A group, Women Arise, at the weekend called on authorities to arrest what it described as targeted ritual killings and kidnapping of women in the South-West.
The group said, in a statement in Abuja, signed by its President, Dr. Okei Joe-Odumakin, that it was disturbing that victims of latest incidents were mostly women.
“While we are yet to recover from the rude blow we got from the Ejigbo pepper torture, sodomy and murder case in Lagos State, a new outbreak of this bestiality around the South West is quite disturbing.
“At Soka in Ibadan, the kidnappers’ den of horror was discovered where several people had been held hostage.
“The women victims also have had several children for their captors who raped them in the cells where they were falsely imprisoned.
“Women Arise recalls that one of the women upon her rescue said that she had been in the den since 2008 – six years of captivity and rape!
“At the Iyana Egbado village in Ewekoro LGA in Ogun, another kidnappers’ den was discovered with underclothes of victims, mostly of women were found,” she said.
Okei-Odumakin said it was regrettable that the new direction that inhumanity was taking in the country, particularly against the women folk.
“In all three, cases of rape, kidnap and ritual hostages mentioned above, including the Ejigbo sodomy, it is clear enough that women have become the targets for horror.
“Women Arise is perturbed over the barbaric ritual premiums which some wicked souls have equated with values of women.
“We condemn in strong moral terms, the barbaric, crude and bestial handling of women in this country and declare it as grossly unacceptable,” she said.
Okei-Odumakin, however, condemned the resort to jungle justice against the suspects by members of the public, which she said, resulted into maiming the mentally disordered patients on the streets.
“We call on members of the public to desist from jungle justice. It pays no one. We should avoid a recurrence of the Ejigbo pepper jungle justice.
“While it is possible that perpetrators may pretend, it is not right to take laws into our hands, especially as all mentally impaired persons on the streets who are innocent may also become circumstantial victims in this case.
“Some mentally impaired citizens on the street who only are short of help to be at psychiatric centres may also fall victims. Besides, such jungle justice will prevent in-depth investigations.
“If the offenders caught are killed, where will evidences come to link their sponsors or allies?
“The real perpetrators are not just those caught, but those they trade their ritual services with and those must also be found through their arrested underlings.”
She implored members of the public still holding suspects in their custody to release them to the nearest police stations.
She expressed belief that the Police had changed for the better and called for the cooperation of members of the public.
Okei-Odumakin tasked the security agencies, particularly the Police, to rise up to the occasion by bringing the perpetrators to book and also protect the innocent citizens.
“We still hold fresh in our memory, the role of the men of the Police in bringing the Ejigbo sodomy `pepper-trators’ to book and implore that same spirit be employed in the current gruesome cases mentioned above.”
She called on governments at all levels to create jobs to save the country from jobless youths going into the emerging crimes of ritual killings, kidnapping and baby factories. (NAN)