By Leo Igwe

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches urges the Nigeria Police and the government of Ebonyi state to arrest and prosecute the self-acclaimed prophet, Ubadimma, also known as Powerful Onyirioha 1, and his partners in crime because their crusade and prophecies led to arson, abduction, and assault on innocent citizens, and destruction of properties and livelihoods in Iboko area of Izzi LGA of Ebonyi State.

At their “Back to Fire” crusade, with an inflammatory theme, Fire to Fire, Ubadimma and other witch-hunting charlatans, pastor Daniel Ogbaga, evangelist Daniel, pastor Kingsley Uraku, prophet Silas, made prophetic statements pointing out those who were responsible for the backwardness and other misfortunes in the community. They accused the following of being behind the community’s problems and lack of progress: John Ekpono, Nkwegu Nkuda, Ofoke Ojelegu, Chukwuma Ogayi Igboke, Okemini Nwebonyi, Nwankwegu Nwibo, Pius Nwiboko Nwawa, Uguru Nwoga, Nwanvuta Mbam, Ishiali, Simon Nwibo Ominyi, Regina Ominyi.

Local sources said that following accusations and witch-hunting prophecies of Ubadimma and his colleagues, youths in the community went on a rampage. They abducted the accused and took them to a nearby bush where they threatened to kill them.

Fortunately, the police intervened and rescued the accused before the mob could harm them. The youths burnt down and destroyed houses and farms belonging to John Ekpono and other persons. Following the intervention of the police, some calm has returned to the community. The accused are displaced and cannot return to their homes. They are now struggling to survive because their means of livelihood have been destroyed.

Meanwhile, some suspects have been arrested and will be arraigned soon. But the so-called prophet Ubadimma and his co-witch hunters are still at large. They are not yet in police custody.

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches calls for their arrest and prosecution for enabling these attacks. Many so-called pastors, prophets, priests, and ministers are causing havoc and confusion in communities in central and southern Nigeria. They claim to have been called by God to fish out evil doers and free villagers and community members from spiritual captivities. But these claims are mainly motivated by deceit and mischief. As in this case, these pastors and evangelists use crusades, and prophetic ministrations to make accusations and incite mob violence against innocent members of the community.

Ubadimma and other witch hunters should be arrested and prosecuted for their role in the attacks. Their prosecution will serve as a deterrence to other witch-hunting pastors in Ebonyi and other states in Christian-dominated areas of the country. It is sad to note that pastors are exploiting the poverty, economic hardship, stress, despair, and uncertainties in the country to make accusations and scapegoat some innocent persons. State authorities should hold these so called men and women of god accountable and make them answer for their crimes.

Ebonyi state government should help bring prophet Ubadimma and other witch hunters to justice.

Leo Igwe directs the Advocacy for Alleged Witches, which campaigns to end abuses linked to witchcraft beliefs and ritual attacks.

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