Leo Igwe

Leo Igwe (born July 26, 1970) is a Nigerian human rights advocate and humanist. Igwe is a former Western and Southern African representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, and has specialized in campaigning against and documenting the impacts of child witchcraft accusations. He holds a Ph.D from the Bayreuth International School of African Studies at the University of Bayreuth in Germany, having earned a graduate degree in Philosophy from the University of Calabar in Nigeria. Igwe's human rights advocacy has brought him into conflict with high-profile witchcraft believers, such as Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries, because of his criticism of what he describes as their role in the violence and child abandonment that sometimes result from accusations of witchcraft. His human rights fieldwork has led to his arrest on several occasions in Nigeria. Igwe has held leadership roles in the Nigerian Humanist Movement, Atheist Alliance International, and the Center For Inquiry—Nigeria. In 2012, Igwe was appointed as a Research Fellow of the James Randi Educational Foundation, where he continues working toward the goal of responding to what he sees as the deleterious effects of superstition, advancing skepticism throughout Africa and around the world. In 2014, Igwe was chosen as a laureate of the International Academy of Humanism and in 2017 received the Distinguished Services to Humanism Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union. Igwe was raised in southeastern Nigeria, and describes his household as being strictly Catholic in the midst of a "highly superstitious community," according to an interview in the Gold Coast Bulletin.[1] At age twelve, Igwe entered the seminary, beginning to study for the Catholic priesthood, but later was confused by conflicting beliefs between Christian theology and the beliefs in witches and wizards that are "entrenched in Nigerian society."[1] After a period of research and internal conflict due to doubts about the "odd blend of tribalism and fundamentalist Christianity he believes is stunting African development," a 24-year-old Igwe resigned from the seminary and relocated to Ibadan, Nigeria

Leo Igwe on 14th Sep

Atheism was the focus of a seminar by the Centre for Islamic Civilization and Interfaith Dialogue (CICID) at the Bayero University...

Leo Igwe on 13th Sep

The Federal Ministry of Health must take urgent measures to stop roving pastors and clerics from entering hospital wards...

Leo Igwe on 08th Sep

The pope started a three-nation visit to Africa this week. The visit takes him to Mozambique, Madagascar, and Mauritius....

Leo Igwe on 02nd Sep

The recent case where firefighters intervened and rescued the pope after he was trapped in a lift should perturb Christians...

Religion and Social Inclusion
Leo Igwe on 30th Aug

The EU meeting on religious engagement, social inclusion, and foreign policy in Brussels in September is timely and of great...

Leo Igwe on 27th Aug

Religion is a volatile issue in Nigeria, anytime, any day. Anybody who wants to understand the Nigerian fault line should...

Leah Sharibu
Leo Igwe on 26th Aug

The decision by the UN to designate August 22 as the international day to commemorate the victims of acts of violence...

Muhammadu Bashar
Leo Igwe on 12th Aug

The Emir of Gwandu, and the Chairman Kebbi Council of Chiefs, Muhammadu Bashar has blamed homosexuals for the problem...

stop killing albinos
Leo Igwe on 09th Aug

Last year, rumours started circulating regarding a strange form of thievery in Nigeria. In this case, people were not stealing...

Leo Igwe on 08th Aug

Observance of religious public holidays in Nigeria is discriminatory and highlights the official exclusion of nonbelievers...