Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru, Upper East Regional Minister, has praised Afrikids Ghana , a child right non-governmental organization (NGO) for working to abolish the killing of children termed “spirit children” in the Kessena –Nankana East and West Districts of the Region.
The NGO worked for 12 years in the area and managed to stop the tradition through advocacy and other interventions.
Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru, who made the commendation at a durbar of chiefs and people of the districts at Sirigu, to mark the end of the spirit child tradition, appealed to Ghanaians to outlaw obsolete traditions.
He said: “Today is the day to celebrate the works and achievements of the chiefs and people of the seven villages of Sirigu, Kandiga, Mirigu, Nabango, Natognia , Yua and Mayoro, the Afrikids Staff and partners, their donors, supporters and the unique, inspirational and resourceful people of the Kassena Nankana Districts on their reaching this monumental success”.
Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru paid tribute to the spirit child practitioners who are called ‘’Concoction men’’ for abolishing the negative practice.
Naba Henry Ameng-Etego, the chief of Kandiga, debunked the recent assertion that the act was still being practiced in the area.
He said: “We will allow the law to deal with anybody who will engage in the practice”.
Regent of the Sirigu Traditional Area, Naba Akwara Adumbire, appealed to Government to build a health centre for the area.
He said: “We also wish to appeal to government to establish a special school in our area to provide opportunities to children with special needs”.
Mr Nicholas Kumah, the Country Director of Afrikids Ghana, said the NGO had recruited all the 30 “concoction” men to become “Right to Lives Promoters”, to protect children, particularly those with abnormalities.
He said Afrikds Ghana would continue to monitor the situation and anyone caught engaging in the practice would be handed over to the security agencies.
The NGO presented to each of the concoction men four goats, a bicycle, food items and they were registered under the National Health Insurance
According to the tradition, the family of a deformed or disabled child, suspected to be ‘spirit child, should inform the village elders known as ‘concoction men’ about the situation.
The ‘concoction men’ accompany the father of the ‘spirit child’ to a soothsayer, who would determine whether or not the child is truly evil.
Once the confirmation is received, the ‘concoction men ‘ brews a poisonous liquid from local roots and herbs and force-feed the child.