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Published On: Sun, Apr 20th, 2014

How ritual killings can be stopped in Nigeria

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ritual-killingBy Eric Olayinka Ayoola

Less than two weeks (March 2014) after the discovery of the forest of horror in Soka, Ibadan, Oyo state where a house was discovered littered with human body parts, imprisoned men and women and a cellar full of skulls and skeletons, a similar forest was discovered in Ogun State. An underground cell suspected to be a ritualists’ operation base was uncovered at Iyana Egbado village in Ewekoro Local Government Area of the State.

Ritual killing is a nationwide phenomenon, not restricted to one part nor is it the purview of any ethnic group nor indeed peculiar to traditional religion adherents. And indeed, some Nigerians have exported this satanic practice outside the shores of the country.

In September 2001, British Police recovered the mutilated body of a boy, which they then named “Boy Adam” floating in the River Thames, near Tower Bridge in London. The police suspected that Adam might have been a victim of ritual killing. And forensic examination revealed that Adam lived in Nigeria. They took samples of grains of sand in Adam’s intestine and traced these to a city in the southern part of Nigeria. In July 2004, after pain staking forensic and detective work, the British Police arrested a 37-year-old Nigerian, Sam Onogigovie (in Dublin), and twenty-one other Nigerians in Britain in connection with the murder of Adam.

On August 5, 2004, in Okija a city in Ihiala LGA, Anambra State in Nigeria and one of the biggest towns in Igboland, Nigerian Police recovered as many human skulls and corpses at the notorious Okija shrine. Many top politicians were reported to be members of this den of ritual killers. And indeed some Christian church members visited the shrine for unknown reasons.

Other such shrines, where human sacrifices and ritual killings were perpetrated were discovered in various hamlets around Abakaliki. When police raided these shrines, “…83 corpses including 63 headless bodies and 20 skulls were recovered” (Newswatch, October 11, 2004, p.20).

The causes: That we are a deeply occult and or superstitious people is indubitable, and regardless of the ever expanding number of Churches and Mosques, Nigerians still believe fervently and in the most profoundly entrenched manner in juju and the power of juju to bring wealth, husband, wife, promotion, political fortunes, job, promotion at work, victory over enemies, a booming business, the establishment of a lucrative church with well heeled members of congregation, success in 419 (fraud) escapades etc etc.

In fact, at the last election, the current President, Goodluck Jonathan, rode to victory, not on the strength of previous glorious stint in public office, but majorly on the basis of superstitious belief in his “divine gift” to attract good luck to himself. We reasoned that since he seems to be attaining one high office after the other simply by luck, he deserves to be President. And that just exemplifies our predilection as a people.

It is superstition and practices steeped in custom. “…traditionalists have it that in some parts of the country (Nigeria) hunchbacks are used for purification rites, to cleanse a community and make it peaceful, while albinos are used for fame and powers. Also hunchbacks are used for first time money making rituals, and dwarfs are used for rituals to attain political position”

And with the worsening economic climate and the resulting arduous existence and plummeting of the peoples’ standard of living, more desperation manifests amongst the have-nots and even greater avarice is generated amongst the haves. And, concomitantly, there is an exponential growth in the pursuit of religious and ritualistic short cuts by Nigerians as a salve to their sorry situation or to make themselves even richer.

The ritual killing chain and sequence: No one goes to a medical doctor seeking a cure for an ailment and take with them, unsolicited by the doctor, syringes, tablets, ointments and what have you. Rather you go to the doctor, state your condition, he or she will diagnose your ailment and then makes a prescription for suitable medication.

So it is with herbalists, babalawos and juju-men. Assuming a politician, hell bent on winning that juicy governorship seat and who is willing and ready to do what it takes, visits the babalawo recommended by his peers or whosoever. He, the juju man, reads the politician’s desperation, and he knows that asking him to bring a chicken and a goat (like his forbears used to do) will scarcely make the politician believe that he is going to make him that all powerful portion that will make him invincible to his enemies and which will make him win that election, deservedly or un-deservedly.

So, the witch-doctor asks the politician to bring the hump on the back of a male hunch back and the two breast of a female albino and the skull of a baby boy.

The politician then commissions a body parts merchant, who exists solely and only because herbalists make their trade possible. The body parts merchant then commissions the kidnappers and the killers who then finds an hunchback, an albino and a baby, kidnaps and kills them and hands over the required body parts to the body merchant. The division of labour in this evil and demonic trade sometime overlaps with the body part merchant doing the kidnapping and the killing, but usually it is maintained, with millions of naira exchanging hands in this horrific, savage and bestial chain of events.

Now, who sits atop this pile of evil? Not the politician, not the body part merchants, not the kidnappers and not the killers, rather, like a doctor sits atop the health system chain, it is the herbalists and the witch doctors. Evil and evil to the core, milking the superstition, the gullibility, the desperation, the greed, the inhumanness, the anger, the vengefulness of the clients to the core for their own pecuniary needs!

The real solution: As I have postulated on different fora, the “solution” to the incessant cases of trade in human body parts and kidnaps and ritual murder and killings that go with it is quite simple. However, more often than not, in our country, simple solutions elude and pass us by.

Without mincing words nor prevarication, stop the witchdoctors demanding body parts from their clients and you stop the evil practice of ritual murders.

If you stop the witchdoctors, the herbalists, the babalawos, the juju-man that are demanding body parts from their customers for one fetish portion or the other, you will, in effect, kill off the supply. In other words, kill the demand and thus kill the supply.

Now, assuming I was in a position of power, say as President or as a Governor (the power brokers of Nigeria and the lords of all that they survey), this is what I will do.

Appoint an adviser on Occult and Supernatural matters. He or she will be a well respected and highly knowledgeable practitioner of traditional divinity and medicine. He or she will then issue an invite on my behalf summoning the practitioners to a meeting with me. Allowances will be paid to all attendees as the carrot. The stick, for non attendees, will be an unofficial harassment and disruption of their work by law enforcement agents. (They will not want that).

Come the day of the meeting, there will be only one and one agenda on the table:- Ritual killing. My pitch will be this, word for word-

“Your profession predates you and me, handed over from generation to generation by our forbears and which you too will pass on and hand over to generations yet unborn. However, in recent times, many of you have chosen to betray the tenets of this noble profession. You have bastardised it and you have belittled it. How? By engaging in, and encouraging murderous practices for matters which your forebears, my forebears would have severely and severally frowned on.

But human sacrifices used to be a cultural practice of our fore fathers and mothers for matters that have to do with the wider good of say community peace and harmony or protections.

Human blood is scarcely spilled wantonly and recklessly. These practices have since died down and are few and far between. Needless to say, it will count as murder punishable by death in modern day.

Alas, what we have seen, and with increasing regularity and worsening acts of brutality, are ritual killings for no other purpose than for people, your clients, to obtain personal and selfish ends in any field of human endeavour that you can think of! (I will show slides of skeletons, skulls, mutilated and decomposed bodies at this juncture: with all the graphic and gory details).

They, your clients, procure body parts, solely and wholly at your behest, for you to undertake the preparations of charms and concoctions for them to attain that job, secure that political office, win that land case, turn their husband’s first wife mad, make their church a successful money spinning business, kill their business partner, make then filthy rich without having to lift a finger and so on and so forth.

Is that the purpose that your forebears, people with respect for the sanctity of human lives, intended for you to turn the noble profession that they handed over to you? Desecrating human lives for such ignoble and reprehensible causes? Cheapening the lives of beings created by “Eledumare” and turning them into mere objects to satisfy immoral and decadent desires in the most depraved and degenerate manner?

My business, as President or Governor (as the case may be) is to secure the lives of every single citizen of this country or state. And no one, but no one, deserves to die, slaughtered and butchered with less dignity than a fowl, simply because someone else wants to become richer or to attain a political post or contract etc by supernatural means rather than by hard work or on merit.

Therefore, I am asking you today to cease asking your clients to obtain body parts for you to undertake fetishes and charms for them.

Without you asking them to bring those body parts, they will not. And without them asking body part merchants to secure body parts for them, kidnapping of people and the murdering of them for ritual purposes will stop. And stop it must.

By all means, continue with your trades, but rather than body parts, ask them to bring goats, chickens, gold, diamond even, water from the top of a volcano and the juice of a cactus farmed in the Sahara desert in the middle of the night, but in the name of “Eledumare” and all the deities of our forefathers, stop asking them to bring body parts and humans. And you can still charge them as much as you used to when you asked them to bring body parts, maybe even more since you might need to do even more work and to invoke even more spirits than when you were using body parts. At least that is what you will tell them.

Lastly, I will make good my threat at the next instance of ritual killing and will undertake forensic tests of shrines within my area of jurisdiction ready to prosecute those found with DNA traces and or other evidence (skulls, bones, human flesh) etc in their shrines.

Now, this is not a task for the faint hearted, and I am not saying that it is. But, Orkija shrine was demolished, the house in Ibadan has been demolished on the orders of the Governor, citizens have burnt down places that such gruesome findings have been found. Chief Vincent Duru’s Otokoto Hotel, his Piano Plaza and stores and so on were razed to the ground by irate mobs in Owerri.

As such, as number one citizen of the state or country, no sacrifice (pardon the pun) is too great to stop this backward, barbaric and bestial act.

One or two prosecutions and executions of herbalist that are caught asking for and using body parts will send a clear cut message to all of them that I do mean business.

Alas, Nigeria is a country of talk and more talk by those in power with very little action, thus in all probability, ritual killings will continue unabated and no one will even think of considering talk less of implementing or trying the simple solution as stated in this write up.


Eric Olayinka Ayoola, Bsc. LLB. London. UK. Email-

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