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In 2013, 40 Abuja Towns Still Kill Twins! A Missionary Recounts Bizarre Traditional Practices in the FCT

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“Imagine yourself visiting a community called Basa Komo in the FCT and all of a sudden, you come face-to-face with a crowd. You move closer and are confronted with a helpless infant, struggling to set himself loose from the grip of community leaders, who want to bury him alive”.

There are some stories you read and do a double take at the calendar to ascertain if we are really in 2013. The bizarre account of a missionary couple who witnessed the killing of twins and mothers whose children die within three months of a baby’s birth is one of them.

This is coming 98 years after the death of Mary Slessor, the Scottish missionary to Nigeria, who led crusades that stopped some societies from killing twin babies at birth.

Sun News in a report published today, recounted the story of Olusola Stevens, the North Central Director of the Christian Missionary Foundation (CMF) and his wife who witnessed the practice of killing infants or burying some alive with their dead mothers even in the domain of the Federal Capital Territory.

According to the report, in Bassa Komo, Abuja, it is abomination to be born a twin; or if a mother dies within three months of a baby’s birth; or if a child grows upper teeth first or is born with defect. These are all faults of the baby or babies involved. To the people of the community, these are signs that such babies were fabricated in the factory of the devil and are themselves evil. Such offences by the evil baby or babies are punishable by burial alive.

If you are not very observant, you will not know this practice is going on and it took us some time to actually confirm. Some of the enlightened indigenes of the area deny the practice, maybe out of shame, but it is still happening till date,” Stevens confirmed.

He has been in the FCT since the late 80s, reaching out to the people in Bassa Komo, the Gbagyi Yama and the Ganagana. His Foundation has been able to rescue some of the children, some of whom have been reunited with their families, even though they are still living with the Stevens.

How they are killed
Twins: When they are delivered, they will be poisoned (the child dies gradually) or strangulated after being forcefully taken from the mother by masquerades that women are not allowed to see. Once they are killed, an altar will be raised on the walls of their huts to worship their spirits and make sacrifices to ward them off from returning.

Mum’s death after birth: If a woman delivers and dies during childbirth, the child will be tied to the body of the dead mother and buried alive with her. If the nursing mother should die of any cause without weaning the baby, the baby will be accused of having strange powers that killed the mother, the penalty for this is also death. In some villages, the children may be abandoned on the grave of the dead mother while some are left unattended to in the village, leading to starvation and eventual death.

Wrong teeth child: A child that grows upper teeth first is also bound to die. The couple discovered that babies that grow the upper teeth first are also killed because they are bad omen. This is neatly done, an outsider may never know when and how unless you understand their language and pay close attention to young babies in the area.

Stevens noted that up to 40 villages are still involved in such practices in the Abuja. He also added that the practice is not common among the Abuja indigenes alone, “We also learnt from some other agencies that we work closely with that twins are not allowed to live in Uturu, Abia State,” he told Sun News.

Stevens and his wife have now set up a home called the Divine Heritage Home where the rescued children live. So far, the foundation has rescued about 33 kids spread across several villages. Some of the kids were rescued at tender ages, a day old, two weeks old, a month old and so on.

At the time they started rescuing the children, one of them had asked the villagers if they would take the child back if after four years the child remains healthy. They bluntly refused, saying the evil spirit would still be in their bodies.

However, they have continued to preach to members of the community, shelter all the children and send them to school among many other philantropic activities. To read more about their works in Abuja, read the full Sun News report HERE.

We admire the courage of this couple and the good work they are doing with the foundation.

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

33 Comments

  1. Iphie

    March 27, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    what??????????????????

  2. Purpleicious Babe

    March 27, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    tutut…. May the Lord deliver them from their ignorance.. I would gladly take the babies from them o. kia.not fair

  3. Omo Naija

    March 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    God save us o!

  4. Dlapikin

    March 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    sweet jesus!

  5. Bleed blue

    March 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    NOTE to Dangote, Akwa Ibom state Governor, fellow Nigerians…this is the sort of couple that should be given money, gifts etc to assist them in their laudable cause.

    Amazing stuff! God bless them! I’m a twin myself and shudder to think this could have been my fate if I’d been born in the wrong place and the wrong time.

    The villagers need to be educated, they should be told the consequences of their actions. It’s plain MURDER. No other name to give it. Poor babies…

    • kookaburra

      March 28, 2013 at 9:43 am

      I agree, they should give it to these kind of people instead of making public donations to already rich peo0le/foundations.

  6. theresa

    March 27, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    this story gave me goose bumps.may God forgive and save us

  7. lilz

    March 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    GOOD LORD!!!!!

  8. lahips

    March 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    hummmmmmmmmm

  9. Charlene

    March 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    illiteracy and ignorance is a disease and an epidermic in africa

  10. ima

    March 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    God bless Mr Olusola and wife.

  11. brownie

    March 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Can’t believe this sort of atrocity is still occurring! I’m a twin as well and to hear this kind of story just saddens me at how ignorant humans can be. I wish I could help in some way.

  12. konnie

    March 27, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    They should send them to me, I’d gladly adopt a few. Why kill? Hand them over to someone else, church or something.

  13. fantasy

    March 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    I doff my hat for this couple, may God continue to bless and provide for u. To all ye pastors buyin jet and big big jeep, kindly emulate dis people ooo and support wot dey are doing! Dooin God’s wrk is not jst by preachn on d pulpit and stop goin to US and UK for Evangelism der are lots of churches der already stay bk here cosa lot of wrk still needs to be done @ home or better still go to Somalia, Chad, Iraq etc.

  14. spinky

    March 27, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    thats really crazy and absurd, seriously Lord have mercy!!

  15. anti-hate

    March 27, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Tradition or suicide…dey nid enlightment buh in a very slow pace.dey will still tell u itz custom and ancestors blah blah blah

  16. Momo

    March 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    I cant believe what I have just read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Are you kidding me???????

  17. Momo

    March 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    God bless those ministers!

  18. Myne Whitman

    March 27, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I almost don’t want to believe this, but what if it is true? OMG!

  19. fashionandstylepolice

    March 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    So this is still happening in 2013???? God be with us.

  20. concerned citizen

    March 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Oooohhhh yes, d’level of illetercy. In the north is very appauling, im nt surprised. Pls the local government chairman of the plce&senator representing that constituency should be summoned for questioning. Then d’heads of the community should be charged to court straight.

  21. Chic

    March 28, 2013 at 12:11 am

    God bless this couple and the babies they rescue

  22. R

    March 28, 2013 at 12:30 am

    my goodness 🙁

  23. HABBA

    March 28, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Africans need education.

  24. Nina

    March 28, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Please how can one support this couple?

  25. Summie

    March 28, 2013 at 10:00 am

    “At times, we are asked why government has not intervened but I don’t have an answer to that. Some government officials have been here. All I can tell you is that a greater government sent me on this assignment and I cannot afford to fail.”- sunnewsonline.com/new/cover/bizarre-40-fct-communities-that-kill-twins/ God Bless these missionaries beyond comprehension. Amen

  26. Coco C

    March 28, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I’m a twin and I’m deeply saddened by this story. Bella, how can people get in touch with the organization to assist? Please provide details if available.

  27. Alex

    March 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    i just cant believe dis…as in r u f**king kidding mi??? *bbm suprised look*

  28. Anne

    March 29, 2013 at 6:27 am

    Which are killed, mothers who die within three months of their babies birth, or babies who die within three months of their birth? The story says both.
    Anyhow, this is pretty terrible and I hope they stop this practice.

  29. abdullahi ibrahim denda

    February 4, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    My name is abdullahi ibrahim denda a bassa boy from nasarawa state but living in abuja kwali area council. This is wrong information
    For More imfo. call me on 08133285437

  30. Kure Tashilane

    July 7, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    The story is a fictitious story from people who are using the name of God for wrong purposes. I condemn in strong terms whatever the motives of the people from who the unbelievable story came from is, they should stop condeming the native tribes of the FCT. They ought to know that Abuja defines Nigeria, and that whatever they post to the world about Abuja affects the way the world sees Nigeria as a whole. The story is a propaganda and as such, every right thinking human being should jettison it as no such act is taken place anywhere in or arround Abuja as the story fictitiously noted. For God sake, there are foreign organizations like; WHO,UNICEF,FHI360 and soceity for family health all working in Nigeria and FCT. Non of these organisation had such reports of killing of twins taking place in Abuja by the indegenous tribes. Whatever the authors stands to gain from such falacious report, only God would make them rue their act. But the word should know that that story is a fiction.

  31. Chika Williams okibe

    April 1, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Though i was born in d wrong place too buh i thank God 4 mother Mary whom in her selfless work of life administered life in2 me… In my poor village, i happen 2b d first survived set of twins b4 others.
    I remain indebted to Her n anyone doing works alike. May God strengthen them n their good work.

  32. Pingback: Twin Killings in Nigeria | Notes to Women

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