9-year old Emmanuel Ironbar who made news after his father sent him of their home in Calabar over claims he is a wizard, has spoken to reporters about his predicament.
Speaking to Punch;
“I have slept outside for some months now. I cannot remember how long that was before I was rescued. I was never sent to school, but I take my younger siblings to school, every day on the request of my mother. I also wish to go to school.”
The young child who started sleeping in a building located No. 28B, Yellow Duke Street in the Calabar-South axis of the Cross River State capital was sent out by his step-father Ubong Akpan on a claim from a church that the nine-year-old was a witch.
Emmanuel’s case came to light after a Facebook post by one Chris Inyang, who resides where the nine-year-old lived went viral.
The child who is now in the custody of Basic Rights Counsel Initiative in Calabar, is pleading to be enrolled in school.
“My father runs his business at the Etim-Edem Park in Calabar. My mother married another man after she left him. She has three other children for my father. She also has a boy and a girl for my stepfather. In all, I have five siblings.
“I was staying with my mother before my stepfather sent me parking because they claimed I was a witch. When they sent me out initially, I was sleeping beside a church. I later moved to an abandoned shop. I was always afraid at night.
“Sometimes, my mother would sneak out of the house to give me food whenever my stepfather was not at home. I want government to arrest my father because he was the one that neglected my mother. He never cared about our welfare. I have never been to school because I was never given the opportunity. I wish to go to school.”
Inyang said he came to know Emmanuel through his kids and took pity on the child. He also revealed he contemplated adopting him but for the tedious official process associated with such move.
He added that to prevent any evil from happening to him, he went on social media to draw attention to his plight.