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Saving Innocent Lives: Witchcraft Allegations and Native Medicine in Edo State

Intervening in cases of witchcraft allegations and witch hunting is a moral duty. It is a social obligation that should be fulfilled. Victims of witchcraft allegations are usually defenceless, helpless vulnerable members of the population, children, elderly persons and people living with disabilities. Witch persecution takes various forms: torture, banishment and trial by ordeal. Witchcraft accusation is a form of death sentence. Witch hunters want to avenge the harm that the accused have supposedly done. If the accusers do not immediately kill the accused, they murder them at a later date. If they do not get the accused to quickly die, they make sure that they die slowly. Alleged witches have limited options.

On June 30, 2019, someone sent me this message via the Facebook drawing attention to the plight of an accused woman:

“Hello Sir, my name is Ben. I need you assistance for an Auntie at my maternal side called Idumoza-Irrua in Esan Central LGA of Edo State, being accused of witchcraft and whose fate is hanging on the balance for life/death decision tomorrow 1 July 2019. Kindly give your number to brief you and get support from you. Please help to save another innocent life”.I do not visit my Facebook messenger very often. I read the message on July 4. I contacted Ben, via the telephone number that he left on the message, and he confirmed the story. I have been discussing details of a new role as the campaigns director with a Non Governmental Organization, Witchcraft Human Rights Information Network. Due to limited funds, such interventions could not be done. So I was unable to travel to Edo state in July. I could not do much to respond to the urgent request. And my inability to do so haunted me.
Meanwhile, I never gave up exploring ways of intervening in this case.  I continued to explore every opportunity to visit and support the woman. I wanted to use this accusation as a test case. I wanted to send a message of hope and solidarity to alleged witches and their families. I wanted to notify all witch hunters and their enablers that their days of operation are numbered. An opportunity came late in November. I was returning from the controversial ‘witchcraft’ conference in Nsukka and decided to stop over in Edo state to visit the accused. Meanwhile, in the past months I have tried to address issues related to my personal security.

Leo Igwe with a woman

Risks and Worries Over Safety

Intervening in cases of witchcraft allegations is associated with risks. A witch is perceived as the enemy of the society. And anyone who tries to save or support an alleged witch is equally seen as an enemy. People usually refrain from getting involved in witch hunting cases due to fear of being implicated and subsequently killed by the accusers.  I was warned to stay away and not to make the trip to Idumoza. But I wanted this culture of impunity to end and for alleged witches to receive the support that they desperately needed. Ben gave me the contact of another relative who would guide me to the village. I called him and he said that Idumozza was a rural community that could easily be accessed with a moto bike, or Okada as popularly known in Nigeria. Some of the friends that I told that I would be visiting this village to try and save the life of the accused woman asked me: What if this was a set up? What if they overpowered and killed you there? There were so many questions regarding my personal safety and security. I had to reasonable replies or explanations. Risks and concerns over my safety did not perturb me more than the dangers that I believed that this alleged witch faced. I have always known that such missions would be associated with risks. The only thing in my mind was to do all I could to see this woman and be sure that she was safe.

Leo Igwe mother and son

Ben gave me another contact of a lecturer at Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma. He said the lecturer hailed from a neighbouring community and could provide me some information on allegations of witchcraft and also some assistance. I called the lecturer and explained my mission. But he denied knowing anything about witchcraft accusations in the community. He is from a neighbouring village, Ozalla where some years ago over 20 suspected witches died after taking some concoctions. I rang up another university teacher in Abuja who used to lecture at AAU. I have known him for so many years. I asked him to link me up to someone who could accompany me to Irrua. He asked me the purpose of my mission. I told him that I was going there to intervene in a witch hunting case. He remarked: Hia! He said that he would get back to me. And he never did. After the attempts to get more people to support my mission failed, I decided to go it alone relying on the contact that Ben sent me. I bought a bottle of whiskey, which I planned to give to the head of the Idumoza community or the King (Onojie) of Irrua.

 Planning a tripMy contact person, Austin, is in his 30s. He is an electrician. Calm and soft-spoken, Austin studied electrical engineering at the polytechnic. He asked me to alight at Uromi, not Ekpoma as I had intended. He said Uromi was nearer to the woman’s village. I checked into a hotel and waited for him. He came to see me about 7 pm. We discussed and firmed up our trip to Idumoza the following day. Austin advised that we go there in the evening because people used to go to the farm in the morning. He did not have the telephone contact of anyone. He noted that it was in the evening that we would likely see the woman. I was actually happy that the woman was able to go to the farm, at least he could ‘freely move around’.

Azen: The Esan Witch

 I had nothing to do in the morning of the day that we were to visit Idumoza. I decided to go to the nearby market to converse with people and to understand the local notion of witchcraft. I went to a book shop and after purchasing an exercise book and a pen, I asked the sales boy what they call a witch in the area. He looked at me and smiled. He then looked in the direction of some elderly persons sitting beside the shop as if he was telling me: “Ask them”. I repeated the question looking at one man who was repairing a footwear. The man was also slow to answering my question. Another man in his company, who retired from the military said: It is Azen. I repeated it several times to make sure that I correctly got the pronunciation . According to him, these are people who fly like birds at night; they beat and press people while they are sleeping. He recounted a personal experience where witches attacked him. He claimed that witches hit him on the arm at night and he had pains for a long time. The man later went to an Oboh (native doctor) who gave him something that he applied on that part of the body and also something that he tied and placed in his house. And since he did that, the man said, the witches had not come again. I inquired to know the Oboh that gave him the anti witchcraft medicine. He said the doctor was based in Uzea, a distant rural community. I told a motorcyclist to take me to Uzea but he said it was far from Uromi. I wanted to know how native doctors in the area detected and treated witchcraft. The motorcyclist said we should visit native doctors that were within Uromi town. I agreed and we took off.

A woman they claim to be a witch

 Consulting an Oboh (Native Doctor)

We moved about 500 meters and left the tarred road, and started driving on a dusty footpath. I was wondering why the native doctors seldom live and operate in decent areas and estate. The motorcyclist suddenly stopped beside a haggard looking man who was coming in the opposite direction. The man spoke threateningly in the local esan language to the motorcyclist as if they were quarreling. As if he was saying “I don’t want to see you in my place again!”.  I kept quiet. The motorcyclist did not say anything. He quietly turned back. We drove a few meters and I asked him what was wrong. And he said: “That was the man we wanted to see”. “We had some misunderstanding sometime ago, I thought he had forgotten but he’s still bearing grudges”. What was the misunderstanding about? I inquired. The motorcyclist hissed as if he was experiencing some emotional pain. I asked him to take me to a nearby restaurant.  I offered him a bottle of beer and asked him to tell me what transpired between him and the Oboh. He said that it was a misunderstanding in connection with some medicine he asked the man to prepare when he was traveling to Europe. The native doctor asked him to pay 30,000 naira for the medicine that will enable him prosper in foreign lands. Unfortunately he could not afford the money.  He travelled without the medicine, went up to Senegal and from there he was repatriated.  He recounted the story sighing and hissing intermittently.

 After narrating his experience, the motorcyclist asked if I was interested in visiting another native doctor, and I said: Yes. I told him that I wanted to find out how native doctors in Uromi detected and treated witchcraft. He suggested that the best way was to tell the native doctor that I wanted to examine my life. I agreed.

We eventually arrived at the home of a native doctor after traveling down another potholed, dusty road. It was a two-room apartment. In front of the house was a carved piece with some red and white cloth, some needles and sprinkled blood that had turned black due to the heat from the sun. As soon as we arrived I heard some noise at the backyard. The motorcyclist said that the Oboh was busy attending to someone. As we were waiting for somebody to come and direct us on what to do I peered into one of the rooms and it was filled with all sorts of things, white and red cloth, black and white stones, pieces of metals, bones and sticks etc. A young man in his late 30 came from the backyard and told us to follow him. We sat briefly under the shade where he welcomed us. I was later ushered into a room where the native doctor, another young man in his late thirties was sitting on the floor. He asked me to pay 1000 naira for consultation. I hesitated and waned to pay less but he refused. And I paid. He gave me a black stone and asked me to speak to it, to say my name and my mission. I said that my name was Idris and I had come to examine my life. I used to lie whenever I visited shrine priests and native doctors. I wanted to know if they could use their powers to detect that I was lying but they never did. I told the Oboh that my parents were dead, that all my uncles had passed on. I told him that I had a girl child from a former marriage. All these were lies.The Oboh looked into the divinational bowel containing pieces of metal, coins and stones with silver and black colours. He looked at them as if he was communicating with them. Occasionally, after I made a statement, he would say, that is what the gods are saying.

 The Oboh told me that night people were meeting under the banana tree behind my family house and advised me to give them their food to avert further misfortune and calamities. I expressed surprise that the night people were convening behind my family house. And the Oboh laughed. He said that they were not meeting there physically but spiritually. I inquired the type of food that the night people wanted. And he said I should bring a goat, white cloth, a small basket, cassava fufu, cocked rice and stew.

The Oboh told me that the mother of my daughter was a witch and that he would give me special Ukhumu (medicine) that I would use to neutralize her witchcraft. But the Oboh advised me to do ‘the pot of life’. He said the pot of life will open doors to better business and protect me from all dangers. His assistant showed me two other pots of life that they prepared for some people. The Oboh said that the pot of life would cost 150,000 naira (400 dollars). I told the Oboh that I needed to go home and look for the money to procure the pot of life. But before I left I was able to capture a photo of the carved item at the compound and another photo of a section of the consulting room. My motorcyclist asked me to wait outside while he chatted with the Oboh. I thought it was a discussion to get the Oboh to give him some money from the consultation fee that i paid.

Ride to Idumoza

I agreed with Austin that we would leave for Idumoza by 3.30pm. But he arrived my hotel 20 minutes to 5pm. At a point I thought that the visit would not hold. We hired a motorbike and the driver agreed to wait for us and bring us back to Uromi. The trip took us from one local government to another. Idumoza is in Esan Central and Uromi is in Esan North East. We arrived Idumoza by 5.30pm after traveling through some remote communities and forest like areas with very tall trees. Erosion has destroyed the road that leads to the village. It was a very rough ride. A motobike was the best means of accessing Idumoza. It would have been a huge mistake if we had hired a taxi. After making some inquiries we arrived at the family house of the accused woman. In her 70s, the woman was sitting on a white plastic chair. There were three other women in the compound. Austin spoke briefly in the local language explaining our mission and the woman said nodding: “Yes I am the one”. I was relieved. The accused woman looked relaxed and warmed up to us immediately. She recounted how she was accused on two occasions, taken to the elders, then to the Onojie and the Obor for confirmation. She said that she had not faced any threat to her life since then, and in fact that her life had returned to normal. She had started exchanging greetings with some of her accusers. I was relieved. My guide, Austin, advised that we refrain from taking any further actions that would reignite the problem. I did not visit the head of the community or the palace of the Onojie. We gave the family members the number to call in case anyone threatened her. It was getting dark and we had a long way to go. We took some photos with the accused woman and left for Uromi. I hope to visit her again as soon as I can. At the moment, I will be in contact with Austin and Ben to ensure that no harm befalls this innocent woman.

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Breaking News Report: AFAW Condemns Witch Burning In Cross River State, Calls for Arrest and Prosecution of Thomas Obi Tawo (AKA General Iron)

By Leo Igwe 

The attention of AFAW has been drawn to an incident of witch persecution in Cross River State. In this case, a local mob lynched the alleged witches. Some of the victims have died while others are in the hospital nursing their wounds. The unfortunate incident took place in Boki LGA in Central Cross River State. At least a dozen persons, mostly women who were alleged to be witches and wizards were set ablaze at the instance of an adviser to the state governor who hails from that area. This adviser has been identified as Thomas Obi Tawo (aka General Iron). This incident happened on Tuesday May 19. A report in a local newspaper says that three chiefs were among those who were lynched. General Iron warned the police in the area to stay away. A local source said that Tawo went around the community with some boys. One of them had a mirror which he used to identify those who were witches. 

Some traditional priests claim they can look into the occult world using a mirror to find answers and solutions to individual and community problems. People invite these supposedly spiritually powerful persons to point out witches and wizards and other evil persons in their families. They usually place the mirror in front of any suspect or ask the person to look into it as they try to certify if the person is evil or not. These charlatans are hired and paid huge sums of money to come and identify witches and wizards.

In response to the incident, I called the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Calabar but she did not pick the call. It was almost midnight. I decided to wait until morning. The following day, I called the AIG, CP, and PPRO several times but they did not pick the call. I eventually got through to the PPRO and informed her about the incident. She decried the issue of witch burning in the state. According to her, the challenge was how to eradicate witch persecution and wondered if AFAW could be of help. I told her that AFAW could help but it would need the police to guarantee security. I made it clear that in a situation like that of the Boki LGA, the organization could not fulfill its objective of educating and enlightening witchcraft accusers and believers, and supporting the victims without the cooperation of the police. Interestedly, the PPRO told me that in her place in Edo state, people suspected of witchcraft were taken to the community leaders. And the community leaders would give the suspects something to drink. That she could not understand a situation as in the Boki LGA where suspected witches were set ablaze. 

I told her that the practice of giving suspected witches some concoction to drink was illegal and should be abolished. The said concoctions are usually toxic substances that lead to health damage or death. The PPRO later said that they were waiting to be briefed by the divisional police officer in the area, that all those who were implicated in the murder of the alleged witches would be brought to book. I promised to call back for some updates. The police had made such a promise like this in the past and at the end of the day, they did nothing. Some years ago, some hoodlums set ablaze two alleged witches in Akpabuyo also in Cross River and when I contacted the police, the then PPRO said that the police would bring all perpetrators to justice. Later I was informed that the police arrested some suspects but released them after a while. That was the end of the matter. If the pressure is not brought on the government and the police, the perpetrators in this case would go scot-free especially in a situation where an aide to the governor of the state is the lead perpetrator.

Through an associate of AFAW in Cross River I contacted a relative of one of the victims. She confirmed that the incident took place on Tuesday May 19 by 2 pm. She noted that before this day, there had been tension in the community due to suspicions of witchcraft. General Iron has been suspecting some family members of trying to kill him through occult means. In fact on one occasion, last year, Tawo slapped and wounded his uncle, Chief Kekong. He claimed that he saw the Chief in his dream. Weeks before this latest incident, Thomas claimed once again that he dreamt and saw Chief Kekong and his mother in his dream. He claimed that he went to a man of God who confirmed that Kekong wanted to kill him. That the chief wanted to take over the land that he had sold to him. Chief Kekong denied the allegation. The matter was presented at a community meeting and it was agreed that they would go somewhere to consult and cross-check. But General Iron refused and insisted he would not go anywhere. On this fateful day he arrived with about ten young persons. One of them reportedly had a mirror and used it to identify the witches and wizards in the community. 

A relative to one of the victims told me that the father was sleeping the time Tawo and his thugs arrived at the compound. He went inside the house and dragged the father out, poured fuel on him, and set him ablaze. He did the same thing to other suspected witches and wizards including his mother. The situation in the community is tensed. It is not yet confirmed the exact number of persons who were set ablaze following this witch-hunting incident. One of the national dailies reported at least 12 people. A relative of the survivors said there were over 13 victims. Another local contact said victims could be up to 20 persons.  

Some of the survivors including General Iron’s mother are currently at various hospitals in the region receiving treatment. The police in the area did not intervene while this attack was going one. One of those who were set ablaze Chief Bernard, was taken to a hospital but he later died as a result of the wounds. Another survivor, Chief Kekong is at another hospital battling for his life. A relative said the fire affected his private organ and he is now unable to urinate. AFAW is discussing with local partners and exploring ways to support survivors of this violent campaign.AFAW strongly condemns the lynching of alleged witches and wizards in Cross River and urges the state government to take measures to stop these heinous criminal activities. Allegations of witchcraft including persecution and killing of children are widespread in this region. Witch hunters operate in the area with impunity. And culture of impunity must end for justice to prevail in the state.


Calls on the Inspector General of Police and the governor of Cross River State, Prof. Benedict Ayade to arrest and prosecute Thomas Obi Tawo (aka General Iron), special adviser to Gov Ayade on Forest Security and all who were involved in this witch-hunting activity in Boki LGA

Requests the police to enforce the law against witchcraft accusation, the perpetration jungle justice and trial by ordeal in the state

Urges the police to ensure the security of life and property of the people in Boki community

Appeals to the government to expose and sanction all witch hunting pastors and traditionalists in the state

Urges the government to defray the cost of medical treatment for all victims of this mindless violence

Asks the government to compensate victims and families of victims/survivors for their losses. 

AFAW reminds the government that it is their primary responsibility to protect the lives and property of citizens in the country.

Leo Igwe Ph.D


AFAW Rescues Man Accused of ‘Stealing’ Destinies of People in Nigeria

By Leo Igwe

On May 5, an associate of the Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AFAW) drew attention to the case of a man who was accused of ‘holding’ the destinies of people in the community, Ugbelle. Ugbelle is in Ideato South (not Ideato North as earlier reported) in Orlu, Imo state. The man was alleged to have engaged in some occult activities that had hampered the progress and development of people in the community. A photo that was circulating on social media showed an elderly man, probably in his seventies surrounded by a charging mob. At this period of a lockdown and uncertainties over the coronavirus pandemic, such allegations are expected and are usually ways that people make sense of their stressful living conditions and existential anxieties. AFAW highlights misinformation regarding the management of the pandemic and other diseases. 

I called the Commissioner of Police (CP) and the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Owerri, the state capital, to notify them about the incident. The CP did not pick the call but the PPRO did. He promised to pass the information on to the Divisional Police Officer in the area for necessary actions. I later contacted an associate of AFAW, Barr. Chimah, who is a lawyer in Owerri to advise on petitioning the CP. But he noted that for a petition to be effective, the names of the man and those who assaulted him were needed. These pieces of information were not available at that point. I contacted one Chidimma Greenpop, the lady from whose page the photo was forwarded to me, to know if she could get me more details. She promised to get some information on the matter but I never heard from her. After a couple of days. I tried reaching out to NGOs in Owerri without success. 

There is a ban on interstate travel due to coronavirus. So getting a contact person in Owerri or Orlu, or Ideato would help understand the case of the man and the necessary interventions. 

After efforts to reach local NGOs or activists yielded no useful result, I contacted a former colleague who is a catholic priest, Fr Cosmos Udogu. I messaged him via Facebook and he responded. I explained the situation to him and he gave me the contact of a priest at Ugbelle, Fr Kingsley Emejuru. For a while I was worried and hoped that Fr Emejuru was not the charismatic, holy-ghost-fire type and that his activities were not connected with the ordeal of the man. I called Fr Emejuru and he confirmed the incident. He agreed to assist in tracking down the man. He assured me that the alleged ‘destiny thief’ was alive; that they did not kill him. I was relieved to hear this. He promised to reach the Chief (Eze) of the Ugbelle community for more information on the whereabouts of the man, his relatives, and revert.

The next day, I rang up Fr Emejuru and he said that he had some information about the man. He informed me that the man’s name was Mr. Tobias Nlebedum. He is from Umuonyiri in Ugbelle community in Ideato South, (not Ideato North as reported on Facebook). The man has two daughters. One teaches at a secondary school in Ugbelle. He told me that the man was banished from the Ugbelle community because of the atrocities they claimed that he committed. The man fled to the neighbor village, Ogboko (the village of the former governor of Imo state and now a senator representing Orlu zone, Rochas Okorocha). I asked him to connect me to the daughter or to a rationally minded (he chuckled when I said this) and responsible relative whom I could work with to help support Mr. Nlebedum. 

The priest sent me the telephone number of the daughter the following day. I spoke with the daughter and she confirmed that some angry youths brought the father to the village square, removed his clothes, and beat him up. She said that people in the community suspected that the father engaged in bad medicine or sorcery. She said that the father denied the allegations. But the villagers banished him. They burnt all his personal belongings. 

She told me that the father used to come to her place (her maternal home) to collect some food; that she could not accommodate him. If she tried doing that the community members would banish her too. According to her, the parents’ marriage was short-lived. The mother separated from her father when she was very young. The mother returned to live with her family in Mgbee. She lived there until she died on August 26 1999. The daughter said that her father lived for so many years in Nsukka where he worked as a farmer. And returned to his native village a few years ago. He has lived there until he was accused and banished.

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We identified four areas of support for the father- accommodation, feeding, clothing, and medical care. She said that the father was living near a local dispensary where he was receiving treatment for the injuries that he sustained when he was mobbed. The mob hit him with sticks and machetes. He had injuries at the back, on the legs and the head. The daughter suggested that the father be transferred to another village (name withheld) for safety reasons. The local dispensary was not very far from Ugbelle. The daughter noted that if rumors of the allegations against him reached this community, people would drive him and the local dispenser out of the community. 

AFAW took care of the medical bills of Mr. Nlebedum and facilitated his relocation to a safer place. AFAW will be supporting Mr. Nlebedum in the coming months as he recovers and gets over the trauma of the mob action. I would like to Frs Udogu and Emejuru for the help in getting in touch with the victim and the Humanists International for supporting AFAW’s education and intervention programs.

As soon as the ban on interstate transportation is lifted, AFAW associates will visit the Ugbelle community to meet with the Eze, the priest, and other members to discuss the allegations of holding destinies and related beliefs. AFAW will raise the issue of the banishment of Mr. Nlebedum and explore the chances of his returning to the community soon. AFAW will also use the opportunity to stress the fact that the idea of holding or seizing people’s destinies is a form of superstition that has no basis in reason, science, or in reality. AFAW plans to maintain contact with Mr. Nlebedum and his Ugbelle community members to ensure that what happened to him does not occur again in the community.

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Alert AFAW: Please notify AFAW about any case of witch or demon hunt in your country or community. Inform us about any incident of witch persecution, allegations of snatching people’s private organs, demon possession and magically destroying other people’s health, estate, future and destiny. Contact AFAW via email:, Telephone +2349039908664. Facebook:

Igwe directs the Advocacy for Alleged Witches which campaigns to end witch persecution in Africa.

AFAW Commends Authorities for Closing Down Faith Healing Church in Zambia

By Leo Igwe

AFAW has commended the Mayor of Ndola, Amon Chisenga and police authorities in Zambia for closing down Restoration Apostolic Pentecostal Church International. Apart from violating the COVID19 guidelines, Chisenga, some members of the city council and police officers noticed that Prophet James Nwale, also known as Yakobo Yakobo was using the church as a faith clinic. They found sick church members admitted and living side by side with domestic animals. It is important to stress that churches are not hospitals. And pastors who are using their church as healing centers are breaking the law. Churches and have not been established to manage health issues. Faith healing is a form of medical quackery that puts the life and health of many people at risks.  Authorities in Zambia should sanction Prophet Nwale and other men and women of god who engage in this unsound medical practice.

Here is a copy of the letter:

The Inspector General
Zambia Police

Dear Sir,
I am writing on behalf of the Advocacy for Alleged Witches(AFAW) to commend the Zambian Police for working with the Mayor of Ndola to close down the Restoration Apostolic Pentecostal Church International. The church reportedly violated the COVID19 guidelines. But there was more to the illegalities in this church than violating the COVID19 guidelines. The police action led to the arrest of Pastor James Nwale (aka) Yakobo Yakobo and rescue of some sick church members from the premises.  These sick members were living side by side with domestic animals. The police should remain vigilant and continue to monitor the activities of pastors, prophets and other clerics especially those who abuse their positions by using their churches and places of worship as faith clinics. 
Churches are not hospitals and pastors like Prophet James Nwale who practice faith healing should be brought to book.
Thanks for all that you are doing to maintain law and order in Zambia
Leo Igwe Ph.D. CEO, AFAW

Persecution of ‘Destiny-Thieves’ Must Stop

By Leo Igwe

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AFAW) condemns in very strong terms the torture and maltreatment of an elderly man for stealing the destinies of people in Imo state. In a photo that has been circulating on social media, an elderly man could be seen sitting on the ground and pleading for his life. He was surrounded by a lynch mob. Some angry youths could be seen holding palm leaves, the type that is used for rituals, or to magically subdue or kill suspected occult individuals. Overwhelming economic difficulties, poverty, and lack of jobs have made some people think that their destinies have been stolen by others.

Alleged destiny-thieves are usually elderly men and women. The belief is that these adjudged evil persons in the communities throw the destinies of people into the forests, into rivers or oceans. Some are of the view that they tie the talents of individuals to trees making it impossible for young people to make progress in their lives. Christian evangelists fuel these narratives. They use these suppositions to make sense of lack of progress and existential uncertainties in the communities. Against the backdrop of hardships and severe economic difficulties occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, Christian pastors and other religious experts are marketing narratives and instigate the hunts for those who have stolen or are withholding others’ destinies.

AFAW is of the position that people, young or elderly, cannot magically steal, seize, or withhold the destinies of others because there is no evidence for such actions. Pastors or religious persons who make such imputations are charlatans and con artists and should be arrested and prosecuted for inciting violence in communities. Persecution of persons for magically stealing destinies is a form of horrific absurdity and a gross violation of human rights. Those who perpetrate these abuses should be brought to book.

AFAW calls on the government of Imo state to confirm the identity and eventual fate of the man (in the photo) accused of stealing the destiny of others. The government should investigate this case of persecution of a destiny-thief and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

AFAW urges the government to call to order pastors, evangelists, prophets, and other peddlers of the superstitious and religious mumbo jumbo. The government should take measures to stop these witch/demon hunters from spreading these narratives that incite hatred and violence in communities.

AFAW appeals to both governmental and non-governmental organizations to put in place public education campaigns that dispel occult fears and enlighten the people. The education campaign should include getting people to understand that nobody can magically destroy the destiny of others; that such beliefs are superstitions and not based on facts or reality. The imputation that people can magically steal or withhold others’ destinies is mistaken, baseless, and irrational. Accusations of magically stealing or destroying people’s destinies must stop. Persecution of alleged destiny-thieves is criminal and must end in Imo state and Nigeria

Leo Igwe directs AFAW. AFAW is NOT a witches’ group but an advocacy campaign against witch and demon hunts in communities. Please notify AFAW of any actual or imminent case of witch/demon hunts in your community. Call or text: +2349039908664. Email

Lives of Alleged Witches in Africa Matter – A Report

By Leo Igwe

This is the first activity report of the Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW). The report is being issued at a time that the world is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 is a health condition that could trigger witchcraft allegations in communities. First, it is important to explain what informed the founding of AFAW and how its message has been received in the first three months of 2020

AFAW was launched in January in response to pervasive cases of witch persecution and related abuses in Africa. AFAW’s main goal is to supply the missing link in the activism and campaign for the eradication of witch-hunting in Africa. However, the mission faces so many challenges. First of all, African witchcraft has largely been misrepresented in the West and in the world. And many institutions have bought into this misrepresentation. Many western NGOs have cashed in on the misconceptions and are using exoticizing and patronizing campaign approaches that tend to perpetuate and not resolve the problem of witch persecution. Witchcraft has largely been presented as a mechanism that helps African societies to function, as a socially stabilizing force. This mistaken anthropological position, which is dominant in ‘scientific’ and popular western literature, has hurt the advocacy for alleged witches in the region. This misrepresentation has led to a lackluster campaign by the UN agencies and Western NGOs who fund campaigns to eradicate child and adult witch accusations in the region. This approach must change because it’s been largely unproductive and ineffective. The mistaken idea about witchcraft in Africa must be abandoned if we must see an end to witch persecution in Africa as envisioned by AFAW.

So witch persecution in Africa has not been given the attention that it deserves. It has not been addressed with the sense of urgency that the issue demands. The lives of alleged witches in Africa have been treated as if they are inconsequential. For some reason, witchcraft imputation in Africa has been treated like a domesticated useful facility, not a wild and destructive phenomenon that wreaks havoc in the lives of people across the region. Thus the campaign against witch persecution in Africa has been dominated and driven by agencies, organizations, and activists that have refused to call witchcraft belief by its name: myth or superstition. In some cases, there are organizations that have re-missionization agenda and are more interested in using witch persecution in Africa as a medium for re-evangelization than ending this vicious phenomenon. In other cases, there are organizations that have, in trying to avoid being labeled racist or neocolonialist, resolved not to designate witch persecution as an irrational superstitious practice that Africans should abandon.

However, COVID-19 has provided a great lesson in global campaigns and activism. As in the COVID-19 pandemic, a campaign against witch persecution must be based on fact and science, not on fiction and superstition. Evidence-based propositions are and should be the guiding principles. So in situations where religious beliefs or practices pose a threat or undermine the advocacy against witch persecution, such practices must be called out and be critically examined, whether they be traditional, Christian, Islamic or Bahai. In situations where religious actors are linked to the persecution of witches, such religious actors must be excoriated. Refusing to do so is a betrayal of the cause and campaign against witch persecution.

Now some activists and organizations do not want to openly and publicly take on the negative role of religion in witch persecution in Africa because they do not want to be perceived as atheists or disbelievers in God. They do not want to make statements that imply skepticism such as stating that witches do not exist as believed by the people. They are of the view that such statements will alienate

Africans and their Christian partners in the campaign. Look, regarding the COVID-19, WHO has issued guidelines, not based on what aligns with the cultures and religions but what would help contain the virus. What actually alienates people is being dishonest or ambiguous about one’s position on the existence and non-existence of witches and by implication other magical entities. Stating that witchcraft is superstition is based on fact, not fiction, and is the most effective way to end witch persecution in the region.

Again it takes being critical or better entertaining some disbelief to campaign against witch persecution in Africa even if one is a Christian evangelist or theologian who does not believe in the African witch. Thus in this campaign, disbelief or critical thinking is an asset, not a liability. And pretending to believe or lying about one’s position on the existence or non-existence of witches as believed by Africans sends a wrong signal about the intention and mission of an activist or an organization, and attracts people of similar interests to the campaign.

Furthermore, many western NGOs and activists have refrained from criticizing harmful traditional, cultural and religious practices such as witch persecution, witch hunting or witch trial because they do not want to offend the cultural sensibilities of Africans. They regard this as a gesture of respect for the African culture and religion. It is not. In fact, these NGOs withhold funding or threaten to severe funding for African counterparts that do not comply. Religious, cultural practices that harm other human beings do not deserve respect. They should be critically analyzed and abolished. A critical examination of harmful beliefs and practices is an intellectual duty to Africa and the world.

It is important to make it clear that AFAW is not an anti religious initiative. Advocacy for Alleged Witches is not a campaign that is out to abolish religion, or to get people not to believe in God.

There are religious persons who are contacts of AFAW in some countries. Wherever religion is part of the problem, it will be noted and addressed. And wherever it is a resource it will be tapped into to realize a witch hunting free Africa. AFAW seeks to work and partner with religious individuals and faith-based organizations that are committed to eradicating this dark and destructive phenomenon. AFAW exists to provide a robust response to witch persecution in Africa and to realize a critical mass of African advocates for alleged child and adult witches by 2030.

Here are a few examples of key achievements of AFAW in the past three months.

AFAW released a decade of activism declaration and the document has been translated into so many languages including English, French, Swahili, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, etc The document outlines the vision and objective of AFAW emphasizing AFAW’s humanist, skeptical and critical thinking approach to tackling witch persecution.

Media visits and interviews

Advocates visited many media agencies in Lagos, Oyo, Edo, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states to inform them about the mission and vision of AFAW. The visits featured face to face meetings and exchanges with journalists and reporters, and sometimes debates on the existence and non existence of witches. Some of the journalists were of the view that, while children could not be witches, adults could be. The media establishment constitutes a critical platform for the education and enlightenment of the public. Media agencies often publish news and commentaries that reinforce witchcraft beliefs and magical thinking. It is pertinent that AFAW partners with print and electronic media organisations in dispelling and weakening mistaken ideas that inform witchcraft imputation and witch hunting. Incidentally, AFAW’s goal will not materialize if AFAW must pay for all media appearances and publications. This is because some of the media stations insisted on being paid before they could publish or broadcast anything on the advocacy against witch persecution. Reports on witchcraft beliefs and accusations are published at no costs. Media agencies that put a price on disseminating information that educate and enlighten the people are indirectly hampering efforts to eradicate witch persecution in the region. In the past three months, local and international media organisations such as the BBC, The Punch, National Light contacted AFAW for interviews, others have published opinions and reports on AFAW’s campaign and activities.

Child orphanages/shelters for child witch victims

In March, I visited child orphanage homes and shelters for victims of child witchcraft allegations in Akwa Ibom and Cross River states. I visited the child orphanage center at Eket. A Christian religious organization, The Way to the Nations, manages this home. This orphanage has 34 children and most of them are male. In fact of the children at the shelter is looking after a girl-child victim of witchcraft accusation that I rescued in 2011. She is now in a secondary school. I also visited the African Children Aid and Development Foundation where I met Hope, the child witch victim which a Danish woman rescued in 2016. I was also at the orphanage home that the state ministry of social welfare established in Uyo and later visited the emergency shelter that the Basic Rights Counsel Initiative has set up in Calabar. In all these places I saw first hand the laudable work that those who are managing these homes were doing. At the same time, I noted a looming crisis. The resources at these centers are overstretched. The managers noted that they continued to get calls to rescue child witch victims. These centers, except the state orphanage, rely on donations from well meaning individuals but the donations they receive can no longer match their care duties and responsibilities. In fact at one of the homes, one of the care givers said that they might soon start rejecting child witch victims. In fact, without sustained support, these homes would soon run out of resources and would be unable to meet up with their duties and responsibilities to the children.

Campus Programs

AFAW has a campus program which aims to rally students against witch persecution and killing. The campus initiative became necessary after Christian students protested the organization of an academic conference on witchcraft at the university of Nigeria Nsukka last year. Two events on “Who is afraid of witchcraft?” have been organized at the Universities of Ibadan and Nsukka in February and March respectively. There have been request to organize the event in other campuses before the outbreak of the pandemic. To realize a witch hunting free Africa tomorrow, we must invest in the students of today.

Contact with Police

The police are often invited to intervene, investigate and prosecute cases that are related to witchcraft. It is important for AFAW to forge an effective alliance with the police establishment. I visited the Lagos State Police Command in Ikeja to follow up on the case of a girl who was burnt after being accused of witchcraft. AFAW is also in contact with the lawyer who is handling the case of two child witch victims in Plateau state. AFAW also contacted the Malawi police authorities following reports of attacks on suspected witches across the country. The Malawi Police promised to investigate the incidents.

African Network

AFAW aims to realize a critical mass of advocates in all African countries. So AFAW is growing a network of activists and contact organisations that advocate against witch persecution and other superstition based abuses in other African countries. In the past three months, AFAW has contacts in Nigeria where I operate from, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe.

Outbreak of Covid-19

The pandemic presents a challenge as well as an opportunity. As a challenge, the pandemic would cause restriction of movements and congregation. So aspects of the project such as the awareness campaigns/town hall meetings will wait until the situation is under control. But other aspects of the project such as providing leadership and liasing with relevant stakeholders in addressing panic, anxieties and misinformation about the pandemic would go on. The pandemic presents an opportunity for AFAW to help prevent allegations of witchcraft. Witchcraft allegations are often ways people make sense of uncertainties and anxieties over terminal and incurable diseases. Thus the pandemic presents an opportunity to correct misinformation about the cause and spread of the coronavirus especially attributions of the pandemic to occult, magical or witchcraft forces.

Support AFAW

Since the founding of AFAW, we have received reports of witch persecution and witch hunting in Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. AFAW needs your support to remain active and to fulfill its aims and objectives. You can choose to engage aspects of AFAW’s mission especially in documenting cases of witch persecution across region and lobbying relevant local regional and international actors. You can also decide to support the advocacy campaign in a particular country or region. AFAW seeks institutional support and fellowships with universities and institutes to help compile reports, research and document cases of witch persecution. AFAW needs financial support to facilitate interventions, rescue and rehabilitation of victims of witchcraft allegations. AFAW seeks sponsorships for its public education and enlightenment programs, and support the growing network of advocates across the region. Individuals and organisations that are interested in supporting and collaborating with AFAW should contact us at Tel +2349039908664.

Image Credit: Leo Igwe/Advocacy for Alleged Witches.

Malawi Must Protect Lives and Property of Alleged Witches

By Dr. Leo Igwe

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) condemns the destruction of houses and property of alleged witches in remote areas in Malawi. News from the country side says that some witch hunting villagers raided some communities today. According to local sources, an irate mob has demolished at least six apartments and other belongings of persons who have been suspected of witchcraft. Photos from a tweet show images of houses that the rampaging mob had pulled down. There have been no reported loss of lives. The fate of those who have been displaced by this mob violence is unknown. Some of them are likely to end up living and dying on the streets. In the past three months, there have been reported cases of witch persecution and killing in districts across Malawi. In a particular case, villagers stoned an alleged witch to death at a local funeral. The alleged witch was accused of killing the relative though occult means. Such mindless killings and destructions are demonstrations of failure and inability of the government of Malawi its to protect citizens. 

The authorities in Malawi must rise up to the challenge of guaranteeing the security of lives and property of alleged witches. Alleged witches are human beings, not criminals. Their rights are human rights. Perpetrators of arson, assault and violence against suspected witches should be brought to justice. The government of Malawi must put in place proactive measures to stop and contain witch persecution and killing including mechanisms that can enable the police to preempt, prevent and nip in the bud mob violence against suspected witches. AfAW urges the authorities in Malawi to commence the process of educating and enlightenment the public. The government should get all Malawians to know that witchcraft is a form of superstition, that has no basis in reason, science or in reality. Witchcraft is a myth, an imaginary crime which no one commits.


Twitter Image Credit: Julius Zimwanda Mithi.

2020-2030: Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa

*Languages listed alphabetically.*



Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) (Afrikaans:Voorspraak vir Beweerde Hekse) kondig hiermee ‘n dekade van aktivisme teen vervolging van hekse in Afrika aan: 2020-2030. Die hoofdoel van hierdie inisiatief is om ‘n Afrika hekse te skep wat vry is van die jag van hekse, deur die mense van Afrika sensitief te maak vir heksejag en die voorspraak van vermeende hekse in Afrika binne die volgende tien jaar te lei. Om hierdie doelstelling te verwesenlik, sal AfAW aan die volgende aktiwiteite deelneem:

  • Versprei die jongste nuus oor aantygings oor heksery / vervolging van heksery
  • Betrek staats- en nie-staatsakteurs op die gebied van hekserybeskuldiging
  • Neem aksie om vermeende hekse te beskerm en om die beskuldigers op te voed
  • Probeer om plaaslike, nasionale, streeks- en wêreldinstansies te oortuig om vergrype wat gekoppel is aan heksevervolging en heksejag aan te pak.
  • Wek saam met instellings met soortgelyke doelwitte en doelstellings
  • Organiseer openbare onderwys- en verligtingsveldtogte om mense te beredeneer uit die wanopvattings wat die vervolging van hekse en ander skadelike tradisionele praktyke veroorsaak deur middel van opleiding, werkswinkels en seminare vir verskillende belangegroepe.

AfAW gebruik ‘n sekulêre, humanistiese, skeptiese en menseregte-benadering om stories oor heksery te ondersoek en verwante vergrype aan te spreek. AfAW se veldtog is gebaseer op die beginsels dat:

  • Die toeskryf van skade wat deur okkultiese maniere is gebaseer op hoorsê en verkeerde inligting, paniek en angs, vrees en bygeloof.

Ek doen ‘n ernstige beroep op alle mense van Afrika sowel as dié van die diaspora, om saam met ons te werk om hierdie belangrike doel te bereik. Dra by tot ons dekade van programme en aktiwiteite teen heksejag.

Besoek ons ​​webwerf:

Stuur vir ons verslae van uit jou lande, gemeenskappe en provinsies.

Sluit aan by ons Facebook-groep: Daar is ook ‘n Whatsapp-groep waarby jy kan aansluit. Stuur ons ‘n e-pos aan;

Word vandag ‘n verdediger van vermeende hekse. ‘n Afrika wat vry is van die jag van hekse is haalbaar.

Leo Igwe is die hoof uitvoerende beampte van Advocacy for Alleged Witches en die inisieerder van Decade of Activism against Witch Persecution in Africa (Afrikaans: Dekade van Aktivisme teen die Vervolging van Hekse in Afrika)


تعلن الدعوة للسحرة المزعومين (AfAW) بموجب هذا العقد عن عقد من النشاط ضد اضطهاد الساحرات في أفريقيا: 2020-2030. الهدف الرئيسي من هذه المبادرة هو خلق أفريقيا خالية من الصيد الساحرة من خلال توعية الأفارقة على الصيد الساحرة وقيادة الدعوة إلى السحرة المزعومين في أفريقيا خلال السنوات العشر القادمة.

لتحقيق هذا الهدف ، سوف تشارك AfAW في الأنشطة التالية:

مشاركة آخر الأخبار عن ادعاءات السحر / اضطهاد الساحرات

إشراك الجهات الحكومية وغير الحكومية في مجال اتهام السحر

التدخل لحماية السحرة المزعومين ، وتثقيف المتهمين

الضغط على المؤسسات المحلية والوطنية والإقليمية والعالمية في التصدي للانتهاكات المرتبطة باضطهاد الساحرات وصيد الساحرات

التعاون مع المؤسسات ذات الأهداف والغايات المماثلة

تنظيم حملات التثقيف والتنوير العامة لإبعاد الناس عن المفاهيم الخاطئة التي تؤدي إلى اضطهاد الساحرات والممارسات التقليدية الضارة الأخرى من خلال التدريبات وورش العمل والندوات لمختلف مجموعات المصالح.

تستخدم AfAW منهجًا علمانيًا وإنسانيًا ومتشككًا في مجال حقوق الإنسان لدراسة روايات السحر ومعالجة الانتهاكات ذات الصلة. تستند حملة AfAW إلى المبادئ التالية:

السحر هو خرافة وجريمة وهمية لا يرتكبها أحد

تستند سمات التسبب في ضرر من خلال الوسائل الخفية على الإشاعات والمعلومات المضللة والذعر والقلق والخوف والخرافات

الاضطهاد الساحر والقتل والمحاكمات هي أشكال من انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان التي يجب عدم التسامح معها باسم الدين أو الثقافة أو التقليد.

أحث جميع الأفارقة وكذلك غير الأفارقة بما في ذلك جميع الأفارقة في الشتات على توحيد الجهود معنا لتحقيق هذا الهدف المهم. ساهم في عقدنا الخاص ببرامج وأنشطة الصيد المضادة للساحرة.

زيارة موقعنا على شبكة الانترنت

أرسل لنا تقارير من البلدان والمجتمعات والمحافظات.

انضم إلى مجموعة Facebook الخاصة بنا هناك أيضًا مجموعة

Whatsapp يمكنك الانضمام إليها. أو أرسل لنا بريدًا إلكترونيًا على العنوان الدعائي:

كن من دعاة الساحرة المزعومة اليوم. إن الصيد الساحر لأفريقيا الحرة أمر ممكن.

ليو إغو هو الرئيس التنفيذي لشركة Advocacy for Alleged Witches ، وهو البادئ بعقد النشاط ضد اضطهاد الساحرات في أفريقيا.

* الأصل المنشور في القرية العالمية الأفريقية في 10 يناير 2020. *

موارد إضافية / أخبار:

الصورة عن طريق OOvinuchi Ejiohu

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop


By Leo Igwe

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) hereby announces a Decade of Activism against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030. The main objective of this initiative is to create a witch hunting free Africa by sensitizing Africans on witch hunting and spearheading the advocacy for alleged witches in Africa within the next ten years.

To realize this objective, AfAW will engage in the following activities:

·      Share latest news on witchcraft allegation/witch persecution

·      Engage state and non state actors in the field of witchcraft accusation

·      Intervene to protect alleged witches, and to educate the accusers

·      Lobby local, national and regional and global institutions in tackling abuses that are linked to witch persecution and witch hunting

·      Cooperate with institutions with similar aims and objectives

·      Organize public education and enlightenment campaigns to reason people out of the misconceptions that drive witch persecution and other harmful traditional practices through trainings, workshops and seminars for various interest groups..  

AfAW uses a secular, humanist, skeptical and human rights approach to examine witchcraft narratives and address related abuses. AfAW’s campaign is founded on the principles that:

·      witchcraft is a myth and an imaginary crime which no one commits

·      attributions of causing harm through occult means are based on hearsay and misinformation, panic and anxieties, fear and superstition

·      witch persecution, killings and trials are forms of human rights abuses that should not be tolerated in the name of religion, culture or tradition.I urge all Africans as well as non Africans including all Africans in the diaspora to join efforts with us to achieve this important objective. Contribute to our Decade of anti-witch hunting programs and activities. Visit our web site:

Send us reports from your countries, communities and provinces.

Join our Facebook group: There is also a Whatsapp group that you can join. Otherwise email us at

Become an advocate for alleged witch today. A witch hunting free Africa is achievable.Leo Igwe is the chief executive officer of Advocacy for Alleged Witches and initiator of Decade of Activism against Witch Persecution in Africa.


2020-2030 : La Décennie d’Activisme contre la Persécution des Présumés Sorciers en Afrique.  

Par Leo Igwe

L’engagement pour la défense des Présumés Sorciers (connu anglais sous l’acronyme AfAW) lance par le biais de cette annonce La Décennie d’Activisme contre La Persécution des Présumés Sorciers en Afrique :2020-2030. L’objectif principal de cette initiative est la création d’une Afrique dénouée de chasses aux présumés sorciers à travers la sensibilisation des africains sur cette pratique et une campagne en faveur des présumés sorciers en Afrique dans les dix ans à venir.

          Ces objectifs vont se réaliser à travers les activités suivantes de l’AfAW:

·     Partager les informations les plus courantes sur les accusations/persécutions liées à la sorcellerie.

·      Engager les acteurs étatiques et non-étatiques pour qu’ils s’impliquent davantage dans la lutte contre les accusations de sorcellerie.

·      Intervenir pour protéger les victimes des accusations de sorcellerie et éduquer les accusateurs sur cette question.

·       Convaincre les institutions locales, nationales, régionales et globales pour les encourager à adresser les excès liés à la persécution des accusés de sorcellerie et la chasse aux présumés sorciers.

·       Travailler en coopération avec les institutions qui ont les objectifs similaires

·       Organiser les campagnes pour éduquer et sensibiliser le public sur les préjugées à la base de ces accusations et d’autres pratiques traditionnelles inhumaines à travers les formations, les séances de travail, et les séminaires destinés aux divers groupes d’intérêt.

L’AfAW emploie les méthodes séculaires, humanistes, sceptiques et les droits de l’homme pour interroger les narratives de sorcellerie et adresser les abus qui y sont liés :

·       La sorcellerie est un mythe et un crime imaginaire que nul ne peut commettre.

·       Les attributions de crimes commis sont basées sur l’ouï-dire et sur la désinformation, la panique, l’anxiété, la peur et la superstition. 

·       La persécution en raison de la sorcellerie, les tueries et les procès sont les formes d’abus des droits de l’homme qui ne devraient pas être tolérés au nom d’une quelconque religion, culture ou tradition.

J’appelle tous les africains et non-africains y compris dans la diaspora à se joindre à notre cause pour atteindre cet objectif capital. Je vous invite à contribuer à notre décennie des programmes et des activités pour la lutte contre la chasse aux présumés sorciers

Veuillez visiter notre site web:

Vous pouvez nous envoyer les rapports de vos pays, communautés ou régions. Souscrivez-vous massivement à notre page Facebook

Nous avons également un groupe WhatsApp auquel vous pouvez adhérer.

Nous sommes aussi joignables par mails

Devenez, dès aujourd’hui, un avocat pour un accusé de sorcellerie. Rendons possible une Afrique dénouée des chasses aux présumés sorciers.

Leo Igwe est le directeur général du Plaidoyer pour les Accusés de Sorcellerie et l’Initiateur de la Décennie d’Activisme contre La Persécution des Présumés Sorciers en Afrique.


2020-2030: Rage yawan tsangawama da Ta’addanci a Afirka.

Daga Leo Igwe
Kungiyar bayar da kariya ga mayu (AfAW) ta sanar da yanke hukunci na zama mai adawa da zalunci da tsangwamar maita da mayu a Afirka: 2020-2030.  
Babban makasudin wannan yunƙurin shine neman ‘yancin wadanda ake tsangwama da maita a Afirika da kuma wayar da kan ‘yan Afirka a kan su daina farautar mayu da kuma jagorantar gwagwarmayar ceton mutanen da ake zarginsu da zama mayu a Afirka a cikin shekaru goma masu zuwa.
Don cimma wannan buri, AfAW za ta shiga cikin ayyuka kamar haka:
Yada sabbin labarai a kan zargin maita.
Shiga cikin jerin  wadanda basu da hannu a fagen tuhumar maita da tsangwamar mayu.
Tsoma baki don kare zargin bokaye, da kuma ilmantar da wadanda ake zargi.
Kafa cibiyar kula da gida, kasa, yankuna da ma duniya baki daya don magance cin zarafin da ke da alaƙa da maita da mayu.
Yin aiki tare da wasu kungiyoyi da makamantansu
Bullo da tsarin koyar da jama’a da wayar da kai don fadakar da mutane game da kuskuren da ke haifar da maita da sauran al’adun gargajiya masu cutarwa ta hanyar horarwa, bita da kuma kara wa juna sani.
 AfAW za ta yi amfani da tsarin tunani na mutum mai hankali da sanin haƙƙin ɗan adam don bincika labarun maita da magance cin zarafin da suka shafi mayu. Gwagwarmayar AfAW an tsara shi ne bisa ka’idoji waɗanda sune kamar haka:
Maita almara ce da kuma mummunan abu wanda babu wanda ya aikata
Halayen haddasa lahani ta hanyar sihiri sun samo asali ne daga ji da fahimta, tsoro da damuwa, da camfi
 Zalunci, kashe-kashe, da fitina wata hanyace ta cin zarafin mutane da bai kamata a jure da sunan addini ko al’ada ba.
Ina kira ga dukkan ‘yan Afirka da ma wadanda ba’ yan Afirka ba wadanda suka hada da dukkan ‘yan Afirka a cikin kasashen waje da su hada hannu tare da mu domin cimma wadannan muhimman manufofi.  Ku bada gudummawa ga ayyukanmu na rage farautar mayu da tsangwamarsu.
 Ziyarci shafinmu a yanar gizon a kan:
 Ku aiko mana da rahotanni daga ƙasashenku, al’ummominku da lardunanku.
 Kasance tare da dandalin mu na Facebook:
 Hakanan akwai kungiyar WhatsApp da zaku iya shiga.  In ba haka ba ku yi mana imel a kan;


2020-2030: Iri Afọ i ji kpochapụ Ebubo, mmegbu na Igbu ndị echere na ha na-eri amusu na mba Afrika niile
                                                            Leo Igwe 
Site n’afọ a, ruo afọ iri na-abịa abịa, ndi otu wepụtara onwe ha ịhụ na  e melara ịhe niile na okwu gbasara ebubo, mmegbu na igbu ndị echere na ha na-eri amusu na mba Afrika niile, bụ otu a kpọrọ ‘The Advocacy For Alleged Witches’, ma ọ bụ AFAW n’aha mkpirisi, ejikerela ịlụ ọgụ kpụ ọkụ n’ọnụ megide ebubo iri amusu na igbu onye amusu.Ịhe e bu n’uche malite otu a bụ ịchụ okwu gbasara iri amusu ọsọ ụkwụeruala na mba Afrika niile, bụ ebe ihe a na-ehi udu nke ukwu ugbua.

Ajụjụ wee bụrụ, olee otu a ga-esi mee nke a? Ngwa, geenụ ntị.Otu a ga na-agbasa akụkọ niile metụtara ndị a na-ebo ebubo na ha bụ amusu, ma ọ bụ na ha na-etinye aka n’ihe gbasara iri amusu, ma  sitekwa na ya, kuzikweere ndị na eche udi echiche a, na o dighi uru nọ n’isi azu.
A ga-eme nke a, ma n’oge ochịchị ime obodo, steti, nakwa ala anyị niile, tinyekwara mba ofesi, tutu ya agazuo uwa niile.A ga-ehiwekwa nkuzi, ọgbakọ na mmụta di iche iche maka ndị niile nke a gbasara.A ga-eji ihe nchọpụta, nkuzi na mmuta ndị a wee na-arụtụ aka otu anyi niile siri bụrụ ndị otu mmadụ, na otu ọbara, sitekwa na ya luso okwu ebubo amusu a ọgụ.
A ga-ajụkwa ajụjụ ihe kpatara ndị mmadụ na chere na ndị ọzọ na-eri ha amusu, ma kapịakwa ya ọnụ.

A ga-eme ka ọha na eze mara na ebubo iri amusu bụ ebubo asị, na enweghi isi ma otu ma otu.A ga-kwado, lekọtaa, ma kpachapụrụ ndị niile eboro ebubo a anya puruiche. A ga-akọkwara ndị na-ebo ebubo iri amusu na ndị ha na-ebo, ihe dị njọ n’akụkọ ifo ndị a n’enweghi ebe ha hiwere isi.
Nke bụ eziokwu bụ na amusu na ihe ndị yiri ha, bụ akụko ashịrị, akụkọ ụgha, akụkọ ifo, ekworo, mmegbu, sim-sim-sim na ihe ndị ọzọ na-eso ha. Ha abughịkwa eziokwu, ma taa, ma echi.Ọ bụ ịhe n’ekwesịghị nnabata, ịhe mgbagwoju anya, echiche na obi ojoo, mmadụ iji ịhe di otu a atunyere mmadu ibe ya.Ọ na-akpata ụjọ, obi erughi ala, echiche na ndụ ọjọọ, iro, mkpọrọmasị, nkewa na ọnwụ ike n’etiti mmadụ na ibe ya. Ibo mmadụ ebubo amusu, igbu onye a sị na ọ bụ amusu na ịhe mkparị ndị ọzọ na-eso ya, abụghị atụmatụ onye nwere uche ma ọ bụ onye ji mmadụ ibe ya kpọrọ ihe.

Ya mere onye ọbụla ga-ejisie ike, tinye aka, lụọ ọgụ a, iji soro anyị nweta mmeri na ya.Ebubo iri Amusu ma ọ bụ igbu onye asị no obu amusu bụ ịhe jọgburu onwe ya.

Ka anyị wepụnụ aka enwe n’ofe tutu ọ ghọọ aka mmadụ.
Anyị na-akpoku ndị mba Afrika niile, tinyere ndị bi n’ala ndị ọzọ, ka ha soro anyi n’ọgụ a anyi ga-alu, megide ebubo iri amusu na ịhe ya na ya so eje. Igwurube chịkọtaa ụkwụ, ha agbawaa ite.Anyị nwere olile anya na tutu afọ iri a akụrụ ọnụ, anyị ga-enwe mmeri.
Gị chọọ ịkpọtụrụ anyị ma ọbụ i soro anyị, lee akara ozi ndị a.


2020-2030: Década de activismo contra la persecución de brujas en África

Por Leo Igwe
La iniciativa Advocacy for Alleged Witches (Defensores de presuntas brujas, o AfAW por sus siglas en inglés) anuncia mediante la presente la Década de activismo contra la persecución de brujas en África: 2020-2030.

El objetivo principal de esta iniciativa es el de crear un África libre de cacería de brujas mediante la concientización de los africanos en cuanto la cacería de brujas, así como impulsar la defensa de presuntas brujas en África durante los próximos diez años.

Para lograr este objetivo, AfaW se involucrará en las siguientes actividades:

· Compartir las noticias más recientes relacionadas con acusaciones y cacería de brujas
· Involucrar a participantes tanto dentro como fuera del Estado en el campo de la acusación de brujería
· Intervenir para proteger a personas acusadas de brujería y educar a quienes las acusan
· Exigir a instituciones locales, nacionales, regionales y mundiales que luchen contra abusos relacionados con la persecución y cacería de brujas
· Cooperar con instituciones que tengan objetivos y metas parecidas
· Organizar campañas de educación pública y de información para razonar con las personas y alejarlas de aquellas ideas erróneas que promueven la cacería de brujas y otras prácticas tradicionales perjudiciales a través de entrenamiento, talleres y seminarios para varios grupos interesados.
AfAW trabaja bajo un enfoque secular, humanista, escéptico y de derechos humanos para examinar las narrativas sobre la brujería , así como para abordar abusos relacionados con esta.

La campaña de AfAW se basa en los siguientes principios:
· la brujería es un mito y un crimen imaginario que nadie comete
· las alegaciones de que ciertos daños fueron causados mediante el uso del ocultismo se basan en rumores y desinformación, pánico y ansiedades, y supersticiones
· la persecución, el asesinato y los juicios contra la brujas son tipo de abusos que atentan contra los derechos humanos y no deben ser tolerados en nombre de la religión, cultura o tradición.

Solicito urgentemente a todos los africanos, así como a personas de otras partes del mundo, e incluyendo a africanos en diáspora, a unirse a nuestros esfuerzos para alcanzar esta meta tan importante.

Contribuye con los programas y actividades de nuestra Década contra la cacería de brujas.

Visita nuestro sitio web:

Envíanos denuncias de tu país, comunidad o provincia.

Únete a nuestro grupo de Facebook:
También puedes unirte a nuestro grupo de Whatsapp.

O, si lo prefieres, envíanos un correo electrónico a;

Únete a la defensa a favor de las supuestas brujas el día de hoy.

Es posible alcanzar un África libre de cacería de brujas.

Leo Igwe es el director ejecutivo de Defensores de presuntas brujas, e iniciador de la Década de activismo contra la persecución de brujas en África.


Majeruhi wa imani za Uchawi, Nigeria

Wanaharakati dhidi ya wanaosingiziwa uchawi – The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) wanatangaza muda wa muongo mmoja 2020 – 2030 wa juhudi dhidi ya kuua watu wanaosingiziwa ni wachawi Afrika: Lengo kuu la hatua hizi ni kuwa na Afrika ambayo mtu hatauawa kwa kusingiziwa ni mchawi, na kuwaelewesha Waafrika kuhusu athari za imani hizo na kuendeleza harakati za wale wanaokuwa wahanga kwa kusingiziwa, katika kipindi cha miaka 10. Kuweza kufanikisha hayo, AFAW itafanya yafuatayo:

• · Kutoa taarifa za wakati juu ya usingiziwaji uchawi na wahanga wa hayo.

• · Kuwahusisha wahusika wa serikali na wasio wa serikali juu ya suala la / imani ya kusingizia uchawi.

• · Kuingilia kati kuwalinda wanaosingiziwa kuwa ni wachawi na kuwaelimisha wanaowashuku na kuwahukumu wenzao kuwa ni wachawi.

• ·Kupenyeza ushawishi katika vyombo vya ngazi za wananchi kijijini na mtaani, kitaifa, kikanda na kidunia, kupambana dhidi ya unyanyasaji unaohusiana na kuwajeruhi wanaosingiziwa uchawi na wanaowasingizia wenzao kuwa ni wachawi.

• ·Kushirikiana na taasisi zenye malengo na madhumuni kama haya.

• ·Kufanya kampeni za kielimu, kifalsafa mwangaza kuwaelewesha watu kwa njia ya urasini-mantiki juu ya imani za ugiza zinazopelekea watu kuwajeruhi wanaowashuku ni wachawi, na tabia zinginezo za kijadi ambazo ni hatari. Kufanya yote haya kwa njia ya mafunzo, makongamano na semina katika makundi mbalimbali ya kijamii.

AfAW inatumia njia za zisizo za imani ya kidini (secular), ubinadamu, kushuku na haki za binadamu katika kuangalia masuala ya imani ya uchawi na kuelezea unyanyapaa na maonezi yahusianayo.

Hamna uchawi, uchawi ni hadithi tu isiyo na uhalisia na ni kosa la kusadikika ambalo hamna mtu analifanya.

· Yanayosemekana yanafanyika kwa njia za uchawi yanatokana na hadithi tu, za kusadikika na taarifa zisizo sahihi, mihemko, mashaka, hofu na imani za kishirikina.

Kuwaadhibu wachawi ikiwemo kuwaua kwa ajili ya imani za uchawi ni aina ya ukiukwaji wa haki za binadamu, hautakiwi kuvumiliwa katika jina la / kisingizio cha dini, utamaduni au desturi.

Nachukua fursa hii kuwaomba Waafrika wenzangu wote na wengineo, ikiwemo wale wanaoishi ughaibuni kujiunga na juhudi hizi ili tuweze kufanikisha malengo muhimu. Tuchangie wote – sote katika juhudi za muongo mmoja wa harakati dhidi ya imani ya kusaka na kuua wanaosingiziwa ni wachawi. Tembelea tovuti yetu: Tuletee taarifa toka nchini kwako, jamii yako, eneo lako.

Jiunge kwenye facebook: Pia kuna Whatsapp ambayo waweza kujiunga. Vinginevyo waweza pia kututumia barua;

Unaombwa kuwa Balozi/Mwanaharakati wa juhudi hizi, Afrika ambayo mtu hatawindwa, hatajeruhiwa au kusingiziwa ni mchawi yawezekana.

Leo Igwe wa Nigeria ni Mkuu na Mwongoza kampeni hii (ya AFAW) na pia ni Mwanzilishi wake. imetafsiriwa kwa Kiswahili na Nsajigwa Mwasokwa wa Jicho jipya -Think Anew, Tanzania.



2020 -2030: Ishumi-nyaka Lokulwa Nokushushiswa Kwabanukwa Ngokuthakatha eZwenikazi laseAfrika

Ngu-Leo Igwe 

INhlangano eqqugquzela ukulwa nokushushiswa kwabasolwa ngobuthakathi imemezela ishumi-nyaka lobushoshozela, lelishumi-nyaka liqala kuwona lo ophezulu unyaka kuya weyishumi kusuka kuwo lo, kubhekwene nomkhuba wokuzingela nokushushisa abasolwa ngobuthakathi eZwenikazi laseAfrika.  Inhlosongqangi yalombhidlango ukufinyelelela usimweni la iZwekazi lase Afrika lingasenawo lomkhuba wokuzingela nokushushisa abasolwa ngobuthakathi; ngaloko ivule amehlo kuwo amaAfrika ngayo lensindabadala yokunukwa kwabantu besolwa ngobuthakathi; lo kube umbhidlango weshumi leminyaka ezayo ama Afrika azi ngokuthi kunalolubhubhane lokunukwa kwabantu besolwa ngobuthakathi.       

Nali-ke uhla lwemibhidlango ezoqhutshwa yiyo leNhlangano ukuze zifezeke lezizinhloso:

1.     Ukusatshalaliswa kolwazi ngezehlo zokunukwa kwabantu

2.     Ukubandakanya abakoHulumeni kanye nabangekho ebuHulumenini ababa neqhaza  ekunukweni kwabantu

3.     Ungenelela ukuvikeleni labo abanukwayo kanye nokufundisa laba abanuka abantu

4.     Ukunxenxa izakhiwo zemiphakathi, izizwe kanye nezomhlaba wonke imbala ekuwiseni lomkhuba wokunuka nokushushiwa kwabantu  ngenxa yesinsolo zobuthakathi

5.     Kube futhi ukubambisana nalezo zakhiwo ezinezinjongo nezinhloso zokulwa nalo mkhuba

6.     Ukuhlela ukufundiswa komphakathi kanye nokugqugquzela ukuvula abantu amehlo baphume kulembhudane  eyinkolelo-ze kanye neminye imikhuba elimazayo; loluhlelo lokufundisa lwenziwe ngezimbizo, ukuqeqesha ngisho nangemihlangazo yokucobelelana ngolwazi kanye nabo bonke abathintekayo nabanentshisekelo ngaloludaba lokunukwa kwabantu

LeNhlangano-ke isebenzisa amasu angacheme naSiko, angacheme naNkolo ancike eBuntwini nasekuhlaziyeni ulwazi kanye namaLungelo eSintu ukubhekisisa ubuthakathi kanye nokuhlukumezeka kwaBantu ngenxa yako. LeNhlangano –ke yesekelwe phezu kwalemigomo elandelayo:

·       Ubuthakathi inzwabethi eyicala lokuqagela; okungamampunge ukuthi kukhona into ekuthiwa ubuthakathi

Izinto eziholela ekuhlukumezekeni  kwabantu ngenxa yokunukelwa ubuthakathi zizalwa yinzwabethi nolwazi olungaphelele ngezimo ezithile; ukwethuka nexhala kanye nezinkolelo-ze.

·       Ukunukwa, ukushushiswa kanye nokubulawa kwabantu abasolwa ngobuthakathi kuwukulwa namalungelo abantu okungamele nakanye ukuthi kubekezelelwe egameni lenkolo, isiko kanye nenhlalompilo

Nginxenxa wonke amaAfrika nalabo abangewona amaAfrika kanye namaAfrika asabalele nomhlaba wonke ukuthi bafake ihlombe ukuze kufinyelelwe kulomgomo obaluleke kangaka.  Siyacela ukuthi wonke umuntu abambe iqhaza kulemibhidlango  yeshumi-nyaka yokulwa nokuzingelwa kwabasolwa ngobuthakathi.

Sicela niye ekhasini elithi: Nisithumelele imibiko ngalomkhuba emazweni eniwakheleyo, imiphakathi eniyakheleyo kanye nezifundazwe enizakheleyo

Ningajoyina nekhasi lika Facebook:; sekukhona noWhatsApp ongamjoyina. Kungenjalo ungavele uxhumane nathi kulama imeyili:

Sukuma ube ngumkhulumeli wabantu abanukwa ngobuthakathi! Sibambisene singagcina sesenze iZwekazi laseAfrika langaphinde laba nokunukwa kwabantu ngokuthakatha!

(UMnumzane Leo Igwe nguye phela oyisikhulu esiphezulu soMbhidlango wokukhulumela labo abanukwayo enguye futhi umsunguli wawo loMbhidlango weshumi-nyaka lokulwa nokushushiswa kwabantu banukelwa ubuthakathi eZwenikazi lase Afrika

Towards an Effective Advocacy Against Witch Persecution in Malawi

By Dr. Leo Igwe

The need to combat allegations of witchcraft, the attack and killing of alleged witches in Malawi has become quite urgent. The bloodletting linked to witchcraft allegations has become mind-boggling and must stop immediately. In the past years, humanists in Malawi have worked to address this problem, and bring an end to violence and abuses that are related to belief in witchcraft. Unfortunately the efforts of humanists have yielded limited positive outcomes. The campaign has not led to a total eradication of witch persecution and murder in the country.

In fact between December 2019 and January 2020, there have been reported cases of witch murder in districts across Malawi. In December, a mob stoned an alleged witch to death in Dedza district. She was accused of causing the death of a relative through magic. The alleged witch was attending the funeral of the late relative, and her presence annoyed other other attendees. According the media report, this relative was diagnosed of malaria at a local hospital. And the alleged witch had reportedly threatened that this relative would die for interfering in her marriage.

 In Karonga district, three elderly persons have been murdered for practicing witchcraft. They were killed after a local ‘witch doctor’ confirmed that they were practicing black magic. While in Ntchisi, a mob lynched an elderly couple following accusations of witchcraft. According to the report, relatives accused the couple of teaching the children witchcraft. In fact it was reported that a child confessed that this couple taught him witchcraft and that their magical plane crashed on their way from Mozambique. This confession angered locals who eventually set them ablaze. Stories of magical planes are pervasive in Malawi. Witches supposedly use these magical planes to attend meetings in their covens in the neighbouring countries. The report further noted that in Malawi witchcraft is associated with curses and spells. Witchcraft is blamed for deaths, diseases and irregular rainfall.

In a related a case, an angry mob attacked and killed a 75-year old woman in Chitipa district. Relatives accused the elderly woman of causing the death of the grand child through witchcraft. The woman did not attend the burial ceremony of the deceased child. And relatives assumed that she stayed away from the ceremony because she was responsible for the death of the child.

While these cases highlighted the dark and destructive impact of witchcraft allegations, they also contained seeds of an effective advocacy against witch persecution in Malawi. First of all there is an urgent need for advocates for alleged witches throughout the country to become more visible and proactive. These advocates must act to ensure that what happened to alleged witches in the above mentioned cases would never happen again to any accused person in the country. The time has come to abandon this lame duck reactive approach and adopt some effective measures against this mindless violence. In pursuant to an effective advocacy for alleged witches, a line on the sand must be drawn to all village, community and district heads. There should be heavy penalties including suspension and summary dismissal for the head of any village, or district where an alleged witch is attacked or killed.

Effective advocacy is also predicated on education and enlightenment of witchcraft accusers and believers. As noted in the above cases, accusations of witchcraft are linked to misinterpretation of the causes of misfortunes such as death, sickness and irregular rainfall. A public enlightenment program is needed to provide rational, naturalistic and evidence based explanations of misfortunes. A reorientation program that targets communities and districts across Malawi has become necessary. Malawians must be told in very clear terms that witchcraft has no causal connection with death and diseases. That witchcraft cannot be taught as widely believed, and as children often confess. That magic plane is a form of fantasy, an absurd idea that has no basis in reason, science and reality. Malawians should be made to understand that supposed ‘magic planes’ are fabrications by local priests and charlatans to deceive, instill fear and exploit the local population. ‘Witch planes’ have neither magical nor air plane capacities. Witchcraft accusers and believers in Malawi need help especially in getting them to abandon their mistaken ideas and misunderstanding of nature and the causes of misfortunes. Such an effective advocacy against witch persecution is necessary for the realization of a witch-hunting free Malawi.


2020-2030 : La Décennie d’Activisme contre la Persécution des Présumés Sorciers en Afrique.

Par Leo Igwe

L’engagement pour la défense des Présumés Sorciers (connu anglais sous l’acronyme AfAW) lance par le biais de cette annonce La Décennie d’Activisme contre La Persécution des Présumés Sorciers en Afrique :2020-2030. L’objectif principal de cette initiative est la création d’une Afrique dénouée de chasses aux présumés sorciers à travers la sensibilisation des africains sur cette pratique et une campagne en faveur des présumés sorciers en Afrique dans les dix ans à venir.

          Ces objectifs vont se réaliser à travers les activités suivantes de l’AfAW:

·     Partager les informations les plus courantes sur les accusations/persécutions liées à la sorcellerie.

·      Engager les acteurs étatiques et non-étatiques pour qu’ils s’impliquent davantage dans la lutte contre les accusations de sorcellerie.

·      Intervenir pour protéger les victimes des accusations de sorcellerie et éduquer les accusateurs sur cette question.

·       Convaincre les institutions locales, nationales, régionales et globales pour les encourager à adresser les excès liés à la persécution des accusés de sorcellerie et la chasse aux présumés sorciers.

·       Travailler en coopération avec les institutions qui ont les objectifs similaires

·       Organiser les campagnes pour éduquer et sensibiliser le public sur les préjugées à la base de ces accusations et d’autres pratiques traditionnelles inhumaines à travers les formations, les séances de travail, et les séminaires destinés aux divers groupes d’intérêt.

L’AfAW emploie les méthodes séculaires, humanistes, sceptiques et les droits de l’homme pour interroger les narratives de sorcellerie et adresser les abus qui y sont liés :

·       La sorcellerie est un mythe et un crime imaginaire que nul ne peut commettre.

·       Les attributions de crimes commis sont basées sur l’ouï-dire et sur la désinformation, la panique, l’anxiété, la peur et la superstition. 

·       La persécution en raison de la sorcellerie, les tueries et les procès sont les formes d’abus des droits de l’homme qui ne devraient pas être tolérés au nom d’une quelconque religion, culture ou tradition.

J’appelle tous les africains et non-africains y compris dans la diaspora à se joindre à notre cause pour atteindre cet objectif capital. Je vous invite à contribuer à notre décennie des programmes et des activités pour la lutte contre la chasse aux présumés sorciers

Veuillez visiter notre site web:

Vous pouvez nous envoyer les rapports de vos pays, communautés ou régions. Souscrivez-vous massivement à notre page Facebook

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Devenez, dès aujourd’hui, un avocat pour un accusé de sorcellerie. Rendons possible une Afrique dénouée des chasses aux présumés sorciers.

Leo Igwe est le directeur général du Plaidoyer pour les Accusés de Sorcellerie et l’Initiateur de la Décennie d’Activisme contre La Persécution des Présumés Sorciers en Afrique.