A meeting to discuss the alleged persecution of witches and other handlers of witchcraft was disrupted by the Nigerian police in Makurdi on Saturday.
The Executive Director of Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfWA), Dr Leo Igwe, who organized the meeting accused the police of invading the seminar venue on “witch persecution.”
Igwe, who disclosed this in a statement flayed the action of the police describing it as as unacceptable especially when the Commissioner of Police in the state was duly invited for the programme.
According to him, all the attendees from various human rights organisations and civil society organisations including from the National Human Rights Commission who had seated were chased out of the venue.
Titled: “Police stop seminar on witch persecution in Makurdi,” the statement partly read: “The police have invaded the venue of the seminar on “witch persecution” to be held today in Makurdi, Benue State. At least 15 police officers who arrived in five vehicles are at the venue, Green Belt Hotel in Makurdi.
“The DPO of the area, Daniel Ezeala, said they had been instructed to stop the meeting and urged every attendee to vacate the venue. Another officer said that they got some intelligence that witches were meeting at the venue.
“AfAW invited the CP to the event. Attendees including delegates from the NHRC and FIDA have been told to leave the premises of the event. Discussion is ongoing to resolve the matter.
“AfAW is embarrassed by this development It is unfortunate that a meeting convened to address human rights abuses linked to witchcraft beliefs is disrupted by law enforcers in Nigeria,” he said following the disruption of the event by men of the Nigerian Police.
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