Last month (May), fifteen (15) persons, including three (3) Chiefs were set ablaze in Oku, Boki Local Government of Cross River State, for allegedly practicing witchcraft.
Demanding for justice for the gruesome act, a protest has been staged in Calabar, the state capital to get authorities to take action against those who attacked and burnt the alleged witches.
The protesters were carrying placards with the inscription: Justice for Oku-Boki Burnt Women. Last month, an aide to the state governor led local thugs to attack and set ablaze suspected witches in Oku Community. The police have yet to arrest Thomas Obi Tawo (aka General Iron) and other alleged perpetrators of this horrific crime. Victims have yet to receive any support or assistance from the state government.
Meanwhile, the Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) has received a list of victims of the witch-hunt. Here are their names:
Names of alleged 15 Witches and Wizards burnt in Boki LGA of Cross River State:
- 1. Benard Kekong (known as papa Odu Ekpang)
- 2. Rita Abang (known as Dachi Ochang)
- 3. Margaret Akan (known as Ada Akan)
- 4. Edward Kekong
- 5. John Otu
- 6. Mama Delia Kubua
- 7.Rose Obi
- 8. Patricia Obi
- 9 Kaka Olum
- 10 Mary Ada Otu
- 11 Martina Maurice
- 12 Serah Kepua Odu
- 13 Paulina Owan
- 14 Sussana Bisong
- 15. Yet-to-be confirmed
There were fifteen victims and the name and identity of the fifteenth person has not been confirmed.
An eyewitness told AFAW that on that fateful day, Thomas Obi Tawo arrived the community with his boys. First, he attacked his mother, Rose Obi, and then Chief Benard Kekong. General Iron called out names of other suspected witches. His boys dragged them out of their apartments, manhandled them, and threw them into the fire. People could not cry out or raise an alarm. Nobody tried to stop or resist them because they feared that they could also be beaten and thrown into the fire.
Three persons who were set ablaze have died as a result of their wounds. They are Benard Kekong, Rita Abang, and Margaret Akan. Other victims are at various hospitals battling for their lives. Some of the victims who could not afford the cost of medical treatment are at home.
The buttocks of one of the victims, Serah Kepua Odu was completely burnt. She cannot sit down. Another victim, Sussana Bisong, sustained serious injuries. She was unable to go to the hospital because she could not afford the hospital bills.