30 Years After Reporting Witchcraft Branding, Journalist Gets Award

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The South-South Deputy Bureau Chief of Guardian Newspaper, Mr. Anietie Akpan has won an international award of excellence after 30 years of reporting witchcraft branding.

The award was conferred on Akpan by a UK-based organisation, Safe Child Africa in conjunction with its Nigeria affiliate, Basic Right Initiative Counsel (BRIC).

They adjudged the Guardian reporter overall best out of the three shortlisted, including Agbá Jalingo of Cross River Watch and Ikechukwu Uche of the Vanguard newspaper.

“Over thirty years I have been reporting on witchcraft practice, I have never been shocked like this before because I did not do any entry to win any award”, Akpan said.

He stated that he was just doing a selfless job out of passion for humanity.

“I am extremely humbled for this award. In the first place, I was doing a selfless job. I was not prompted by anybody. As far back as the nineties, I used to investigate stories on witchcraft stigmatization, it was very common then. I was doing it out of love, out of passion and out of humanity to ensure that this wicked and dangerous practice is formally eliminated, I never expected any award. I was shocked when Comrade James Ibor called me and said, ‘you have an award.

“One message I have is that, whatever you are doing, be very consistent, be passionate and sacrifice. So I will encourage you all not to be discouraged because one day you will be recognized and be appreciated the way I have been recognized and appreciated today,” he expressed.

Representatives of Safe Child Africa who is Principal Counsel of BRCI, Mr. James Ibor, said Akpan was selected by the organisations after a thorough indept review of stories from Cross River and Akwa Ibom on witchcraft branding.

Ibor said Akpan’s good works and dedication to reporting witchcraft branding in the past 35 years of practice earned him the award.

“They have been documenting reports from journalists on witchcraft branding, and so they decided to do a review in Cross River and Akwa Ibom which three names were outstanding and they all came from Cross River state.

“When we finished the review and the three names came up, Akpan came up a distant first, giving the other two miles.

“No entries were called and he was not even aware because for every story that any of you write on witchcraft, it pops up in our system and theirs and it is downloaded and documented and that was what was used to do the debt review.”

Chairman of NUJ, Mr. Nsa Gill congratulated the award winner for his dedication and making the profession a proud one for the state union.

He also thanked Safe Child Africa and BRCI for encouraging journalists who showed commitment in carrying out their duties most especially in the fight against witchcraft branding.

He described the winner as a consistent and professional journalist who has shown interest in reporting child maltreatment, abandonment and witchcraft not only in Cross River but in the South South region.

“No one among the three nominated could have emerged as the winner other than Anietie Ben Akpan, because we all as a journalists know his area of concentration.”


This story amongst others are reviewed on Sparkling 92.3FM http://mixlr.com/sparkling923fm–2 and FAD 93.1FM. Again, opinions expressed on NegroidHaven are exclusively the author’s not NH’s.