The police on Thursday paraded suspected killers of Ogbomoso-born hotelier based in the United States, Gbenga Owolabi, and Rachael Opadele, a student of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso.
Owolabi and Opadele were later killed by the abductors after a ransom was paid
The suspects were paraded at the command headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan.
Parading the suspects alongside others, the state Commissioner of Police, Adebowale Williams, said they were arrested based on credible information provided by one of their victims.
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Kenya, ‘Pride Of Africs’, Thirsty For Evelyn Joshua’s SCOAN’s Crusade
By Dare Adejumo
Like the first rain of the year that usually brings joy and jubilation after a long crunch of harsh heat and drought, so it’s in Kenya today with the confirmation that Pastor Evelyn Joshua is holding a two-day crusade between 13th and 14th of this month in Nairobi, the nation’s capital.
In unprecedented enthusiasm, people are already trooping to Nairobi from neighbouring countries of Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and even far away South Africa several days ahead of the event and yet with a lot of more overwhelming interests of people outside the continent indicating to attend because of its significance.
The Kenyans are particularly overexcited that the East African country known for being the world’s best Safari destination with 50 epic national parks is lucky to be counted worthy of the event they have been looking forward to for several years.
“It’s an answered prayer for this crusade to hold in Kenya because we have been longing and praying for it without ceasing and God has finally answered us after all these years! This is God’s time for us in this country and as we have come to know God’s time is always the best” said Kenneth Kimoni, a Kenyan thriving Pentecostal pastor in Nairobi.
“This is going to bring healing, deliverance and great turnaround to our country with the anointed woman of God Pastor Evelyn Joshua coming for this crusade. It’s a great opportunity for this to happen in our country because it’s the dawn of a new era that will put an end to all evil yokes and covenants of darkness against our land,” joyfully enthused Israel Frank Mutembei, a Kenya businessman, adding that “this crusade Will bring revival to our country, economically, politically and in all facets of our national life for the emergence of a glorious nation here springing from Kenya to other countries”.
To Susan Busangabanye, a 48-year-old chartered accountant: “this is a great event for anyone that’s spiritually awake not to miss. Without seeing the man of God Prophet TBJoshua while he was alive and without seeing the woman of God Pastor Evelyn Joshua I received an incomprehensible touch of God’s power on Emmanuel TV from which my life has been transformed. I have to abandon my work to be here today to register for the crusade. It’s a new dawn in my life and family, I am grateful to God”.
The attendance of the crusade is free and will be holding at Kasarani MOI International Stadium, Nairobi, the largest sports centre in the country. The state has also kindly permitted the use of Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), a monumental edifice of architectonic elegance and ingenuity, almost the best in Africa and pride of Kenyans to be used for the registration especially for people of various health challenges where they are being openly screened along with their medical reports.
Peter Mbwika Alusa and his wife Faith and three children were not left behind as they had arrived at KICC by 7.00amTuesday ahead of 10:00am when registration was to start.
“By the time we got here we already met a lot of people here for the same purpose” he said, adding that “this is a serious matter”. His wife further stated that they had to come very early so that they would not miss the crusade so that they could register early before the venue is overwhelmed by the crowd especially with their children because people all over Kenya would be coming. “We know what God is about to do in our country and we are very grateful to God and pray for God’s continued grace and strength for Pastor Evelyn Joshua” she further stated.
To Hannah Njoki, a building material entrepreneur: “I love TBJOSHUA. He was the one who transformed my Christian life from delusion to reality. Through him I came to know Jesus Christ experientially that He is alive. This crusade shall be additional grace of God’s love for my life”.
Mrs Judith Nabwire Wafula is of the opinion that with the crusade coming, “revival has started in my life and our country. It’s by God’s grace I know this”.
Mrs Josephine Mbithi, a minister stated: “I am very excited to be here and the grace God has given to me to witness the coming crusade. I have seen the light and I can’t but be part of the light. May God be praised for bringing this blessing to Kenya. We also thank God for the life of Pastor Evelyn Joshua “.
The economic imperatives of the crusade to the nation of Kenya cannot be downplayed. The hospitality sector is receiving a big boost. Some frontlining hotels visited, such as Pride-Inn Hotel, Serena, Safari Park, Stanley Sarova, Panagric, Kempinski, Tribe, and Ibis for instance are already smiling of good business. In fact Ibis is already overbooked while others are also getting bookings weeks to the event.
But why the choice of Kenya at this point in time by the SCOAN? Pastor Evelyn Joshua, the leader of SCOAN and the crusade has this to say:”The two-day crusade in Kenya is holding in furtherance of God’s will for this Commission and mankind; for the salvation of souls and fulfilled destinies. We are also undertaking charity programme as part of our mission. This is by God’s instruction in His grace, mercy and favour that the nation of Kenya should partake in the blessings associated with this divine assignment”.
Clearly a great event is about taking place in Kenya. It’s going to be a turning point. The nation is already bubbling and daily getting more electrified for the crusade. SCOAN and the life of Evelyn Joshua have demonstrated one axiomatic spiritual truth that “the mills of God” in the words of that great biblical hero, prophet Isaiah, “grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine”.
Witchcraft Accusations And Police Protection: Imperative Of Institutional Synergy In Malawi
By Leo Igwe
Studies have noted that the police in Africa cannot tackle witchcraft accusations; the police refuse to protect the accused because police officers believe in witchcraft and allow their personal witchcraft fears, and anxieties to determine their work and profession. Scholars have put forth this argument not only to explain the manifestation of witchcraft accusations in contemporary Africa, but also to justify the inability of modernity to diminish and neutralize allegations of witchcraft. However, some cases from Nigeria, Ghana, and Malawi indicate otherwise and show an imbalance in this argument and explanation.
These cases clearly illustrate that this understanding of the manifestations of witchcraft beliefs is one-sided and does not reflect the situation of policing and how modernity relates to the phenomenon of witchcraft accusations in post-colonial Africa. Let us take a recent case from Malawi. An online news media, Zodiak reported it. It states: “Police in Neno have been keeping an 89-year-old man at Zalewa roadblock for three weeks after an angry mob descended on the granny at Kasamba village in the area of Senior Chief Symon on allegations that he bewitched his grandson”. A police public relations officer, Austin Kamwendo, told this news media “that the man, Binwell Chabwera, was staying with his grandson since his childhood but on the 26th of August the grandson died after a short illness”. The officer further explained that “soon after the death of the grandson, an angry mob wanted to kill Chabwera accusing him of having a hand in the death of his grandson”. The police are appealing to the institutions that take care of the elderly to come to their rescue because they can no longer afford to feed the man due to financial constraints, and his home village is still hostile.
As this case shows, the police protect the accused and try to address cases of witchcraft accusation. The police take measures to ensure that accusers do not harm alleged witches. But, as this case from Malawi has illustrated, the police are limited in their powers and abilities. Police powers vary from rural to urban areas. The police have and exercise more powers in the capital Lilongwe or in the city of Blantyre than in other places. There is more police presence in urban than in rural communities. In urban centers, the police posts have more resources, officers, and equipment to do their work. But in rural communities, they are constrained. Police officers are few and far apart. The police are in a better position to protect and defend the accused in the city centers than in villages. The police respond to witchcraft accusations based on their ability and capacity. The police use their facilities to ensure that accused persons are not attacked or killed. In this case, the police provided the accused some refuge at a checkpoint. They shieled him from attack and harm. However, after three weeks, the police are appealing for help because they could no longer cater for him. The police in the area were getting overstretched. Hence, the police asked those institutions that take care of the elderly to come to their help.
The Advocacy for Alleged Witches commends the police in Malawi for protecting the accused. Such an instance indicates that the police fulfill some role in protecting the accused. Alleged witches are innocent and need police protection. The laws of Malawi guarantee their rights, safety and protection. However, the AfAW has noted the importance of institutional synergy in the fight against witch persecution in the region. Institutional energy is necessary because no one institution can do it alone. African governments and people need to pool resources together, fill in existing gaps and maximize existing facilities to end witch persecutions in the region. As the case from Malawi has demonstrated, the police need to work with homes for the elderly, orphanage centers, and other agencies to address the problem. The police, courts, other governmental and nongovernmental institutions should collaborate in combating and ending witchcraft accusations and witch persecutions in the region.
Dr. Igwe directs the Advocacy for Alleged Witches which aims to end witch persecution in Africa by 2030.
Witch Persecution And Reintegration Of Victims In Benue State
By Leo Igwe
Pa Justin Kyado, a 90-year-old man, was accused of witchcraft last year. Some mob abducted him in the middle of the night, beat him up, and set him ablaze. Kyado survived and on September 9, returned to his community in the company of advocates from Benue state. In his report, the AfAW director in the state, Dooyum Ingye, said, “Last year, the Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) took up the case of Pa. Justin Kyado who was accused of witchcraft. He was severely burnt by some family and community members. AfAW helped Pa. Kyado receive proper medical attention and also facilitated the arrest and trial of his persecutors. As a post-intervention policy, AfAW continued to monitor Pa Kyado’s progress. Pa Kyado has been staying with his daughter since the attack”.
A year after the attack, Kyado with the help of AfAW returned to his village, Tse Agena, Mbavur, Mbadzoho Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State. His return is AfAW’s first case of reintegration since it was founded in 2020. Advocates seized the opportunity to engage community members, especially the youths on the illegality of witch persecution and the need to adopt a scientific approach to explaining incidents of death or illness. As a tradition, people consult local diviners when people fall ill or pass away. These diviners point accusing fingers on relatives. The accused are brutally attacked or murdered. Those who attack or murder alleged witches are seldom arrested or prosecuted. In the case of Kyado, it was different.
Since some suspects were arrested and charged in court, relatives have been pressuring Pa Kyado’s family to withdraw the case so that they could settle out of court. They asked Kyado to return to the community and pledged not to harm him or engage in witchcraft accusations or persecutions. Our AfAW director in Benue reported what happened. “AfAW advocates arrived at Pa. Kyado’s hometown by 11:40 a.m., 9th September 2023. Pa. Kyado’s family and community members were already gathered at the family compound waiting. Terhemba Kyado, Pa. Justin’s younger son, welcomed and introduced everyone present. Thereafter, the local chief Zaki Akende Tagher introduced the AfAW advocates and the purpose of their visit to the community. Previously, the local chief’s attempt to get the perpetrators bailed was rejected by the court. The rejection was premised on the brutal assault on Pa. Kyado, insensitivity to his condition, and the constant threat to the life of his daughter, who was nursing him and working with AfAW to ensure that justice is done. Pa. Kyado’s family and their lawyer argued that they should be granted bail on the condition they agreed not to harm Pa. Kyado or any member of his family”.
As the AfAW director further explained: “The head of Pa. Kyado’s kindred expressed displeasure over the attack on Pa. Kyado. However, he pleaded that the family of Pa Kyadoo, AfAW, and their supporters, should withdraw the case as the perpetrators and their families were ready to adhere to any safety condition for the victim. In turn, AfAW’s Benue Director insisted that all the community members must refrain from all accusations. The kindred heads agreed and promised to end witch accusations and persecution in their community. Also, the head of every family in the community promised to abide by the resolution. As their tradition demands, the Benue AfAW Director handed Pa. Kyado to the local chief, Zaki Akende Tagher who in turn, handed him to the head of the kindreds, and then to the elders of his family. While handing Pa Justin over to the elders, Zaki Akende Tagher said, “Wanwene ka orya, ka orbatsav ga” meaning “Your son is an elder, not a witch”. This process creates a chain of care, responsibility and accountability for the victim’s safety and life”.
Pa Kyadoo’s return provided an opportunity for some community outreach. AfAW’s advocates addressed community members, especially the youths. One advocate told the youths that old age did not make a person a witch; that old people were not witches. He said: “If people are sick, consult medical doctors, do not consult local diviners, do not suspect or attack old family members. Do not forget that as youths you will grow old someday so you also stand the risk of being accused of witchcraft”. He asked them to seek scientific explanations for illness or other events to eradicate accusations of witchcraft and prevent the horrific and degrading treatment associated with witch persecution. Community members were urged to reach out to Benue AfAW advocates for more understanding of the events or happenings around them.
At the end of the event, the local chief assured AfAW that he would ensure that nobody engaged in witch-hunting or accusations in the community. The AfAW advocates presented some shirts to Pa Kyado and his family. In addition, Pa Kyado was presented with a sum of 50, 000 naira to help him resettle in his community. AfAW will monitor the situation to ensure the safety of Pa Kyado in the coming weeks and months.
Dr. Igwe directs Advocacy for Alleged Witches, which campaigns to end witch hunting in Africa.,
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