17th June, 2010
Officials of the Lagos State Government, with the support of the police have arrested a 35-year old woman at Agege, Lagos, Nigeria for chaining her son daily over alleged stealing and waywardness.
Mrs. Peace Etim from Akwa Ibom State was arrested yesterday in her two-room apartment at 62, Orile Road , Agege but her husband was not around and would have been arrested too for allegedly being an accomplice.
The woman admitted to chaining her son for four days consecutively, saying that this was the only way to stop him from roaming the streets of Lagos and for staying away from home, thus, giving the parents headache.
Eleven-year old Ezekiel Etim, is the victim, he has dropped out of school on his own, according to his mother, who also accused the boy of stealing and having spiritual problem.
The team that arrested her was led by an Assistant Director, Office of Youth and Social Development, Mr. Odun Anjorin, who insisted that the woman and her child must follow the team to the Lagos State Government Secretariat, Alausa.
The victim will certainly be taken away from her mother and adopted by the state government to give a befitting education and rehabilitation since the parents could not take care of him.
Ezekiel is not staying with his biological father as the mother had left the man who was his father and pitched tent with her current husband, Mr. Okon Etim, who ekes out a living through dry cleaning.
According to Mrs Etim, her boy was a complete wayward child, saying that he was first in a private school and was later removed when he could not cope and taken to a public school and that the boy dropped out of school himself.
â€œHe roams about the streets; we later discovered that there is another spirit disturbing him, the spirit of witchcraft. The spirit entered the family and disturbed daddyâ€™s work.
â€œFor more than three months, he did not sleep at home; I decided to chain him and I chained him for four days. When I chained him, the baale of the area saw him. The police came and we explained to them.
â€œI chained him because he was about to be delivered. I have gone to a spiritualist who discovered that he has witchcraft spirit. Apart from that, he also steals,â€ she stated.
However, Ezekiel confessed that he had witchcraft spirit and that he got it from his elder sister, saying that he used to attend meetings at night between the hours of 11.00 pm and 6.00 am, but noted that he had been delivered from witchcraft by a spiritualist.
â€œMy senior sister gave me witchcraft. We used to fly inside the bush; we are many and we used to drink blood. I was one of the lowest in rank. I am no more there, I have been delivered,â€ he said.
Ezekiel denied that he was responsible for the woes of his family, adding that he was usually chained frequently and that he did nothing to merit such punishment.
The Baale of Tabon Tabon, Chief Simeon Olufunsho told PM NEWS that his attention was drawn to the boy when he always sees him outside the house very late at night.
â€œI called him on a particular day to know why he was still outside at such time in the night and he said hisÂ mother said he should not enter the room. At another time, I saw him around 1.00 am and he told me that he was locked outside.
â€œI also saw the boy with chains on his leg; I complained to the police and they intervened. On another day, I was told that he was chained again and I saw him,â€ he explained.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth and Social Development, Dr. Dolapo Badru had warned that the state government would not take it lightly with parents or guardians who trampled upon the rights of children, which is a case of child abuse.
â€”Kazeem Ugbodaga &Oluwole Adeboye