Man Sets Son Ablaze Over Watchcraft

2007/5/4

By Emma Una/Calabar

A middle aged man identified as Victor Friday Usuk of Afagha Uqua in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has set his 10-year-old son, Jeremiah Victor Usuk, ablaze for allegedly bewitching him. P.M.News gathered that the man poured petrol on his son, struck a match and set him ablaze after a prophetess in his church, Prophetess Grace, prophesied that his failure in business and joblessness were caused by his son.

Jeremiah, who sustained third degree burns and narrowly survived the trial by ordeal, is still nursing the severe injuries.

The boy told P.M.News that Prophetess Grace wanted to extract more “confession” from him by severely beating him in the presence of his father and mother.

The boy has a sister named Victoria, who was also accused of witchcraft. She was said to have been subjected to several hours of deliverance by the prophetess.

According to Mr. Usuk, the boy’s father, Jeremiah was too deep in the act “such that bringing him out of the witchcraft world required physical torture.”

On why Victoria was not set ablaze, Mr. Usuk said the girl is now certified free from witchcraft by Prophetess Grace after she had gone for deliverance in the church several times.

Jeremiah, a primary three pupil in Aunty Mercy Primary School, Afagha Ukwa, Akwa Ibom State, said: “If I were into witchcraft, I would have made sure everyone in the family becomes a member so that this torture will not take place.”

He said his problem started when his father’s business started collapsing. His father, he said, became withdrawn and when his offshore job was also taken and his vehicle broke down, he allegedly accused Jerry and Victoria as those responsible for his misfortune.

Reacting to the incident, Pastor of the church, Rev. Peters said he believes that witchcraft was responsible for the plight of Victor Usuk, but denied that his wife’s revelation made Victor to set his son ablaze.

“Society sometimes pretends that witchcraft does not exist but it is the cause of the problems of many people,” he said.

e-mail update to the above story (personal communication)

Dear ———
We just want to give you a brief detail of Jerry’s story
      Jerry is one of the many victims of child assault with regards to witchcraft.Jerry,9 was branded a witch by one prophetess in the City of Grace Mission, Eket, one of the churches notorious for child stigmatisation, since last year. His case is unique becaause he lived with both parents.
         He was often beaten, tortured, threatened to be killed by boths parents as a result of the instruction from the the prophetess. Besides, he was severally starved of food, together with his younger sister Rita, 4 years old, given nauseating and repulsive concoction to drink
       In February, second Sunday, according to Jerry his father came from a prayer session from the church only to asked him why he had to make him lost his offshore job, why he had hang him downward with rope round his neck in the witchcraft coven……! The boy unable to answer this myriads of question was then poured with petrol by the father and lit up matches which burned him the whole of his face and other part of body. He was then confined into a dark room and often without food until the the 3rd of April when he saw his father came back with a gallon of petrol hid it in the house, as the mother had warned that he has been given just a day to resign from the witchcraft business or he will be burnt to death. He new this wasn’t a mere threat, so he had to  escaped into the bush,
     He was then found by one lady who took him to a councillor of Eket Local Govt (Hon Paul). The Councillour then called CRARN and handed over the child. CRARN then took Jerry to the police, who arrested the father and detained him. The police charged the father for attempted murder and the case came up for hearing  on Monday 30th April at the magistrate court 1 Eket. He, the father was asked to remaim in custody without option of bail till the next hearing on the 14th of May,2007
      Meanwhile there are more pressure on CRARN to witdraw th suit ‘….as it will have a serious on the rest of the children and wife…..’ The case has been published in Insight Newspaper of Thursday, 26th April 2007
      Thanks Sam (CRARN)

Visit our website – http://crarn.tripod.com or call +2348026693099
CRARN: Rehabilitating and protecing the rights of a child

 

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One thought on “Man Sets Son Ablaze Over Watchcraft

  1. My name is Sam Ikpe-Itauma, I am the President of child’s Right and rehabilitation Network (CRARN). It pleases me to inform you that Jeremiah Victor Usuk has been reconciled with the parents.
    He is comfortably living with his paretents and three sisters.Our visit to the family shows that Jerry has seen returned to School. Though The father has since repented of the witchcraft belief,ie does no longer believe in witchcraft, the mother is still holding strong to it.
    Jerry is one of the 53 children (on record)that CRARN has reconciled with the families since 2003 when CRARN came on board. Yet the problem of street and witch children is still growing stronger every day every day in akwa Ibom state Nigeria, as there are more than 140 kids in the CRARN shelter now.
    For comments, or help please, write to itaumason@yahoo.com or childsright1@yahoo.com Thanks Sam Ikpe-Itauma http://www.crarn.org

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