Director, Advocacy for Alleged Witches, Dr Leo Igwe has stressed the need to enlighten people on witch persecution and allegations, saying that beliefs in witchcraft have never contributed to the advancement of human or societal development on any continent.

He stated this during a Stakeholders Consultative Forum organized by the association in Owerri, the Imo State capital, weekend.

Igwe also noted with dismay that many people had lost their lives, and others dehumanized and made to abandon their homes because of suspicion of witchcraft.

“We cannot keep quiet and watch our relatives die silently”, he said while dismissing witchcraft as mere superstition and imagination.

He emphasized that though Nigeria is yet to develop, citizens shouldn’t use it as an excuse to kill in the name of witchcraft.

Igwe stressed the need for re-orientation and change of mindset, calling for a united effort for society to do away with witchcraft accusation.

He said with collaborative effort, victims of witchcraft accusation would be supported, and ensure old people who are mostly victims are no longer vulnerable.

On measures put in place to end witchcraft accusation, the AfAW Director said the organization was doing a pushback by identifying victims of witchcraft accusations to offer support medically, financially and otherwise.

He added that the organization ensures security agencies enforce the law as aptly captured in section 210 of the criminal code that prohibits witchcraft accusations.

He equally tasked the Judiciary of their rights to protect victims of witchcraft accusations and also reminded government at all levels of their social welfare obligations to the citizens.

Contributing, the Dean, Faculty of Communications and Media Studies, Prof Dede Konkwo said many innocent people are being victimized owing to witchcraft accusation.

He advocated enlightenment campaigns on witchcraft, adding that the allegations of witches and witchcraft are not verifiable.

“This belief is superstitious, it should be discarded”, Prof Konkwo said, while linking the false belief to economic hardship in the land, as developed countries had long seized to believe in witchcraft.

Other stakeholders at the forum shared their experiences and promised to undertake advocacy programmes in their various communities about the falsehood that witches, wizards and witchcraft represent.

The programme had the theme: Flying Witches, Tying of Destinies, Penis Disappearance, Soul Exchange, Spiritual Husbands/Wives: Fact or Fiction.

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