In January in a piece I titled: “Time to Address Disturbing Internal Security Issues,” I highlighted the alarming rate at which insecurity was fast spreading all over the country, but recent headlines capturing the gory nature of latest crimes have shown how debased our country is fast becoming. “Ritualist who beheaded woman leads police to scene”, “Another Ritualist Caught With The Head of A Man”, and “I was paid N4000 to cut off woman’s head, hands” are some of the alarming headlines that we have been forced to contend with in the past few weeks.
Before then in January we had: “See photo of ritual items found with a ritualist” while last September, we had this shocking headline: “Woman allegedly caught with 6 dead children inside a coffin along Berger/Mowe/Ibafo, on Lagos-Ibadan expressway” These headlines clearly show how the nation is not only battling with recession but more frighten with those inhuman fiends ready to snuff out human life for peanuts.
Read what one of the accused person, 61-year-old suspected ritualist, Taofik Adara, (a.k a Kie-Kie,) who was arrested in Badagry last Sunday with human parts, had to say after admitting he was paid N4000 to kill the woman: “I live at the Itoga-Zeba area of Badagry. I am a wood cutter and at times I assist owners of coconut plantations to pluck coconut. The whole drama started on Saturday evening when one of my herbalist friends known as Manase came to me to say that he was expecting two Alfas from Sango Ota.
He told me they would be coming with a lady and that he would pay me N4000 to help butcher the woman. He told me the two needed some fresh human parts to prepare a concoction for one of their clients. “True to his words, the two Alfas arrived at Itoga on Sunday evening.
I noticed that before their arrival, the two Alfas had used some charms on the lady. I noticed that she was just obeying their directives without asking any question. I asked her where she came from and she explained that she resides at Otta and that she had gone to seek spiritual help from one of the Alfas. “Around 9:00a.m. on Sunday, we took the lady deep into the forest, close to a river. Manase asked her to kneel down and she did.
It was while she was still kneeling that I chopped off her head with a sharp cutlass given to me by Manase!” The ritualist, who admitted that he had killed one other person about a year ago, disclosed that his herbalist friend also brought that victim to him. According to Adara, he was paid a paltry N10, 000 for the person he killed a year earlier! So this is the debased state Nigeria has found herself in with ritualists on the prowl searching for victims to chop up like butchers chop up goats and cows.
However, what makes this present trend scarier is that hitherto beheadings for rituals were not a very common occurrence rather the macabre ritual had been gleefully taken up by terrorists groups like Islamic State (IS), Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, al-Shabaab in Somalia and our very own Boko Haram; who carried out the act as a way of instilling fear amongst the citizens they live with.
These terror groups never went out of their way to behead their victims for rituals, which means that to a large extent their targets are actually the “collateral damage” of the guerrilla warfare being waged by such antisociety groups. In other words if one is not in a ‘war zone’ the chances of being beheaded by such groups is very remote.
However, this is not the case with the ritualist and other murderers who live amongst us like normal human beings with many of us not suspecting they have very evil intentions for their fellow citizens, who more often than not are also suffering at the wrong end of the social ladder like them.
And thus one could have the misfortune of entering a wrong bus, taking a wrong path or bike or taxi and end up falling prey to such ogres, who have no qualms about killing a fellow human for an amount which cannot buy a decent sized chicken! This is what makes curtailing their activities by the authorities all the more difficult; because unlike Boko Haram or IS militants who are ‘soldiers’ in away mainly carrying out their atrocious activities in their ‘territories’, the ritualists are ‘normal’ people living amongst us.
Thus the million naira question is what can turn a ‘normal’ person into a monster who will not bathe an eyelid to snuffle the life out of his fellow Nigerian like a chicken or goat? And this is the big question government will also have to find an answer to if they are to checkmate this ugly trend which is fast assuming national dimensions.
We the ‘common’ man should also not be left out in the battle to curtail this scourge since the people doing such nefarious things are not ‘spirits’ there are bound to be people who know what they are up to and should have the courage to report such deviants to the relevant authorities. At the end of the day it is only when both the citizens and government come together that we will be able to engender a society were fear will not reign supreme!
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