• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Ritual killings and the fate of the innocent in Nigeria

Ritual killings and the fate of the innocent in Nigeria

Research has shown that most victims of ritual killers are innocent, unsuspecting and obedient folks. Ritual killing entails the killing of an animal or human being in a religious way to attract wealth, luck, protection, fame etc. though not intended to be a sacrifice. Besides, there is hardly a society, climate or culture that does not practise human sacrifice but the gospel has made everyone know that such practices are evil and wicked. Technology and modern electronic gadgets, even mobile phones have made ritual killing and kidnapping a daily occurrence in the country.

Significantly, it is stated that so many socioeconomic considerations influence people’s decision to engage in rituals such as quick money, fame, success, power, spiritual fortification and courage. Most victims are gotten online nowadays or through phone calls. Many families are in pain and agony due to the sudden disappearance of their loved ones. Many cases of kidnap are not just for ransom but for ritual purposes. Laughter is sadly out of place under many roofs and in different conditions.

Presently, Nigerians are struggling with bears or reasoning with lunatics. There is a doleful silence in the country whereby treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends. Someone may ask; is there not a cause for all these evils? Necessity has compelled a lot of citizens to seek shelter under an evil tree not minding what becomes of them the next day. Who is to be blamed for the rising cases of crime? The conditions of many citizens keep worsening on a daily basis due to high inflation, unemployment, political crisis and unstable economy.

Most importantly, fiendish prudence has given rise to many dastardly acts involving drinking human blood by tumblerfuls. We knew of the Otokoto Hotel saga in Owerri (1996) and Clifford Orji incident in Lagos (2001). A lawmaker in Anambra State was beheaded with his personal assistant and their lifeless heads kept inside a carton by the roadside (2022). Some recent cases in Ogun State and Imo State involve a hook-up specialist who attracts ladies to be dismembered by his principal and the cases of intending yahoo boys who killed his father, plucked out his left eye while another one buried his mother alive. Another woman was apprehended in Anambra state who specialise in harbouring young ladies in her baby factory where babies born are used to produce bath soaps, creams for power-seekers and spiritualists.

Again, many of us are witnesses to ladies who became insane as soon as they alighted from Mercedes-Benz jeeps in public places and markets. Some of our young girls could no longer conceive or get pregnant in their marriages because of their past dealings with occultic men. Some enemies of mankind still peddle rumours that there is nothing like ritual/blood money. And many of our young men are taught how to do these rituals online and on Facebook. It is glaringly obvious that two forces are at work in our world – the forces of good and the forces of evil and you are asked to choose.

Incidentally, many jokes are made about the devil, but the devil is no joke. Sometime in the past, very few students would be willing to talk about Satan or his devices, but not today. Everyone wants to know about the devil, about witchcraft, and about the occult. A lot of people we see on the streets are agents and instruments used by the devil, even in their delusions. Proudly and brutally, they apprehend innocent citizens and destroy their lives. Some of our leaders, who are bigoted, selfish, and vaunted, may be parties to such atrocities.

Finally, man without God is always torn between two urges. His nature prompts him to do wrong, and his conscience urges him to do right. So many deaths today are evidently unwarranted. Youths who ignore parental and godly counsel to pursue the fading fads and fleeting fashions of modern society may either become victims or live in regret. The government is called upon to enact enabling laws that would curb the rate of ritual killings in the country.

Obiotika Wilfred Toochukwu; St. Anthony’s Catholic Comprehensive Institute, Agulu.