Nigeria: Community Raises Alarm Over Kidnap, Killing of Albinos

19 April 2021

Residents of Enugwu Ukwu community in Anambra State have raised alarm over the increased kidnapping and killing of albinos in the community.

While a large number of the residents claimed that albinos are hunted for ritual purposes, others blamed some mystical beliefs that albinos may take over the community soon.

Those who lent their voices expressed fear that albinos may not return to the community if nothing is done, as a large number of them have fled to different parts of the country.

Speaking during an interview with newsmen, an indigene, Chinedu Idoko, conceded that although the albinos are discriminated, last month's incident left dwellers perplexed and hysteric.

Explaining, she said "Unknown gunmen entered the community last month in search of albinos. At first we thought that there was an activity going on or they escorted people who came to give COVID-19 vaccines but they started asking for albinos and the albinos started to run away."

Asked what the government has done since then, she said nothing has been done on the part of the government.

"They are just telling them to calm down that nothing will happen to them but many of them have fled. They said that when government is serious that they will come back to the community.

"Right now as I speak, it is difficult to get albino is our community because all of them are on the run. When I heard about it I also ran away because I thought they came for everybody."

Another community member, Ezugo Akaigwe who is an albino said that they have been neglected. "People see us as cursed people who are meant to be used for rituals and sacrifices alone.

"Some of them say we come from another planet and that we are some sort of evil spirit that's why many people don't want to associate with us in the community."

Asked to tell what kinds of neglect he has faced as an albino, he said it is rare to see any employer engage them "that's why I lost a lot of jobs including my dream job just because I am albino.

"I have also lost a lot of opportunities because of this. I once went for a job interview in a bank and I passed all the tests; I went there with my friends who also went through with the interview.

"Some of them were employed but I wasn't and when I asked they said they would call me but they never did."

Asked if he has had any encounter with ritualists he said not at all but he tries to secure himself. "I have also been told to join the albino foundation but I have not yet joined".

Emmanuel Otiji, another resident, said he has a friend who is an albino and has suffered a lot for this reason.

"For example, in February when some armed men who help ritualists to get human and body parts came to the village he almost fell victim. He managed to escape and has fled our community just to stay alive.

"Do you know that herbalists prescribe albinos to ritualists and that's why these days they don't move alone but in convoy," he added.

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