Sometimes you have to read between the lines. Sometimes half a word is enough to understand what is meant. Sometimes a casual remark hides a world which makes you shiver. Senator Thomas S. Grupee of Nimba County, Liberia, who recently spoke at the induction ceremony of local youth leaders in Gbar Chiefdom, Nimba County just did it.
I want to share his remarks with you. Then judge for yourselves whether ritualistic killings have been eradicated from Liberian society. I will tell you my view in advance: Ritual murders still occur in Liberia, notably during election campaigns, and the fear of ritualistic killings is a daily preoccupation of many Liberians.
I invite readers to react to my – maybe – provocative opinion. Am I right or wrong? (webmaster FVDK).
”We Should Not Be Belly Driven Voters” – Senator Thomas Grupee
Senator Thomas S. Grupee of Nimba County says citizens not to be a “belly driven” voters come October 2020 Special Senatorial Election.
Speaking at the induction ceremony of local youth leaders in Gbar Chiefdom, Nimba County recently, he warned them to be very careful of politicians who come, showing their “white teeth and black hearts”; and these politicians mostly come with huge money to dash it on the citizens/voters.
“We have so many white teeth, black heart, deceitful politicians, who will be coming to you with bags of rice; in fact with stolen money — money of your own,” he said in a loud voice, followed by an applause from the crowd.
He told them to be very careful, because these deceitful politicians will come at the eleventh hour of the campaign and dump money on the voters in order to win.
“Even though we lived in poverty, but we are not stupid and not destitute,” he added.
Although, Senator Grupee did not name such unscrupulous politicians in his remarks, he reiterated his warning by saying: “Even though you did not go to school to be educated, you have education on your own, like the late Chief Tuazama, the late chief Gblorzou Toweh and many former chiefs in Nimba’s history.”
Senator Grupee, who just returned home from the USA, where he underwent a month-long medical treatment praised Nimba as one of the best and prosperous counties in Liberia that need good face to represent them in the Senate.
“Nimba needs a fighter that will fight for you and need a person with integrity and with good record that is not tainted in any way,” he said.
He explained that it was through God’s grace that we survived the war and Nimba can also survive any situation through the same Almighty God, who helped the county and the country during the civil war.
He advised the citizens not to sell themselves to any politician come October 2020 election, as they will be coming to seek for their votes. Earlier, he on warned the citizens to desist from any unscrupulous behaviors, like ritualistic killing and respect the rights of everybody, regardless of whether that person is a child, poor or rich.
He noted that God made everybody equal and, under the law, everybody is also equal. Therefore, he added, “taking the life of other for ritual purpose in order to get rich or get highest position was wrong,” he said.
He observed that the level of deceit in Nimba is too much; something he said the county will be develops when deceit and hatred are the key backbone.
“If am a good leader, I should not lead you in harmful way or mislead you in any way. If I go wrong, I should be able to apologize for wrongdoing,” he said.
Senator Grupee still remains one of the formidable candidates in the coming senatorial election slated for October this year. During his tenure, he visited nearly every part of Nimba, undertaking and contributing to development initiatives.
Among the key the development initiatives, he built a modern school building in Glann Town in Gbi and Doru, making it the first modern school building in the district.
It is not the first time that the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi speaks out against ritual killings in his country, disapproving and criticizing politicians and traditional rulers. See e.g. my August 21, 2019 posting entitled ‘Nigeria: Oluwo to lead protest against ritual killings, corruption’. Recently, he again raised his voice. Read below what he said. The Oluwo is to be commended for his frankness and courage. I sincerely hope that he will be heard. Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country. It ranks in the top 5 of African countries where ritualistic murders are committed on a regular basis.
‘Operation Amotekun’ is the codename for the establishment of the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN). Recently, the Federal Government and the six governors of the region (Western Nigeria) reached agreement on the establishment of the WNSN, see: ‘Amotekun: Buhari, Osinbajo’s intervention smoothens rough edges’, published on January 29, 2020 by Muritala Ayinla in the New Telegraph, Nigeria (see below). (webmaster FVDK).
Amotekun should fight ritual killings, ‘traditional corruption’—Oluwo Published: January 29, 2020 By: Daily Trust, Nigeria
The Oluwo of Iwoland Oba, (Dr.) Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, on Wednesday called on Yoruba stakeholders to use the regional security outfot codenamed Amotekun to checkmate what he called the incessant traditional corruption and ritual killings.
The royal father said politicians should be held responsible for trading their game with kidnapping.
In a statement by his press secretary, Alli Ibraheem, Oluwo said: “Amotekun as an institution should be made to fight traditional corruption most especially ritual killings consuming our children’s blood daily. There is blood of innocent people in the street. It is a failure on the part of government, traditional institution and other stakeholders that no severe legislation is enacted to punish ritual killers and their accomplice”
“I’m not condemning Amotekun, but better direction of job specification should be streamlined. It is disheartening we misplaced our priority. Tell me a day you don’t read in the newspapers or hear on radio of innocent boys and girls being killed by ritual killers with part(s) removed?
“I want to charge all the stakeholders to streamline the activities of Amotekun to prioritize checkmating of ritual killings to protect innocent lives and enact death penalty for any culprit caught killing human for rituals. I’m not happy with ritual killers. They are not human. Government should help us by enacting a law against ritual killers.
It must stop. Human are not animals that you slaughter, killed and dismembered. It is an aberration. Such is never part of any culture. We should empower Amotekun to challenge such barbaric act.
“Additionally, to fight traditional corruption, we need agents of unquestionable characters and not accomplice of ritual killings. We need a transparent institution that will lead us out of daily killing of our children for money, promotion, popularity etc”
I try to do my work – presenting on this site articles and news about alleged and ‘crystal-clear’ cases of ritualistic murders as well as accusations of witchcraft – as good and objective as possible, but yesterday I was flabbergasted reading that Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga had said that suspected ritual killers turn into cats when police visit their houses.
Of course, police people are in a way ordinary people, with all their weaknesses and subjectivity, but wouldn’t it be ‘normal’ and re-assuring if police do not believe in witches? Isn’t the belief in the power of witches and superstition something one would not expect in dealing with the police who – instead – should fight against these practices that lead to ritual killings, mob justice, the discrimination and unfair treatment of innocent children and adults, often women, and – thus – the violation of their basic human rights?
Moreover, the article reproduced below resulted in 18 comments (at the time of writing this post), two comments I want to share with you.
One reader commented, Quote: “Government should now realize that witchcraft do exit, moreover we have plenty witch-doctors in Zambia let them prove there competency by catching these guys.” Unquote. The second reacted, Quote: “Okay, now the Government has seen that people are wizards and witches in some parts of the Country called Zambia. The people who are doing these ritual killings are wizards and witches nothing else. Thanks!” Unquote
It seems to me that educators in Zambia still have a lot of work to do, fighting superstition and ignorance (webmaster FVDK).
Katanga Sheds Light on Chingola Ritual Killings Published: January 27, 2020 By: Zambia Reports – Chris Phiri
Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga yesterday told Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo that other interests cannot be ruled out in the alleged ritual killings in Chingola where residents have been rioting in anger.
Ms Katanga said the suspected ‘ritual killers’ are turning into cats when police visit any house they are called in.
She has, however, maintained that there are no ritual killings but criminals who are just troubling people.
“The police receive calls from the public, we rush to check what is on the ground. Like we have a case, one suspect entered the ceiling board and later just saw a cat coming out and later it disappeared. Most of the cases are of gassing the people in their homes. We can’t rule out other interest groups. They have a common cause fighting for the same. If there were ritual murders, they would have finished everyone, but they are just troubling people. Just the other day, we tried to fire at the cat, but it started reducing and disappeared,” Ms Katanga explained to Mr Kampyongo.
Mr Kampyongo later said the police are on top of things and very soon, the happenings in Chingola will come to an end.
Mr Kampyongo has been on the Copperbelt with Deputy Inspector General of Police Bonny Kapeso and Chingola Member of Parliament Chali Chilombo.
Chingola remains under heavy police presence to keep vigil.
Superstition, witchcraft, fear, mob justice, murder, ritual killing – what is the common denominator? Yes, ignorance. Lack of education. Which does not mean that well educated people are not involved in ritualistic murders. Bu that’s another story (webmaster FVDK).
Elderly Nyamira woman killed over witchcraft Published: January 26, 2020 By: Standard, Kenya – James Ongwae
Police in Nyamira are investigating the killing of an elderly woman in what has been viewed as a ritual killing.
County Commissioner Amos Mariba said he had ordered the immediate arrest and bringing to book of all the people believed to have been behind the killing of Agnes Kwamboka Nyagwachi,60, at Bundo in Bogichora, Nyamira South.
Mariba said the body of the woman was found in a eucalyptus farm, about 50 meters away from her house.
“The body was lying on the ground and beside it were things which have led us to believe that it was a killing related to witchcraft or some form of rituals and currently we are narrowing down on possible perpetrators of the cold blood murder,” Mariba said.
The County Commissioner said some of the things which were retrieved beside the body included two dead rats, two brooms, two stones, one white pair of shorts, a full dress, two empty sacks, a black track tracksuit alongside a red pen.
Mariba said the deceased’s husband Peter Nyagwachi reported to authorities that his wife was picked from her house Sunday morning at around 3 am by a group of people known to him on suspicion that she was a witch.
James Orutwa, a clan elder at Bundo Village said he heard people wailing from the scene where the body was recovered and went there only to find out that the woman had long died.
“From a close look, the body bore multiple injuries on the left side of the head and superficial wound on the left leg.
Mariba said police had swung into action and all that was possible was being done to ensure anyone who participated in the killing faces the law.
This is not the first incident of such a ritual killing.
Two years ago, another woman from Bonyamatuta village was also killed on suspicion that she was a witch.
Sixty year old woman killed in Nyamira over witchcraft Published: January 26, 20202 By: KDRTV, Kenya – Cynthia Mutinda
A 60 year old woman by the name of Agnes Wamboka Nyagwachi was found dead at Bundo Bogichora, Nyamira South over what id believed to be a killing ritual. Her body was found on the ground in a eucalyptus farm which is located about fifty meters from her house.
”The body was lying on the ground and beside it were things which have led us to believe that it was a killing related to witchcraft or some form of rituals and currently we are narrowing down on a possible perpetrators of the cold blood murder,”County commissioner Amos Mariba said.
Amos revealed that two dead rats,two brooms, two stones, one white pair of shorts, a full dress, two empty sacks, a black tracksuit and a red pen were some of the things retrieved besides Agnes’ body.
Investigations of the killing are currently being carried out by the police in Nyamira.
The court commission has ordered for the arrest of all the people that are believed to be behind the demise of Agnes Kwamboka Nyagwachi.
Peter Nyagwachi, the deceased husband told the authorities that a group of people known to him came to their home on Sunday morning around 3 am and picked his wife on a suspicion that Agnes was a witch.
James Orotwa, a clan elder at Bundo village said that he heard deafening screams coming from the eucalyptus farm and upon arrival at the scene found the woman long dead.
He revealed that the body bore multiple injuries on the left side of the head with a superficial wound on her left leg.
This is however was not the first time that such an incident has occurred. Two years ago, another woman in Bunyamatuta village was murdered on suspicion that she too practiced witchcraft.
Mariba promised that the police are working hard to ensure that the culprits who participated in the killing of Agnes face the law.
It is not quiet yet, in Chingola, Zambia. ‘The dust hasn’t settled down.’ Allegations of ritual killings, mob justice, riots, denials, warnings, calls for prayers. ‘Why pray if there are no ritual killings’, was one of the comments on the article presented below. Where smoke is, there is fire. Is this true in Chingola? Rumors flourish where ignorance prevails. We have to stay calm, well informed, and obey the authorities. That’s my advice to the people of Chingola and elsewhere who are in similar or comparable circumstances (webmaster FVDK).
Sumaili urges Zambians to pray for Copperbelt residents in light of ritual killings
Published: January 25, 2020 By: Zambia reports – Chris Phiri
National Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister Reverend Godfridah Sumaili has asked Zambians to stand in prayer for the Copperbelt Province following riots sparked by the alleged ritual killings.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka on Thursday morning, Rev Sumaili said the government is concerned about the unfortunate situation, hence President Edgar Lungu’s intervention to task the Ministries of Home Affairs and Defence to investigate the matter and restore unity.
She said peace should be nurtured in the country because in its absence, there is fear which breeds hate, violence, disorder, confusion and anxiety and affects productivity.
“I am calling for effective and fervent prayers from the children of God, intercessory teams, intercessors, families and all peace loving Zambians to arise and pray. I encourage the church mother bodies to encourage their members to pray,” Reverend Sumaili said.
She further called on all Zambians to cooperate with the defence and security wings in maintaining law and order and avoid taking the law in their own hands.
Reverend Sumaili has also warned those circulating videos where people are being murdered to stop immediately as they have the potential to spread confusion and plant seeds of violence and death.
“I encourage the people of Zambia to stand together and restore calm and peace. We will hold hands in prayer as one Zambia one nation because blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,” Reverend Sumaili said.
Published: January 25, 2020 By: Zambia Reports – Chris Phiri
Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga has warned Chingola residents against riots following a spate of the suspected ritual attacks in the mining town, saying Police are equally unhappy with what is happening.
And Katanga has clarified that residents have the right to own firearms, provided they are licensed, adding that being found with such in public places is an offence which attracts about five to seven years in prison.
Speaking when she featured on Kokoliko Radio, Katanga said the police are as offended as the residents about the attacks going on, stressing that police will be changing strategies in order to apprehend the perpetrators.
She warned those inciting people to protest that maximum force would be used on them.
“Police are not happy about what is happening as much as you also residents of Chingola are not happy about the happenings. I can assure you we are doing everything possible, you will be seeing us changing strategies just to close in on the accused persons. There can be suspects here or there but we cannot reveal for security reasons or the like but once everything done, we can come up and say okay this is what we have done. Nangu tatubekete (Even if we haven’t apprehended them) you give us time. I am warning those who like inciting, even in WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms under the guise of saying police are not protecting them, to incite people to demonstrate, to cause public disorder…We are going to ensure that we use maximum force. Nga nipa police tepakwesha kwisa (If it is at the police station, don’t even dare coming), ndemisokela chalimo (I am warning you in advance),” Katanga said. “So those who are going to say ‘we are going to protest’, even when we arrest some people, I am not going to allow the situation where people come to the police station to come and protest, you will be ruthlessly dealt with.”
On January 23, Acting Inspector General of Police Eugene Sibote dispelled online reports suggesting that there are rampant cases of ritual killings in Chingola and surrounding towns on the Copperbelt Province. The Deputy Inspector General of Police added that the videos or audios being circulated are intended to cause fear, alarm and despondency among the general public. According to him: “So far the Zambia Police Service has not recorded any such incidents in any part of the Republic of Zambia.” Read his full statement below, followed by two articles on the same topic. (webmaster FVDK)
Videos Of Purported Ritual Killings On The Copperbelt Is Mere Propaganda To Cause Fear – ZP.
Published: January 23, 2020 By: Zambia Reports – Chris Phiri
Acting Inspector General of Police Eugene Sibote has dispelled online reports suggesting that there are rampant cases of ritual killings in Chingola and surrounding towns on the Copperbelt Province.
Mr. Sibote says the videos and audios being circulated on Social media of purported crimes have not been committed in Zambia.
“We would like to urge the Public to ignore these calculated falsehoods being peddled on various social media platforms and advise the general public to seek clarification from the Police whenever they are faced with any matter of security concern. From our preliminary investigations and findings these video incidents being circulated do not depict incidents that have occurred and recorded in Zambia. These videos originate from other countries but merely edited to suit the evil agenda of those behind their circulation,” he explained.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police adds that the videos or audios being circulated are intended to cause fear, alarm and despondency among the general public.
“So far the Zambia Police Service has not recorded any such incidents in any part of the Republic of Zambia. Further the public may be consoled by the fact that no family has so far registered a loss of their family member as depicted in the videos being circulated. We also would like to warn all those behind such falsehoods that we shall soon catch up with them and they will be held accountable for their actions. We therefore appeal to the general public to go about their businesses with the full assurance that the Police is working round the clock to bring these alarmists to book,” he said.
Falsehoods Behind Copperbelt Riots As Police Deploys 150 Officers To Chingola
Published: January 23, 2020 By: Zambia reports – Chris Phiri
Copperbelt Province Police Commissioner, Charity Katanga has disclosed that more than 150 police officers have been deployed to keep vigil in Chingola following continued riots.
Chingola has witnessed a number of riots and looting of shops by residents in Chiwempala over alleged ritual killings in their communities. Mrs. Katanga has advised residents in Chingola to allow the police to do their work and avoid disturbing them in order to restore sanity.
And Acting Inspector General of Police Eugene Sibote has dispelled online reports suggesting that there are rampant cases of ritual killings in Chingola and surrounding towns on the Copperbelt Province.
Mr. Sibote said the videos and audios being circulated on social media of purported crimes have not been committed in Zambia. He added that the content being circulated is intended to cause fear, alarm and despondency among the general public.
“So far the Zambia Police Service has not recorded any such incidents in any part of the Republic of Zambia. Further the public may be consoled by the fact that no family has so far registered a loss of their family member as depicted in the videos being circulated,” he said.
Police arrest Chingola Bishop, accuse him of inciting riots
Published: January 23, 2020 By: Zambian Watchdog
Police in Chingola have arrested Bishop Kazhila of Life Gospel for speaking out on the ongoing serial killings and subsequent riots in Chingola. Police have also beaten up the Bishop’ son for trying to take a video.
‘My father has been picked-up and locked up by police from the live radio .. for speaking for the people of Chingola regarding the ongoing killings ! Bishop Joseph Kazhila … “Sorry my video won’t be stable”, the Bishop’ son wrote.
The PF government’s position is that there are no serial killings or riots in Chingola and that video clips on social media were recorded from other countries.
Bishop Kazhila wrote this statement which apparently angered the police leading to arresting and charging him with the offence of inciting riots. (italics added by the webmaster FVDK)
This kind of talk by the CB Police chief is counter productive, incitive, careless and has potential to fuel and cause more confusion in an already volatile and emotive society. Honestly our leaders need to be sensitive to the cries of an insecure, hurting and frightened community which is searching for protection and peace.
Yes we are aware of the satanic false accusations, lies and misinformation flying all over in our communities, especially on social media, but possibly because there is no official communication format established by authorities from which happenings are investigated, verified and reported exactly as they happened and public informed.
If macheting and killing of innocent lives and continuous gassing of people in their homes with poisonous substances isn’t for human blood sacrifices then what is it for?
By the way who is supplying these sons of the devil with such toxic substances? Is it true that our authorities don’t really know who the suppliers of such dangerous toxic fumes and motives of those spraying them on some homes?
Men and brethren if those charged with responsibilities to track and stop the source of alleged ritual killings and or attempts can’t protect us, OUR GOD is able and single handedly He will wipe them out and people of ZAMBIA and the world at large including all of you sponsors of such wickedness and your assigned operatives shall soon be ashamed and disgraced as you become nothing and as none existent things in Zambia. Isaiah 41:10-13.
CB Police chief says there has been no ritual killings in Chingola, but admits that only 2 deaths from August to date were recorded which weren’t ritual killings.
Such statements from police top command have potential to incite the hurting people for anything.
It’s so painful that those tasked to keep law and order would, for unknown reasons, abash people’s cries when people are being gassed every night and some have even run away from their homes to join others because evil minded killers have made attempts on them.
LORD JESUS ARISE AND SAVE YOUR PEOPLE for ONLY YOU CAN. LET YOUR BLOOD AND YOUR NAME SPEAK FOR US AND FOR OUR LAND. YAHWEH DEFEND US AND FIGHT THEM ALL WITH YOUR SWORD IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
Not every dead body found with parts missing is the sinister result of a ritualistic murder. Sometimes a robbery or a rape followed by the violent death of the victim is disguised as a ritual killing by removing some body parts. Be that as it may, I always find it remarkable and significant that ordinary people almost immediately think of a ritual murder in case a body is discovered with several body parts missing (webmaster FVDK).
Published: January 12, 2020 By: Anthony Gitonga, Mpaso – Kenya
Flower farm workers in Naivasha are living in fear after the body of their colleague who has been missing of ten days was found buried in a shallow grave.
In what is believed to be a ritual killing, the body that was found near Karagita estate did not have one leg and one eye.
The woman identified as Nancy Wangui went missing on New Year after leaving her house at 430am to report to one of the flower farms where she worked.
There were fears that the woman could have been sexually abused before the eye was gouged out and the leg cut off at the thigh.
Emotions ran high on Thursday evening as police and members of the public moved in to exhume the body before taking it to the area mortuary.
According to Antony Mburu the brother to the deceased, their sister left for job very early in the morning as has been the norm.
He told of their concern after she failed to return in the evening and on enquiring they were informed that she had not reported for duty.
“WE SENSED THAT SOMETHING WAS WRONG AND REPORTED THE MATTER TO THE POLICE AS WE MOUNTED A FRUITLESS SEARCH FOR HER,” HE SAID.
Amid tears, Mburu told of their shock after they were informed about a body buried in a shallow grave near the sprawling Karagita estate.
His younger brother Stephen Mburu told of the family pain after her body was discovered with some body parts missing.
He said that they were had searched in various police stations and hospitals to no avail until some minors stumbled on the body.
“IT’S PAINFUL THAT MY INNOCENT SISTER HAD TO DIE IN SUCH A PAINFUL DEATH AND WE HOPE THOSE RESPONSIBLE WILL BE ARRESTED,” HE SAID.
An elder Mohammed Were decried the odd hours that flower farm workers were reporting to duty adding that they were exposed to attacks.
“THIS ROAD IS IN PATHETIC CONDITION MAKING IT HARD FOR FLOWER FARM WORKERS WHO REPORT TO WORK AT 5AM HARD TO GET MEANS OF TRANSPORT,” HE SAID.
Naivasha OCPD Samuel Waweru confirmed the incident adding that they were treating it as murder though no suspect had been arrested.
“A REPORT WAS MADE OVER A MISSING WOMAN A WEEK AGO AND THE BODY HAS BEEN DISCOVERED BURIED IN A SHALLOW GRAVE AND OUR OFFICERS ARE FOLLOWING IT UP,” HE SAID.
Lack of education and superstition go hand in hand. Compliments for the LNP and the Gender Ministry for this timely action! In 2007 President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf made primary school education compulsory and free (by the way, not for the first time in Liberia’s history…), what happened to the law? (webmaster FVDK)
Published: January 17, 2020 By: The Bush Chicken, Sualeh Ziamo
GANTA, Nimba – The Liberia National Police and authorities of the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection have rescued 29 children who were taken to a church for deliverance after being accused of practicing witchcraft.
The Gender Ministry’s supervisor assigned in Nimba, Victor Zeegban, told The Bush Chicken that the children were taken to the Fire for Fire Deliverance Church in Ganta for spiritual cleansing, on suspicion that they were involved in witchcraft activities.
Zeegban said his office had received a tip from community dwellers about the kids being mistreated at the center and abandoned by relatives who took them there.
“After receiving the tipoff, we dispatched our social workers to the church to see for themselves and they came back and reported to us that the kids were actually abandoned by their parents and guardians,” he said.
“Through our fact-finding visits, we even got to know that some of the kids were taken there at the age of one and have spent over three years in the church’s yard.”
He also confirmed that the children were being mistreated and found in appalling conditions, with no access to medication when they fell sick. According to him, one of the children died in May last year.
“I saw with my own eyes one of the children’s hands [being] tied with [a] rope on grounds that he was possessed [by] a strong spirit from the dark world,” Zeegban explained.
He also disclosed that the Gender Ministry was relocating the children to a safe home in Sanniquellie, where they will remain until they are possibly reunited with their families. Zeegban assured that the children would be supported by partners of the ministry.
Meanwhile, the commander of the police’s Women and Children Protection Section in Ganta, Jenkins Mangou, has praised members of the community for the important role they played in the children’s rescue.
Lawlessness, fear, impunity. Reportedly, the people of Elugwu-Ettam Okpoitumi, Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, don’t dare to wander outside after sunset. During the last seven years, not less than 10 people have disappeared, they have vanished. Why and how? Ritual killings? Cultism? Superstition? Land disputes? Revenge? What is sure that is that the law is not upheld. Impunity reigns. And fear. The absence of fear is a human right, the protection of its citizens is an obligation of the state. Nigeria is a huge country where a lot is taking place. Due to its size and importance the rulers of Nigeria are also obligated to give a good example, to the region, to the outside world. One cannot escape the conclusion that the Nigerian government, local and national leaders, fail to establish the rule of law. A leader who does not lead, who does not protect its people should no longer rule. This is the year 2020. (webmaster FVDK)
A community overwhelmed by cult, ritual killings
Published: January 16, 2020 By: New Telegraph Nigeria, Uchenna Inya (in Abakaliki)
The people of Elugwu Ettam, Okpoitumo in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State are in state of worry, confusion and under siege. That is following the disappearances of some of their people. They are suspecting that cultists and ritual people may have taken over the community.
In Elugwu-Ettam Okpoitumi, Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, the people don’t stay outside their various homes beyond 6pm of each day.
Once it is 6pm of every day, any indigene of the area who is not in his or her house, may not return to the house any more. Such person may be declared missing in the community and may not been seen again.
Within seven years, no fewer than 10 persons in the community have been declared missing in suspected cult and ritual killings in the area.
Cultists have been having their ways in the area, killing and maiming persons who are opposing their activities.
The people have searched for those who reportedly got missing in the community but to no avail. They have deployed every method including spiritual, traditional and legal means to know if the missing ones can be found and then forestall further occurrence.
Some of the people reportedly got missing around the Edukwu Agbalegu play ground in the community. One of them is the community announcer(town crier), John Igboji.
Igboji was abducted in the playground on March 2013 when he was making announcement in the community. He has not been seen till today neither has his corpse been found.
Igboji’s abduction, shocked his people and they have not recovered from the shock till today. No one in the community has agreed to take
up his town crier duty since his sudden disappearance from the area.
Another person in the area, Joseph Nwichi Alegu, is also missing. He had gone to the Edukwu Agbalegu playground in the evening to buy food condiments when he was waylaid on the way back to his house.
He has not been since also. The food condiments he went to buy were picked up by his people on the road. The incident occurred in June last year and the matter was reported to the police.
Since then, the community has been in disarray while his family members and relatives are demanding his corpse if he has been killed.
Speaking to our Correspondent, Alegu’s widow, Christiana, lamented that since the disappearance of her husband, she finds it very difficult to cope and feed her children.
She said: “I and my four children have been suffering since they kidnapped and killed my husband, Joseph Nwichi Alegu. Things are very
difficult for us because we no longer have somebody to feed us a father. My husband was all and all for us. If they have killed him, they should release the corpse for us. He was last seen in our community in June last year.”
Another woman, Angelina Igboji, whose husband also got missing said: “My husband was appointed town crier by the community. Our then village Chairman sent him to go and make an announcement for the community. They kidnapped and killed him. We have not seen him or his corpse till today. They should bring him alive or bring his corpse to us. I want my husband’s corpse if they have killed him.
“I am a peasant farmer. Feeding the seven children my husband left for me has been very difficult for me. I do all manner of menial jobs to feed my children.”
On his part, Emmanuel Igboji, a farmer and younger brother of John Igboji said: “John Igboji was my elder brother. On 29th March, 2013, he was sent on town announcement by our former village “Chairman. My brother got missing at our playground, Edukwu Agbalegu playground in front of one of our brother’s house. He got missing while carrying out the announcement duty sent to him by our former village. After the announcement, he didn’t return again. We searched for him everywhere and we didn’t find him.
“Our then village Chairman ran to police and made report but one Cele Okah started querying that our former village Chairman why he went and reported the matter to the police without informing him first. The then village Chairman replied him ‘who gave you the audacity to query me on my action, who are you in this community’? From there, Cele Okah started having problems with the community.
“I am not happy the way he got missing. He is the breadwinner of his family and he has seven children . Only the wife is struggling to feed the children. I have not recovered from the shock of his sudden disappearance from the community because we have spent a lot to know if we can see him but to no avail.”
The village Chairman, Eze Ejike Innocent, said over 10 persons have been lost in the area, lamenting that cultists and ritualists have taken over the area.
He called on Inspector-General of Police to intervene in the matter.
He alleged that some persons arrested in connection with the persistent missing of people of the community have been released by the police and are walking freely. He accused a prominent person in the area of sponsoring them.
A community leader in the area, who did not want his name in print for fear of being attacked, told New Telegraph that the people of the area had issues over the community’s land and that it sharply divided them into two groups.
He said although the matter was later resolved, those who were not happy the way it was settled, employed cultists and ritualists to undo the people, leading to disappearances of some people of the area.
He accused one Chief Celestine Okah whose wife is a Commissioner in the state of sponsoring cultists against some persons in the community who are not comfortable with his stand on issues in the area.
He said: “The only crisis I can talk of is the time the community decided to take over their resources from their age groups because formerly, it was being managed by the age groups and whoever that was not among the age groups had no access to the lands.
“But at a certain stage, the people interestingly and compromisingly agreed that the land should not belong to the age groups. Rather, it should be in the hands of the development union that will ensure that everybody has a share of the land.
“This incident somehow divided us into two opposing groups; one was the idea of the land be taken over by the community and the other one was for the idea that it should remain with the age groups and those that are doing these evil things in our community are those that are against the taking over of the land by the community just to make sure that they frustrate the efforts of those who have made sure that the people have access to portions of the land that they supposed to have.
“We have been so much embarrassed because of these ugly incidents like the one that happened in 2013. People were so surprised that it happened that way because up till now, it is difficult for anyone to volunteer himself to be the town announcer because of the incident of that particular man and nobody is happy about it and all our efforts to make sure that we unravel the circumstances behind his missing were futile because the perpetrators were bent on frustrating any group of persons that tried to know what actually happened.
“In the case of the one that happened in June last year in which Joseph Alegu got missing, it was a big blow on all of us because we never knew that could happen and the most ugly aspect of it is that this man got missing at the door gate of one our leaders and which we expected that the man could have spent his last card to ensure that Alegu was found but ever since it happened, he has been paying deaf ear on it and we are not happy.
“It has made the situation so worse that people don’t even send their children on errand. In fact, immediately it is 6pm, everybody will be indoor because of being afraid of being kidnapped and murdered and we are not happy. We want government to come into it to ensure that we are free because we are in bondage because of the activities of these evil ones.”
In his reaction, Chief Celestine Okah challenged those who are insinuating that he is behind cultism and ritual killings in the community to come up with facts.
He said his accusers are jealous of his progress especially his wife being a commissioner in the state, alleging that he was being blackmailed by them.
“I am not known for any crime or offence. I am peaceful, a civil servant and I don’t know what they are talking about. I do also know that in life, you will have some people who will not admire you and that may be out of their personal interest but it is normal thing in the society.
“We are in border areas. We have common boundaries with some communities in Cross River State and there is no security in these places and you can know what it means to live in a border area. We are living in a very difficult place; no access road and nobody would have been sure of what is happening in our community”, he said.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Loveth Odah, said a case of cultism in the community was reported to Ikwo Divisional police station and about six persons who said confessed to be members of Vikings confraternity were arrested for causing problems in the community.
“There are some people who are suspected to be cultists according to DPO Ikwo. He said those people are from Okpoitumo Ikwo and they confessed to be cultists and belonging to Vikings confraternity and that was all.
“If actually people have been missing as a result of ritual killings to the extent of up to 10 persons, that means the people of that area are not doing well because they have never reported the case of missing persons.
“Though so many persons are claiming that those cultists are ritualists but they are talking about 1985, 1986. So, by that time, the police that we have in Ebonyi State now have not come and myself has not joined police by that time. So, there is nothing like that. It’s a case of suspected cultism and we have arrested some of them.
“Case of cultism is not pardonable in Ebonyi. They are going to be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded”, she said.
Early January of this year riots broke out in Chiwempala Township in Chingola District on the Copperbelt. The rioters took to the streets to protest the alleged failure by police to arrest a man they suspect to have been behind the alleged ritual killings in the district. Mob justice, often based on rumors, is wrong and reprehensible. People should respect the authorities, but as one comment on the first article reproduced below shows, not everyone disagrees with people who take the law in their own hands: ‘(…) let the civilians do what they can do. (…)’
Every year hundreds of innocent civilians – i.e. not found guilty by an independent court – die as a result of mob justice in African countries. In South Africa it even has a special name: ‘necklacing’. The apprehended suspected criminal is tied up by civilians, who put a tire doused in gasoline around the neck of the suspect. They then set the tire and the suspect on fire (alive!), who usually perishes. In 2011, 543 people died as a result of ‘lynching’ (mob justice) in Kenya, according to official statistics. In Uganda, 568 people succumbed as a result of mob justice in 2014.
Murderers must be arrested and tried by an independent court. ‘Law abiding’ citizens who turn into murderers as a result of mob justice must be apprehended and prosecuted too. Therefor, the Zambian police must be complimented for doing its work (webmaster FVDK).
Over 50 arrested in Chingola riots Published: January 9, 2020 By: Chris Phiri, Zambia Reports
Over 50 people have been arrested in connection with the riots that broke out in Chiwempala Township in Chingola District on the Copperbelt.
The unruly rioters took to the streets to protest the alleged failure by police to arrest a man they suspect to have been behind the alleged ritual killings in the district.
They blocked roads, burnt three motor vehicles and one house all properties belonging to the same person.
The rioters did not only damage property but also rooted various goods among them groceries and household goods.
Copperbelt Police Deputy Commissioner Wamunyima Wamunyima has stated that police managed to bring to book some of the rioters who are currently detained at Chingola Central Police.
Officers from the Zambia Army and Zambia Police have since managed to contain the situation.