By Izunna Okafor, Awka
A 12-year-old boy has told a touching story about how his father sent him out of the house because his stepmother told him he was a small witch.
The 12-year old, identified as Godswill Okon Effiong, who hails from Urboroh in Akwa Ibom State revealed this while recounting his ordeal after he was found missing in Anambra State and got rescued by some good-spirited individuals who handed him over to the police, who in turn, handed him over to the State’s Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare in Awka.
According to him, his hard times began after his father sent his mother away after they had some quarrels. He said because the father found it difficult to look after him and his younger sister after the divorce, he handed his sister to someone to look after, while he continued to live with him.
Narrating further, Effiong said shortly after the divorce, his father married another wife, whom, upon her arrival in the family, immediately began to maltreat and torture him at will. He said the stepmother did not only maltreat and torture him on daily basis but also continued persuading his father to send him away because he was a small witch.
“After begging father for several times, he called somebody who is coming to Anambra from time to time to buy goods, and he paid the person money and told him to carry me to Anambra and drop me anywhere there when he comes to to buy goods,” he recounted.
According to him, after the person did as his father instructed him and dropped him in Anambra, he began to wander from place to place without knowing where he was and where he was going. He further recounted how he begged around for money to buy something to eat and how he slept at a mechanic workshop for some days before he eventually entered a church, where some people assisted him after hearing his story and also handed him over to the police after a short while.
It was the operatives in Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area who handed Effiong over to the State’s Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare.
The Ministry, after interviewing the missing child, called on members of the public, particularly the people of Akwa Ibom State, to come forward with useful information pertaining to his parents’ whereabouts.
Howbeit, Effiong said he would not want to go back to his father, but passionately pleaded to be reunited to his mother.