One of the acclaimed achievements of Mary Slessor, the pre-colonial Scottish missionary to Nigeria, was that she stopped the killing of twins.
However, in the Basa Komo community in Kwali Area Council FCT of Abuja-Nigeria capital city, among the Gbajingala clan, it is totally unacceptable and an abomination to give birth to a twin, and for a woman to die within three months after she gives birth.
It is also an abomination when a child grows upper teeth first or when a child is born with any form of disability. To the inhabitants of the community, these are signs that the child is from the evil world and the punishment for such a child is to be buried alive.
When twins are born, they are given poison to kill them. Alternatively, they are forcefully taken away from their mother by masquerades and strangled.
After killing the twins, an altar would be erected in the house, a sacrifice to Tuwa, their deity, to ensure the twins do not return.
If in the parturition process, the woman dies, and the child survives, the child would not be allowed to live.
The new-born will be tied to the corpse of the deceased mother and buried with her.
However, if the nursing mother dies without weaning the infant, the baby will be killed; they believe the child is in possession of strange powers that are responsible for the death of the mother. Alternatively, the twin will be dumped in their mother’s grave, whereas some are left to die of hunger.
For intervention on this, Stevens and his wife at the moment have put in place Divine Heritage Home where the children that have been rescued now live.
Presently, Christian Missionary Foundation (CMF) has rescued over thirty-three children spread across communities.
The children have been sent to school and the foundation has continued to enlighten the community on why they should stop the harmful practices.
The foundation spends about N270, 000 (1,719 USD) monthly to take care of the children, some who like the initiative of the foundation who have schools, grant the children waiver on their school fees.
Also, those in the medical profession that are in love with what the foundation does with the children treat them without asking for money.
In an attempt to get the children reunited with their families, the families were asked if they could take the children at the age of four, they declined the offer on the ground that the evil spirit that brought the children to the world would still be living with them.
They will not take them back, lest they incur the wrath of the gods, the parents said.
Stevens, the leader of the foundation, disclosed that over 40 communities practice this act in Abuja. He further revealed that such practices are also taking place in Uturu, Abia state where twins are not allowed to live.