Editorial

Ritual killings in Nigeria

In recent months, there has been a horrible surge in ritual killings in the country.
Gory details of these gruesome killings of innocent citizens, are regular features in media reports and security briefs.

Young men and women suspected to be internet fraudsters, the notorious ‘Yahoo Yahoo’, ‘E Yahoo’ or ‘Yahoo Plus’ boys have descended into savagery in spilling blood in the name of money rituals.
Their victims range from students, pupils, hotel guests to passengers, motorists, clerics, business moguls and eminent personalities.

Two examples to illustrate these dastardly acts will suffice.
In November last year, one Timothy Adegoke, a student of Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU), Ile-Ife, checked into Hilton Hotel in Ife. His family later reported that he was missing. Acting on a tip-off, the police unearthed his corpse from a shallow grave, after what is suspected to be ritual killing took place. In January this year, five-year old Hanifa Abubakar was abducted from her school in Kano by the principal and murdered. There are many more cases across the land.

Yahoo is a popular web link, known for providing internet links for emails. These days, there is evidence that internet fraudsters also indulge in ritual killings to supposedly facilitate their dastardly acts. It is common to see young people, without any clearly defined means of income, driving exotic cars and living big. Unfortunately, these young people are celebrated as successful people.

Anyone who kills another human being is a criminal and should be punished by the state. Human life is sacrosanct and must be respected. There is no creed or religion that supports killing of human beings for rituals.
The warped idea that the body parts of another person can yield money is barbaric.

Some young men have been caught with different body parts across the country. They made confessional statements on their involvement in internet fraud. The most offending aspect of this scourge is that some parents support their children to engage in ritual killings, while pursuing the illusions of materialism.
In fact, some parents buy laptops for their children and encourage them to indulge in ‘yahoo yahoo’. This is unhealthy. It is tragic and offensive to hitherto established codes of social interactions.

‘Yahoo yahoo’ boys are not the only ones involved in ritual killings. As another political season approaches, some politicians seek for body parts too. This they ignorantly do to win elections.
Many traders, artisans and even business tycoons, are also reportedly engaged in these brutalities.
Unfortunately, many people believe in this practice and resort to it in the face of economic and material hardship. The question is, does it work? Is it real or is it merely an embodiment of mans’ abstract and conflicting impulses? Although some believe that ritual killings facilitate wealth, there is no empirical evidence or scientific proof to demonstrate its efficacy. Therefore, these people, should be persuaded to jettison these inhuman practices.

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It is shameful that, while the world is focussed on technological innovations, scientific discoveries, and ground-breaking achievements in arts and social sciences, some of our young people are meddling with stone age beliefs, noted for horrendous and barbaric indulgences.

There are unconfirmed reports, that some people, who indulge in occultic brutalities, sometimes run mad or die suddenly, disgracefully and mysteriously.
Different accounts of people, who died in questionable circumstances, through thunder strikes, strange illnesses, and road accidents abound, especially in rural areas and epicenters of these criminalities.
Clearly, this evil trend, completely, violates the sensibilities and laws of a modern society.
To see young people defecate in public places and eat same or bathe in dirty gutters, for some imaginary fabulous wealth gutters is simply incomprehensible.
This is despicable!
Such acts ultimately dent the image of the country in international settings and may drive away foreign investors from the country.

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) of Nigeria, religious leaders and social influencers have a role to play. There must be nationwide awareness campaigns, about the futility and dangers of ritual killings for success and money.

Ministries of Education across the country, should introduce programmes to educate young citizens about the dangers of these heinous practices.
In addition, universities should take up the responsibility to educate students.
In the main, the government and various social structures should enunciate effective programmes to end this scourge.
Indeed all stakeholders, including, parents, churches and religious bodies should work concertedly, to rid society of this destructive lawlessness.
Criminals involved in ritual murder, are ignorantly threading the path of perdition.

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