The Concepts of Born To Die Children and the Fate of Victim Mothers in Nigeria

Thomas. O. Ebhomienlen


The born-to-die phenomenon has received much attention in Nigeria under the two popular names: Abiku in Yoruba and Ogbanje among the Ibo of Nigeria. These two names are used and known effectively by everybody both scholars and laymen. Many scholars had done extensive work on the reality and characteristics of the phenomenon. There are works on the traditional belief on born-to-die children. Health workers also approach the issue from the medical perspective and group the phenomenon among child mortality and morbidity. But this paper examines born-to-die (Abiku) and the fate of victim mothers in Nigeria. To achieve the objective of this treatise the writer adopts the historical, evaluative and phenomenological methodology. The writer discovers that the born-to-die issue put much scandal on victim mothers. Therefore the paper attempt an apology for the victim mothers since the case of Abiku (born-to-die) does not only affect the womenfolk but also men and the community at large. The paper submits instead of stigmatizing the women alone, more preventive measure should be employed to ameliorate the ugly experience. Then the paper concludes with a brief summary.


Born-to-die, Abiku, Ogbanje, Fate and Victim mothers.

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