The Current

Missionaries in remote Nigeria save twins from sacrifice

In Nigeria, twins are usually considered a blessing from God but in one remote corner of the country, they're considered a curse and an ancient, troubling practice of infanticide persists. We meet the missionaries working to save these babies in our documentary "Where Belief is Born."
Nigerian journalist Sam Olukoya brings us his documentary, "Where Belief is Born", on how deeply held superstition lead some in remote Nigeria to sacrifice twins.

* Warning. This story may be disturbing to some listeners.*

"They are witch, they are evil."

There is evidence that a horrific, ancient practice continues to thrive, in a remote region of central Nigeria. It's infanticide or the killing of children.... and it's said to happen especially to baby twins.

The home of missionaries Chinyere Stevens and her husband Olusola have around 50 children under their care - almost all of them are twins. They are missionaries who convince new mothers in specific traditional Nigerian communities to hand their newborn twins over to them and save them from certain death. 

Nigerian journalist Sam Olukoya investigated the accusations for his documentary "Where Belief is Born."  We first aired it this past September. It is narrated by Vancouver actor Omari Newton. 

​Liberty Oseni is among those working to overturn the superstitions that lead to these killings of twins and babies. He's with the Centre for Development and Democracy, an independent, not-for-profit research and advocacy organization that operates in West Africa. He spoke with Anna Maria Tremonti from Abuja, Nigeria. 

We have requested comment from the Nigerian High Commission in Ottawa, but none has been forthcoming.