Reports that some parts of the country still engages in the killing of twins is to say the least inconceivable and condemnable. The act is not only barbaric in these modern times. It is inhuman and negates the teachings and doctrine of the word of God as practiced by the various faiths. It is also against the letters of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In chapter 4 and section 33(1) titled: ‘Fundamental Rights’, the provision states that: Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.’
Section 34-(1) further states, “Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of person, and accordingly (a) – no person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment (b)- no person shall be held in slavery or servitude and (c)-no person shall be required to perform forced compulsory labour.”
Again beyond the rights to life and liberty guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution, is the United Nation’s instrument on human rights and liberty. The right to life and liberty and the right of every person to redress which are all embedded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR and the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ICCPR, which Nigeria is a signatory.
Regrettably, it is ridiculous and absurd to read reports in the media, especially in modern times of high civilisation, awareness and enlightenment that some remote villages in the Federal Capital Territory and other parts of the country, still engage in these barbaric act. In the FCT, the administration had raised the alarm recently that the practice of killing of twins also known as infanticide, is still going on in some remote villages. It is the same news though unverifiable in some parts of Igbo land. Whether it is true or false, it is inhuman and untoward that such barbarism is still with us.
The FCT Ad-hoc Committee on Infanticide and Twin-killing took the campaign to four Area Councils of the Territory namely Abaji, Kwali, Gwagwalada and Kuje. It was a three-week advocacy campaign against the scourge in Yaba, Gulida, Gomani, Tepase, Dawaki, Warambi, Kiyi and Shetuko villages led by the Director of Information and Communications, Mrs. Stella Ojeme . The crusade is in order to stamp out, completely, the dastardly act from the FCT.
In one of the campaign exercises, the director berated the residents of the territory for still practicing such inhuman cultural and explained that it was ungodly to kill twins whom she said are God’s creations and blessings to their nucleus families and the society at large. “Twins) have a right to live just like any other person and should not be judged by the circumstances of their birth,” she further said, attributing ignorance as largely responsible for such practices in rural communities.
We condemn this new wave of barbarism whether in the far FCT remote villages or any other part of the country. The era of killing twins is past and occurred in the dark ages of 18th century when civilisation was far from us in this part of the world. As history of the past, the Calabar saga ought to remain so and not a rebirth of the country’s inglorious and gloomy past.
What is bad is bad and killing in whatever guise or cultural reason is ungodly and against our laws. So we are unequivocal concerning our abhorrence to the act. We join the FCT administration and the various traditional rulers in the territory and the nation in general, to appeal to their people to stop the killings. Each person has a right to life and where this is taken by means not approved by the law, is an infraction and an aberration that has a consequence. In addition, we plead with other Nigerians to join in the campaign to eradicate this devilish practice from our land and ensure that every child has the right to life.