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Some FCT towns still kill twins


It was 98 years ago that Mary Slessor, the Scottish missionary to Nigeria, died. She was reputed to have led crusades that stopped some societies from killing twin babies at birth. Such births were taboo and not tolerated.  While her history remains alive, as her remains were interred in Nigeria, it seems some communities in Nigeria, even today, are out to rubbish and undo what Slessor did.

It might shock you to hear that there is still a community that still sees twins or multiple birth as abomination. But it is more confounding to find that the communities are in the nation’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT). How awful that even within the world’s newest city, with all the trappings of modernity, the preponderance of religions and inclinations that abhor killing of human beings, twin kids are still sacrificed to the gods of tradition that don’t want them alive like the biblical story of the notions that passed their babies through the fire of Molech.

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.

This scenario is not from a Nollywood film or a best selling novel. It happens today in a community in the nation’s FCT. In Bassa Komo, it is abomination to be born a twin, or a mother dies within three months of a baby’s birth, or a child grows upper teeth first or is born with defect. These are all faults of the baby or babies involved.

All these, to the people of the community, 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.

Such bizarre drama was witnessed by a couple, Olusola Stevens and his wife. Stevens is the North Central Director of the Christian Missionary Foundation (CMF). He has been in missionary work for 22 years. In all his years as a missionary, nothing prepared him and his wife, Chinwe, for the trauma of hearing or witnessing the practice of killing infants or burying some alive with their dead mothers even in the domain of the FCT.

Today, their happiness is that some of the rescued children have been reunited with their families, even though they are still living with the Stevens.

Stevens recalled to Abuja Metro the challenges of taking care of the rescued children but remains happy that: “God has never failed. Though there could be delays but He will surely come through and this we can testify to in our case.”

The Christian Missionary Foundation (CMF) is a non-denominational body with task of evangelising the interior and remote societies. That is the gospel that touches human lives.

“We just don’t preach the gospel. In some of the places we have been to, we have established schools, especially in the North East. We also have medical outreach centres. Basically, we don’t stay in city; we go to the interior to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to people.”

The CMF was launched in Ibadan in1982 by the late Bishop Benson Idahosa.



“The first child we rescued is a girl, Aisha. That was in 1997.  She has gone to school, otherwise you would have met with her. Her father was about sacrificing her to the god of fertility like he allegedly did the previous ones but his wife was concerned that for how long would she continue to lose her children to the god of fertility. So, she confided in one of the villagers. All these I am telling you happened in less than 10km from here in a village called Kayi. So, she was advised to go to ‘aunty’ (my wife) to pray to her Jesus. Those that directed her had realised that when she is given to Jesus, she will be spared as her husband will not be able to use her for any sacrifice. My wife, the ‘aunty’, was my fiancée then. She was a pioneer missionary in that village. So, the baby was brought to my wife and asked to pray to prevent her husband from killing her. She promised to bring the baby back to Jesus once she grows a little. So, after we got married, the woman returned and said the baby was still alive and her husband had not done her any harm. She came back to give the baby to Jesus, as promised. She has been with us and now in JSS2.”

To really settle down and handle the rescue assignment, the couple had to set up a home, the Divine Heritage Home as an offshoot of the missionary work in the interiors.

Two weeks after the first rescue, a baby boy was rescued from death. He too is in school now. They call him Wonder Boy. From that time, they mandated the missionaries to do more to save as many children as possible from the strange practices.

“We have rescued about 33 such kids spread across several villages. There are also 13 less privileged children that were picked from the rural areas. All the children are in school. The youngest we have now is a set of twins about four months old, Rachael and Rebecca.”

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

There are days they don’t get back home in Gwagwalada until 2am. “That is how we started raising those children. Since God asked us to raise them we don’t give them out for adoption. God told us expressly to nurse them that He would take them back to their communities so as to stop this practice. How He will do that, we do not know.”

And to the glory of God, we didn’t give them out for adoption even after suggestions to do so. We know their family houses, we know each of the compound where we got the children from,” Stevens said with satisfaction.

“We make sure we collect data of their families, including their grandparents and relations. We usually tell them that these children are yours but we want to show you that there is nothing wrong about them. Rejecting them is just a cultural thing, a taboo.

The home has even returned three children to their relatives, who have been established as strong Christians and are willing to take them. They still monitor their progress there. “We heard one of them later died but it was through natural causes. We pray together and share the Bible every morning. To the glory of God, I don’t deny them anything. My wife and I have only one child of our own but you will not tell the difference. I am a domestic man so, there is no stress, taking care of them. Right now, my wife is on her PhD programme and I am right here taking care of them with the help of the nannies. They are doing very well in school and very intelligent kids.”

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