- Teenage girls give a peep into world of cultists
On July 23, a 20-year-old lady, Maryam, held Nigerians spellbound as she confessed to being an executioner for the Eiye Confraternity at the IIasamaja area, Lagos State. During her confessions, she admitted killing four persons for her cult group. She allegedly killed them with a gun given to her by the leader of the Eiye confraternity called Sodiq, Maryam claimed. While singing like a bird, she laughed, describing her alleged modus operandi. Part of her confessions goes thus: “I have killed four people. I’m paid N10,000 anytime I kill.
I wear white hijab to go for the killings.” Maryam, a secondary school dropout, added: “I ran away from home at Lafenwa, Abeokuta, to Lagos State in search of a job. When I got to Lagos, I met Mr. Sodiq, who took me to his house at Ilasamaja area where he introduced me to the Eiye cult. He took me to a herbalist, who gave me a black substance to eat.
He told me that their work was about killing people. He gave me a gun and taught me how to shoot. I learnt how to shoot by shooting at a wall. Brother Sodiq gave three of us guns and pictures of persons to kill. He trained the three of us – two boys and I. Brother Sodiq usually showed us the target’s house. We go to the house at night.
The two boys will scale the fence and open the gate for me. We go straight to the apartment and shoot at the target at close range. None of our targets survived. I killed a guy at Fadeyi area of Lagos, another at Hassan area and one at Ajah area of Lagos. Each time we kill someone, brother Sodiq would pay me N10,000, but he would pay others N20,000 each. I don’t feel bad after killing anyone because I see it as a job I am being paid for.”
However, Sodiq and other members of the Eiye cult, who were arrested along with Maryam, denied knowing her. According to Sodiq, no member of a cult group could be singing like a bird without taking a breath or thinking twice. When Sodiq confronted Maryam while being presented to journalists by the police to explain what Eiye confraternity means, the lady couldn’t say anything. The question, however, is not whether Maryam is acting out a script for some unknown reasons or singing the truth. The issue right now is an increasing and alarming number of girls going into cultism.
It’s quite an aberration for one to find girls getting involved in cultism, but these days, it is almost becoming the norm. Investigations, however, showed that some of these girls are either coerced or tricked into becoming members of these deadly groups. Only a few go into it willingly, knowing all the dangers and legal consequences It has also been discovered that most female cultists are often abducted and forced into initiation.
The male cult groups, who had already carved a niche in their cult world, usually whisk their female targets away from the public glare and using threats to subdue them. The story of a 15-year-old Junior Secondary School (JSS3) female student, identified simply as Alaka, says it all. “Dare took me away from school with a gun and when we got to the place at Agarawu, I was asked to kneel down by seven boys.
They took me away in a tricycle. Dare and Wakilu covered my eyes with black handkerchief. They poured something on my body, raped and initiated me into cultism. Dare slapped me three times and said that I had been initiated,” she recounted. The girl spoke after being arrested by the Lagos Neighbourhood and Safety Corps (LNSC), near Agarawu, Lagos Island. Alaka’s friend also recalled her ordeal in the hands of Dare and his gang members. “The boys’ gang raped me for many days and didn’t allow me to go home. They forced me into a room and ordered me to pull off my clothes.
They blindfolded me and poured something on my body before I was repeatedly raped for days. They said they had initiated,” she said. It was learnt that after initiating their victims, the boys would warn the victims not to reveal their encounter or initiation to anyone. Alaka’s mother said: “On several occasions, we would discover that she had gone missing. She would disappear from home for days.
I went to school to complain to the principal but I was told that the cult boys were after her. A few days after, one of the times that she went missing, we found her at Lagos Island, near Agarawu. She never told anyone what happened or what she had been going through. It was after we involved the LNSC officers that she reluctantly revealed all that happened.” Another girl, 16-year-old, said that she was initiated into cultism and lesbianism by her uncle’s wife younger’s sister, Tope, who is 18 years old.
The girl was caught, while attempting to sneak out of the house with some items demanded by her cult members. Her parents almost collapsed in shock when they listened to her confessions. The girl, who completed her secondary education recently, said: “It was Tope that introduced me into lesbianism and cultism. It happened one Friday between 7p.m. and 8p.m.
I received a call from Tope that I should bring my red jacket and a jack knife which were the cult’s items. Initially, Tope forced me into becoming her lesbian partner. She threatened me that if I failed to do it, my life was at stake. When I became her lover, we took a blood oath.
Tope used a blade to cut my hand and licked my blood. She also cut her hand and asked me to lick the blood. She threatened that she must not see me with anyone, male or female. She, however, was free to go out with others as she had other lovers. I have been her lover for over a year now. I became her lover before I completed my secondary education.
After Tope introduced me into lesbianism, she forced me into their cult. “On the night I was initiated into the Aiye cult, I was blindfolded. Members of the cult gave me a gun to take an oath, declaring that I would never reveal anything about the cult to anyone.
They said if I revealed anything about the cult to anyone, the same gun I used to take the oath, would be used to take my life. Thereafter, about 20 of the males present at the initiation had sex with me; one after another. “Two months ago, I stole my father’s N50,000 and gave to Tope.
There was a time she gave me gun to keep for her. I kept the gun in my book shelf for two days. She gave me the gun to take home because she couldn’t take the gun home. Later, she gave the gun to another member of the cult. I really didn’t know what the weapon was used for.
The red jacket was given to me, which was the cult uniform. It was given to me by the cult leader, Segun. “Since I became a member, I haven’t been able to go anywhere with them because of how difficult it was for me to leave the house. My parents wouldn’t allow me to leave the house once it was 6p.m. Most of their activities were usually at night.
There was a time they asked me to trail my elder brother because they said he was arrogant.” Another 16-year-old secondary school dropout, identified simply as Ifechukwu, allegedly had sex with over 52 young men inside a bush during an initiation ceremony.
She was being initiated into the Supreme Viking Confraternity. Ifechukwu, on her arrest, claimed she was forced to sleep with every male member of the cult during her initiation. The police were said to barge into the initiation ground after receiving a tip-off. Some of the members, who were arrested, confirmed that as part of their rituals, every male member of the cult would have sex with every prospective female member.
Ifechukwu claimed that she had to travel to Anambra State from Abuja just to witness the initiation of new members. She said: “I joined them three months ago and during my initiation; I was forced to have sex with every registered male member of the cult present that night.
I was given sedatives so as not to feel what they were doing. It was not easy, but I bore the pains. The day we were initiated, I was the only girl in their midst. I was determined to be a successful member. I was further convinced to stay because I discovered that they were more honourable men than the other cult groups.” She added she never knew that it was a crime to be a cult member.
A male member, Ugochukwu, said they were all undergraduates of various institutions in Anambra State. On the issue of rape, Ugochukwu admitted that it only happened with female members. He said: “A female intending member cannot undergo the rigorous process during the initiation.
So, our leaders suggested that the best way to get them under oath is for every registered member to have sex with her during initiation. She would be given sedatives during the process so that she will not physically feel the pain. Ifechukwu’s case was better because we were only 52 registered males present on the day of her initiation.”
A former commissioner of police, Mr. Frank Odita, said that idleness, peer pressure and poor parental upbringing were major issues making girls to join cultism. He added: “Parents should remind their children to be good ambassadors of their families. And to think about their future, which joining a cult group can destroy.” The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP Chike Oti, said: “Females joining cult groups are basically because they have a reason; like a story attached to why they have joined this group.
These reasons maybe either bad or good. The unlawful society; the society that is against things that are good would have played a major role in the female wanting to join the cult group. “Power is another key source that might encourage girls to join cultism.
They would feel that if they belong to such groups, they could control the world. They have a saying, ‘we run things, and things don’t run us.’ This is just a false belief. These are lies that lure them into cult groups. Parents have an important role to play in checking escalating involvement of girls into cultism.
“They should be vigilant about the kind of company their children keep. Check their bags from time to time in order to know what they keep. Parents should also learn to communicate with their children, which is very important. Parents should cultivate the habit of allowing their children to confide in them. Parents should learn the kind of problem their children are facing and find ways to solve the issue.”
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