are made to face trump-up charges by this government and made to rot in the jail if not die.
Truly, you guys have not still got off the wood blanketing your eyes for good. I already have reports on this but sometime don't need to border myself much because I always thought people know the truth about this. Or may be putting out at the appropriate time could be ok.
Have you ever sat down to wonder why Victor Ukutt is trying to push this stuff again into the public domain when he was given an ample opportunity to make his case in the Godswill Akpabio’s Child Witch Commission of Inquiry but failed woefully because he did not have fact to prove his lies? Do you know that he had failed in all the cases he and his paid mistress dragged CRARN to court for daring to orientate people not to believe in witchcraft and torture children in the name of witches? Do you know that 'End of the Wicked' a home-made video of Evangelist/Apostle/Dr/Ms Helen Ukpabio is one of the biggest NIGTHMARE that brought about the child witches problem in Nigeria? I am sick of this frame-up you are bringing up again. It will be injurious to the psyche if not treacherous to those who know the truth but fail to tell. This is a way of trying to distort history. Those who work hard to save lives in any cruel part of the world are always the victims. You can go ahead and celebrate your villains; it is not strange. It seems it is part of our own society and culture to celebrate the corrupt and the villains. But those whose consciences are sacred to them will stand up for the truth and be counted for good.
This is the same magazine that did what was seen as a professional and balanced reportage in its January 4, 2009 edition, tagged: TheOrdeal of Kid Witches. It opens its story line with “In Akwa Ibom State hundreds of children labeled as witches have died or have been badly tortured and brutalised by their own parents and relations…” Was NewsWatch ripping people off then? Which of the stories should one believe now? Other news outfit have done their researches and reports, which one do we believe? Or between NewsWatch and UNICEF which should I believe? Between NewsWatch and the UK Channel 4 TV which should I believe? NewsWatch and BBC which one should I believe? NewsWatch and US HBO which should I believe? NewsWatch and Dutch TV which should I believe? NewsWatch and our own Tell Magazine which should I believe? NewsWatch and Sahara Reporters, which one should I believe? The question is endless.
The NewsWatch magazine scraps christened ''A Big Rip-Off...'' is a shame to the magazine's editors like Dan Agbese and and Ray Ekpu for allowing the once dignified Nigerian tabloid to become a rotten egg eaten by the 'unkempt'. The story is just a vendetta from those who feel guilty of the crime they have committed against innocent children or those who failed to protect them from the hands of religious war lords who called themselves prophets. In no distant time we will bring reports of this kind including, the UNICEF research work which indicts Helen Ukpabio of crime against humanity which until now the Akwa Ibom State government has turned a blind eye because some of the government officials are sheepishly worshipping her.
Bishop Sunday William Ulup-Aya had made his confession of killing 110 people including children. Before the open confession, he was already recorded with undercover camera by Mr. Itauma who was trying his best to expose the criminal act and brutality carried out by these so called men of God who tag children and aged people witches and wizards and consign them to all sort of danger including their early graves. The new part of the story you are hearing now is Aniekan Umanah's version; assisted by Victor Ukutt. But who doesn't know Umanah, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information for his captivating eloquence in lies production and fabrication!! If you go to Enwang, Ibaka, Unyege, Afi-Uda, Uko Ntighe, Urukim (Ulup-Aya's maternal area, along Mbo River) in Mbo Local government Area of Oron Axis, you will get the real stories about the level of killings that took place in 2001/2002 orchestrated by the self-made Bishop himself. But for the intervention of former Inspector of General Police, Mr Etim Inyang who himself, too, is from Enwang, more than 500 lives would have been wasted by William Ulup-Aya, according to one Mr Edet Esin from Ibaka. The former police boss had made William to be detained for about three years before he was released, without trial. He had also confessed to using his "spiritual gift" of identifying and killing of witches to now delivering them. Sources in Urukum say, though William has changed the practice or otherwise of the modus operandi, but his former boys are still doing so covertly. 'It is not strange to hear that a person has been escorted...this means that he was taken to the forest and killed.' A 58 year old man who trades in fish had said on account of anonymity. He explained that in a village called Asak Ikang, every body is believed to be a witch. Witchcraft suspicion is the dominant factor there. 'No body is willing to collect water from you and drink let alone food..." he said. This is where the government should invest in orientating the people beyond rhetoric. This will help save lives and improve the economy and make the people have some level of trust in consonant with our age-long culture.
If you take a street survey in Akwa Ibom and parts of Cross River and River States, you will realise that today children mostly from Akwa Ibom origin are swimming the streets because they have been dubbed witches or wizards. This is disheartening, in spite of the much trumpeted free education that is said to be in our state. To say that the only organisation (CRARN) that started the campaign and rescue of these children is constantly hounded and under attack is making an understatement. This has given the religious profiteers the leeway to continue their job of stigmatising and torturing children at will. It is not too late for this government to start a vigorous campaign to end this war on vulnerable children and the aged people. Signing a law is one thing, but implementation is another. Government should stop donating vast of its time on media for blackmail and propaganda brigandage simply because it has control of the media, and resources to do so. It should learn to see criticism as a major tool for improvement and make amends; and not clamping down on dissenting views, if democracy is really anything to go by, which as it is now, it is a far cry from the reality
People who campaign for the right of such vulnerable ones in the society should be encouraged to do so. Doing otherwise is giving a tacit approval to the villains and corrupts to take over the society that we belong.
Mr. Jones is an Uyo based journalist and human right activist.