Declare emergency on ritual killings, Reps tell FG

From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

House of Representatives, yesterday, called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba Aikali, to step up intelligence, with a view to arrest and prosecute ritual killers across the country.

The House, which also called on the government to declare a national emergency on ritual killings, urged the National Orientation Agency, parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to undertake a campaign against the menace.

Similarly, the Green Chamber charged the National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to its mandate as the clearing house for all movies produced in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion by the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, on the “need to curb the rising trend of ritual killings in the country.”

Okechukwu, while leading debate on the motion, said ritual killings have assumed an alarming rate in recent times. He said there have been an upsurge of reported cases of ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country.

According to him, in most cases, the culprits rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

“The Red Cross Society in 2017 reported that it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria. On January 22, 2022, three teenage suspects and a 20-year-old reportedly killed one Sofiat Kehinde, severed her head and burnt the head in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

“Ogun State Police Command on Monday, February 7, reported that one of the suspects confessed he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook.

“Sofiat’s death has attracted national outrage and condemnation considering the ages of her killers,” he said.

He said it is worrisome that while youths in other climes are embracing science and technology, Nigerian youths “seem stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety and protection.”

Okechukwu expressed dismay that ritual killings have “become a predominant theme in most home made movies,” and warned that if it is not checked, the younger generation may begin to see it as an acceptable norm.

He said a lot needs to be done by the police, other law enforcement agencies, as well as parents, religious institutions and schools to check the ugly development.

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