Nigerian atheist attacked by a mob of Christians at a child witchcraft conference

Nigerian atheist attacked by a mob of Christians at a child witchcraft conference August 1, 2009

NIGERIAN atheist, Leo Igwe – a regular contributor to the Freethinker – was attacked this week by a mob of Christians at a conference he staged to discuss Child Rights and Witchcraft.

Leo Igwe
Leo Igwe
According to this report, Igwe had his glasses smashed and his bag, phone and camera stolen by the mob, numbering between 150 and 200, who were alternately singing and aggressively disrupting the conference in Calabar. After an hour and a half, the police turned up and dispersed the mob. One person was arrested.
Leo had recently returned to Nigeria from London where he attended a British Humanist Association day conference and other international humanist events held at Conway Hall over the space of a week, including the world’s first international conference on “Untouchability”, where he was invited to speak on the problem of caste discrimination in Nigeria. Whilst in London he also spoke to the BBC on the problems faced in Nigeria due to religious superstition.
Helen Ukpabio and her church, the Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries, have run a campaign of terror against children and those committed to fighting for their rights, of which Friday’s raid was only the latest development.
The conference had been organised by the Nigerian Humanist Movement and the UK charity Stepping Stones Nigeria in response to the widespread abandonment, torture and killing of children in Akwa Ibom and Cross River State due to the belief in child “witches”.
As the conference began at around 10.30am, the religious protesters dressed in orange raided the venue and began protesting loudly.
Speaking after the event Leo said:

The conference was a peaceful meeting for people to openly debate what could be done to prevent the abuse of child rights linked to the belief in witchcraft. This attack by Helen Ukpabio’s supporters once again highlights the depravity of this so-called ‘woman of God;. Such false prophets should be immediately arrested and prosecuted under the child rights act.

Helen Ukpabio - a dangerous charlatan
Helen Ukpabio - a dangerous charlatan
The issue of child witchcraft has attracted a great deal of media attention since the broadcast of the documentary, Saving Africa’s Witch Children. The documentary, which won the prestigious BAFTA and Amnesty Film awards highlights the role that Helen Ukpabio has played in spreading the belief in child “witches” in South-Eastern Nigeria. Teachings offered by Ukpabio in her book, Unveiling the Mysteries of Witchcraft, includes:

A child under two years of age that cries at night and deteriorates in health is an agent of Satan.

Josh Kutchinsky, a Trustee of the British Humanist Association, said:

Leo is a dear friend. He is knowledgeable, wise and courageous. I know that he is outraged by the damage done by superstition and irrational religiosity to the potential for development in Nigeria. One of his principal methods he uses to combat these problems is to write well-crafted and cogent articles. These have been published in national media and have gained considerable attention. His other methods are to organise conferences and to visit others in support of them as individuals or their organisations. He is working with Amnesty International and Stepping Stones Nigera. He is the IHEU representative in West Africa and a representative on the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.

He added:

His intervention in individual cases of injustice, no doubt involve some personal risk. He and his fellow Nigerian Humanists have been awarded the Rainbow Humanist Award by Nordic Rainbow Humanists for their risky public support of LGBT rights in Nigeria.

Speaking from Stepping Stones Nigeria’s office in UK, the charity’s Programme Director, Gary Foxcroft, said:

The prevalence of the belief in child witchcraft in South-Eastern Nigeria can be linked to the books, movies and teachings of Helen Ukpabio. She has made a great deal of money by promoting this superstitious belief and seems willing to do anything to protect her interests. We call upon the Nigerian Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police to act urgently to prevent Helen causing any further embarrassment to Nigeria’s reputation.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I'm sure stealing his stuff was purely a protest, everyone knows witches have the best phones. Still, at least Mr. Igwe had the balls to try to speak reason in such a dangerously deluded environment. Balls of steel sir, I doff my cap to him!

  • elaine123

    I just want to know where the United Nations is in all this. Cruelty has to be stamped out, reason must prevail. Is it greed that keeps nations from stamping down on what is so evil. Children as witches. These mad people should be shown up . MPs expenses had a lot of publicity in the media in GB so where is the publicity on the news and in all the newspapers. Not on the front pages i am sure.

  • How can these people get away with evil. WHere on earth is the United Nations. Have they any powers any more, I think not, unless of course it is run by the corrupt.,. Helen Ukpabio should be in jail.
    I cant believe we are living in 2009 it seems to me that nothing will change, although I will fight on as much as I can.

  • How can these people get away with evil. WHere on earth is the United Nations. Have they any powers any more, I think not, unless of course it is run by the corrupt.,. Helen Ukpabio should be in jail.
    I cant believe we are living in 2009 it seems to me that nothing will change, although I will fight on as much as I can.

  • Terminus Est

    Thank you. Mr. Igwe, I respect your bravery, strength and determination in standing up for what is right. You have inspired me to do more to denounce and eliminate the poisonous superstition known as religion.

  • Har Davids

    Leo Igwe must be a brave man, walking straight into the lion's den; Nigeria seems to have it's share of religious maniacs, always willing to kill for their gods. Too bad nutters like this Helen can have so many followers, allowing themselves to be distracted from stuff in life that really matters.

  • The grim irony is that a truly depraved witch is standing right in front of Helen Ukpabio's supporters every time they watch her. With any luck, the petitions online to shut her down and the increased coverage will see that she gets what's coming.

  • I watched the Channel 4 documentary, and it literally reduced me to tears. Helen Ukpabio defends herself on this site (if you can stomach it!): http://allafrica.com/stories/200901060164.html , where she actually utters the words, "So why shouldn't I be rich?" (Remind you of anyone?) According to her, she is being vilified and "smeared" by her opponents, no doubt on such sites as this: http://en.wordpress.com/tag/helen-ukpabio/ I particularly like the ironic suggestion by the writer of the first article (a Nigerian pastor himself) that if there are so many children possessed by witches in the country, Ms Ukpabio could do something useful and "put eleven bewitched boys on the pitch and win the world cup"!! If you have a REALLY strong stomach, you can watch her most well-known film "End of the Wicked" (if only!) @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUeKBibBNOI
    Please note: I have studiously avoided referral to sites operated by the Daily Mail here, so as not to cause offence to more sensitive readers!

  • This is a classic case of what happens when you wear a hat that is too tight for your big fat head! (see pic) Your mind becomes trapped in a diminishing space, and has no room to expand, you begin to hallucinate and develop a need to seek out people more stupid than yourself to relieve them of their burdens. (ie money)
    I was going to post a serious repsonse to this, but I'd have had to use foul language, as this kind of idiocy, especially when it harms children just puts a real torch to my bonfire! ( And yes I am a witch! Then again by this morons definition so is almost everyone else!)

  • Pi

    As a christian I must say that It is clear that this women appears to be out of her mind, and does not represent the vast majority of those who call themselves Christians. In the same way that humanists would want to argue that the 20th century atheist butchers who murdered a few hundred million are not representative of humanists. Although I believe the humanists case is less reasonable.

  • barriejohn

    I have no idea why that link doesn't take you straight to the video as it ought, but you can view it by typing in End of the Wicked or Helen Ukpabio in the address bar there. There are other videos there showing this revolting woman in action, and there is even one showing these kindly Christian people invading the conference!

  • barriejohn

    So "the vast majority of those who call themselves Christians" are of sound mind, are they? Only if talking to imaginary people who "live in the sky" is a mark of sanity!! And we've had this debate about "atheist butchers" so many times it's becoming boring! THEY WERE FOLLOWING IDEOLOGIES – GOT IT?

  • It is precisely because of the “majority of xtians” that dangerous people like Ukpabio are allowed to flourish; I don’t hear many of this majority condemning her actions or stopping her.
    “….20th century atheists butchers…” That old chestnut! Show some intelligence and read some history: Hitler was a catholic and refers to religion many times in Mein Kamp [you should read it, very interesting] and also, he used the bible as an excuse for genocide. Hitler and his close followers thought he was infallible and a 'god'. Stalin too was thought of by his acolytes to be a ‘god’ and Stalin himself had a hand in the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church. Look here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin#Religi
    Sorry, we are going off topic.

  • It doesn't matter whether these megalomaniacs believed in sky-fairies or not, the root of the problem is that they were following ideologies, and that ALWAYS leads to trouble!

  • Oh, no! It's the Spirit of Gluttony again! Like that other fat cunt , "Apostle Prophet McKinney of Manifested Glory Ministries (qv), she obviously needs to be "exercised"!! Hahaha!!!

  • Oh, no! It's the Spirit of Gluttony again! Like that other fat cunt , "Apostle Prophet" McKinney of Manifested Glory Ministries (qv), she obviously needs to be "exercised"!! Hahaha!!!

  • Stuart H.

    Leo Igwe is an amazing guy – puts our minor tinkerings with a few clueless UK religionists to shame if we're honest.
    Every time I hear snotty comments about 'super atheists' or how we don't really understand African Christianity from now on I'm going to invite the bampot responsible to look at Igwe's record on human rights campaigns and common decency compared to any African church leader.

  • Spot on Stuart! As an ex-evangelical I really DO "understand" African Christianity. They're all green with envy here really, as this is just the type of thing that they would like to be able to get away with in Britain if only they could. We have to attack them at every opportunity and expose their lunacy (as Barry and others are doing so admirably)!!

  • Ayo

    Well done Mr Igwe for the work you do, religion is a disease, people need to start reasoning logically and stop believing in fairies.

  • Welldone Mr Igwe Leo for the sharing,…it is touching after reading it and here i got my plans towards changes in Nigeria my Country. I'm so shock how our compatriots are not intelligent for been dumb busy following the brainwashing doctrines from their so called religion leaders, they didn't care using their own brain.
    Well, i Stumble across this article and was a great supprise you're my fellow compatriots sharing believe and things in common with me,I an Atheist Satanist…i dont believe in a God causing alot of Confussion in our world today. some hiding entity somewhere in the sky and fairytale.
    One again thanks for sharing and i (Ogaga Onowighose) is reaching to turn things around in our country and the entire human race.
    ((World Changer's) rising….Sincerely.

  • Granny

    I am what I am by the Grace of God.
    I am a spiritual being on a human journey.
    The past, the present, and the future is intertwined on the pages of time.
    What the heck is an Atheist Satanist?
    Sounds like another religion to me!
    What is the goal?

  • There is n mention in this report of an atheist satanist. Leo Igwe is an atheist who is battling a mad Christian Helen Ukpabio who is accusing children of devil possession.

  • A woman who, herself, is possessed by a "Spirit of Greed"!

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