Posted by News Express | 22 January 2014 | 3,169 times
A 16-year-old twin locked up by her parents in a wooden cage for over 30 months on allegation of witchcraft has been rescued in Bayelsa State.
Her parents attributed the cruelty to Blessing Olokumo to her strange behaviour, which they claimed was because she was a witch.
Olokumo was diagnosed with a strange illness, which triggers convulsion, over nine years ago.
A group, Mary Slessor Twins Foundation, which rescued her, said she was locked in a wooden cage for over two-and-a-half years.
Acting President of the group, Mr. Tonyon Ebitei Robert, said Olokumo was locked up because she was always defecating around the family’s house.
Her father, who is also a twin and a security official with the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital in Okolobiri, allegedly built the cage and locked up his daughter to keep her away from the main house.
“She was kept like a rabbit. She was given food when it was available and was allowed to sleep in her vomit, faeces, urine. She lost weight and could have died,” Robert said.
He told reporters yesterday that the group, which is known for its campaign against maltreatment of twins in the state, was contacted by concerned indigenes of Okolobiri community where the Olokumo family resides.
Olokumo has been taken to the teaching hospital for proper medical treatment.
However, attempts to speak with her father were futile as he was said to have absconded from home. But some indigenes of the community condemned the act, describing it as callous and wicked.
Robert said the group would lodge a formal complaint with the police and the Welfare Department of the state Ministry of Women Affairs.
“Criminal charges of child abduction, inhuman treatment, child molestation and failure to enrol the child for proper education will be brought against the parents,” he said.
•Text courtesy ThisDay. Photo shows Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.
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