Twin baby killing in Nigeria: Shocking Revelations!

Twin baby killing in Nigeria: Shocking Revelations!

In recent times, it has been discovered that there are communities where the killing of twins is still practiced. This inhumane act needs to be stopped.

Cultures and traditions die hard in Africa. There are a few forces at play when it comes to twin baby killing in Nigeria. Forces like fear, superstition, and especially ignorance makes it almost impossible for people that abandon practices like the twin baby killing.

In some places, practices like that are so sacred that any talk of abolition is considered sacrilegious. They will stop at nothing to halt any opposition, even if they have to do it in absolute secrecy. It is difficult to convince certain people of the barbarity of twin baby killing when they have completely lost the capacity to see twins as what they simply are.

History of twin baby killing in Nigeria

In the old Nigeria, superstitious beliefs were rife. It touched almost every aspect of life as it was then. From albinos to twins and then to disfigured babies. When any of these taboo occurrences happened, the village head gave the order to have the children killed.

Efik people did this in the late 1800's and early 1900. When anybody gave birth to twins they killed them or left them to die in the bushes. And with the benefit of hindsight their reasons could be said to border on the ludicrous. The natives dreaded that one of the infant's father was an evil spirit and that the mother of the babies was guilty of a certain sin. Enter Mary Slessor who took it upon herself to spread the gospel and educate the people of Efik. She went around picking up abandoned babies and sending them to the missionary compound.

Has twin baby killing stopped?

You'd be forgiven for thinking twin baby killing completely died with Mary Slessor in Calabar. Even the most current of Nigerians may be shocked to hear this. As Dioka Bridget, a research fellow at the Centre for Igbo Studies, University of Nigeria has said, the practice is shrouded in secrecy.

According to the Guardian, Vine Heritage Home Foundation in Abuja is devoted to rescuing twins from death within remote communities convinced of their evil powers. In Ubo Saidu, twin babies are believed to not be humans. They are seen as a danger to the existence of the entire community because their ancestors told them that they have strange powers. They see them as gods among men. So at birth, the entire village is alerted that a threat and perhaps an evil has been born into the community.

From the Bassa Komo tribe, a woman confided in Margret Ekesua, an Assemblies of God Church missionary. She told her that the killing of babies, usually twins, is still practiced by a few groups within the tribe. According to her, the tribe believes twins are demons who suck their blood at night and are predestined to kill either parent or both.

Elsewhere in Kaida village eight years ago, when Aisha Ayuba gave birth to twin girls, she gave them away to save them from being murdered. “If I kept the children,” she told Thomson Reuters Foundation, “someone would kill them.”



The killing of twins has no place in a progressive society. Children should be allowed to grow, and mothers be allowed the joy of motherhood. But the tragedy remains that the perpetrators of these killings honestly think they are doing the right thing in their minds. That is a formidable combination that will not be so easy to defeat. The first challenge is to teach these tribes that their mindset is wrong.

Read Also: Want to get pregnant with twins?

Source: The Guardian



Written by

Lydia Ume