Social media influencer, Amara Nwankpa who is also the director, Public Policy Initiative, narrated via his twitter handle how 21 kids were abducted from the church by FCTA SDS department and released 3 months later.
Amara Nwankpa Tweeted:
“June 15, 2019 @AkuBeyy and Jennifer Ogbogu dragged me to Jiwa, Gwagwa. A small community in the forgotten suburbs of Abuja. 21 kids had been abducted from a Church by the FCDA SDS department for over 3 months and their parents were broken and in despair.”
“The female pastor of the church had been detained and accused of running an illegal orphanage. The kids, now wrongfully termed orphans, had been distributed to various orphanages in Abuja including this popular one in Gwagwalada.
After investigations, the officer working the case was convinced that the church had committed no crime but she couldn’t get SDS to release the kids back to their parents as the SDS secretary was allegedly stalling and suggesting that the kids had been given out for adoption.”
At this stage, the issue had become complicated and they had to involve The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria.
“After 3 months of trying, she contacts @AkuBeyy to refer the case to @FIDANigeria. Aku, Jennifer and I first visit the orphanage in Gwagwalada. We identify about 5 of the kids. They are all in various states of illness.
We took a parent undercover with us. Our cover is quickly blown as she spots 2 of her children and begins bawling. We beat a quick retreat out of the orphanage. But we have our first confirmation. The parents story seems credible.
Next we visit the community. @AkuBeyy interviews the pastor and parents of the kids. I’ve never seen a group so broken. I almost cried at the point where a 42 yo man told me he had considered killing himself. His wife had died 6 months earlier and now his only kids were gone.
They all started rolling on the floor and begging when @AkuBeyy said we couldn’t make any promises. Afterall this was Nigeria. It didn’t matter that we promised to do all in our power. They wanted something to hold on to. I cried some more inside.
But we had gathered real evidence that these kids had parents and that they were unjustly taken from the care of their families.
@akubeyy had scheduled a meeting with SDS, the Police and the parents on Monday, but we met with @SamuelOgundipe that Saturday. We wanted to see if he could break the story on @PremiumTimesng if the quiet advocacy failed.
When SDS discovered that @FIDANigeria and @PremiumTimesng were now involved in the matter, the Madam herself showed up for the meeting. She requested a brief private meeting with the police after which the kids were immediately released to their parents!
The police asked the parents to thank Madam SDS and promise to mind their kids better. This I presume was to cover the shame of the shameless. Didn’t matter. Mission accomplished. 21 children reunited with their families after 3 months.”