Metro Teenager Caged for 30 months over Alleged Witchcraft Regains Freedom



A 16-year old girl who was locked up by her parents in a wooden cage for over 30 months on allegation of witchcraft has been rescued in Bayelsa State.

Over nine years ago, the teenager identified as Blessing Olokumo, a twin, was diagnosed with a strange illness, which triggers convulsion. The illness was later attributed to witchcraft.

Her father who is also a twin, allegedly built the cage and locked up the girl to keep her away from the main house.

A group, Mary Slessor Twins Foundation, which rescued her, said she was locked in a wooden cage for over two-and-a-half years.

Mr. Tonyon Ebitei Robert, Acting President of the group said Olokumo was locked up because she was always defecating around the family's house.

"She was kept like a rabbit. She was given food when it was available and was allowed to sleep in her vomit, faeces, urine. She lost weight and could have died", Robert said.

Robert told reporters that the group known for its campaign against maltreatment of twin child in the state, was contacted by concerned indigenes of Okolobiri community where the Olokumo family resides.
The first attempt by members of the group to reach the caged child was allegedly rebuffed by the father but their next trip was fruitful as he handed the child to them.

The rescued teenager has been taken to the teaching hospital for proper medical treatment. The group would lodge a formal complaint with the police and the Welfare Department of the state Ministry of Women Affairs.

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