South Africa: traditional leaders urged to stop ritual killings (2016 article)

Speaking at a traditional medicine day held in Giyani in 2016, the President of traditional healers association in SADC region, Dr Sylvester Hlathi, urged local traditional healers to stop ritual killings. Isn’t this remarkable – and courageous? On the one hand one could argue that apparently his appeal hasn’t prevented muti murderers in the northeastern part of the country to continue their ugly practices, on the other hand it is promising and encouraging to realize that voices are raised against these heinous crimes based on superstition and a repulsive greed for money and/or power.

Dr. Hlathi’s remarks gave me goose pimples, he spoke openly and publicly, and didn’t beat around the bush. “We as traditional healers must stop using human parts to make medicine, we must stop ritual killings as we are called to heal people not to kill people,” he said.

Kudos for Dr. Hlathi! I wonder what has become of him. (webmaster FVDK).

Traditional leaders urged to stop ritual killings

Dr Sylvester Hlathi addressing local traditional healers during the traditional medicine day. Photo by Tony Myambo.

Published: September 8, 2016
By: Letaba herald – Tony Myambo

The President of traditional healers association in SADC region Dr Sylvester Hlathi has urged local traditional healers to stop ritual killings.

Hlathi was speaking during a traditional medicine day held in cheapside complex outside Giyani on Wednesday.

“We as traditional healers must stop using human parts to make medicine, we must stop ritual killings as we are called to heal people not to kill people,” said Hlathi.

He also urged traditional healers to stop raping patients telling them that they will get healed if they sleep with them.

“We must stop sleeping with our own patients telling them they will be healed only if they sleep with us, this will weaken our traditional medicine not to work as it is not human and ancestors will punish us,” he said.

He also encouraged them to go test for HIV/AIDS. “You must also go get tested, you must stop this thing of saying I don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend you must get tested so that you can also encourage your patients to go for tests because using only traditional medicine to cure this disease is not good,” he explained.

He also told them to stop giving medicine to criminals to come out of prison or charms to do crime but work with police in order to fight crime.

He however pleaded with traditional leaders to chase away fake traditional healers in their villages.

“Traditional leaders you must demand certificates of practice from these traditional healers, if they don’t have any – chase them away,” said Hlathi.

Hosi Edward Chauke, Congress of traditional leaders of South Africa (CONTRALESA) in Malamulele secretary, applauded local traditional healers for coming together to celebrate traditional medicine day and uniting with one another.

“As traditional leaders we would like to acknowledge you for coming together and for celebrating our traditional medicine. I would like to assure you that as traditional leaders, we recognize you.”

Source: Traditional leaders urged to stop ritual killings

Nigeria: leadership tussle tears Enugu community apart as traditional head is accused of murdering nine persons

When reading the article below one needs to bear in mind that nobody is guilty unless he/she has been found guilty by an impartial, independent judge after a transparent, public trial (webmaster FVDK).

Enugu State, Nigeria

Leadership tussle tears Enugu community apart as traditional head is accused of murdering nine persons

Published: November 4, 2020
By: Sahara Reporters, New York

They had in a petition to the Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, alleged that Eke was responsible for nine verifiable deaths in their community.

Leaders of Obede Isiugwu in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State have accused their traditional ruler, Fabian Eke, of subjecting their people to a reign of terror since he ascended the throne.

They had in a petition to the Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, alleged that Eke was responsible for nine verifiable deaths in their community.

Five of the murders were allegedly linked to persons behind the move of the Obede people to form an autonomous community separate from the umbrella Ugwuoji precinct.

The petitioners, who addressed themselves as members of the Obede General Assembly, said Eke had changed the security architecture of the community and installed Ikechukwu Omeje, a man of questionable character, to oversee the protection of life and property in the enclave.

Omeje had in turn, as they alleged, used his office to serve as a hit squad for the Igwe.

“He single-handedly projected Omeje as the head of security in Obede Isiugwu and as the Igwe’s errand soldier who goes about doing his master’s bidding. Upon the emergence of this new order in our community’s security architecture, strange things began to occur to the extent that people got killed and their bodies dismembered in the most bizarre and questionable circumstances,” an excerpt of the letter sent to Ugwuanyi read (italics added by the webmaster).

“The ritual killing/murders started at Obede Isiugwu in 2016 when four persons were gruesomely murdered, their blood tapped, sucked and collected with some vital organs missing. Their names are: Fidex Idoko, Ikechukwu Idoko, Christiana Amujiri Lydia and the last person was Virgina Ali, who was killed in February 2020.” (italics added by the webmaster).

In an interview with SaharaReporters, Iyida Ejiofor, who would assume Igwe of the Obede community if their desire to break out of Ugwuoji is achieved, said the last victim was killed shortly after she had gone to different places of worship to speak against the activities of Eke and Omeje.

“The woman that died in February, she had gone to one or two churches and was saying that ‘the people that are killing people like these, it won’t be better for them.’ Next thing, they killed her,” Ejiofor said.

According to the general assembly, the secretary of the proposed autonomous community, Cletus Odo, is among five other persons allegedly murdered by Eke and Omeje.

“Besides the death of the afore-mentioned citizens of Obede Isiugwu Community through ritual killings (italics added by the webmaster), no fewer than five other members of the community have died in mysterious circumstances that defied explanation in recent time.  These people before the untimely death, were front-liners in the agitation for the creation of the proposed autonomous community particularly Mr. Cletus Odo (a.k.a. Funky) who was acting as the secretary of the proposed autonomous community and Mr. Mathias Ugwuanyi,” the petition to the Enugu state governor wrote.

They said they have tried unsuccessfully to bring these deaths up for investigation.

Their efforts have been thwarted by the same pair, whom they claim have control of the police command in the area.

“Surprisingly when incidents of killing in the case of those who were murdered, were reported to the police, Igwe Fabian Eke would interfere with police investigation by trying to convince the police that such persons died of natural cause and would compel the families of such victims of questionable death to make similar statement to the police that the victims died naturally. How he was able to have his way with the police, each time such an incident of death occurred has remained inexplicable and most worrisome to us as a people,” they said.

Instances of killing and torture aside, the community leaders said that they have been maginalised, accusing the Igwe of sponsoring false claims against them.

In one instance, he reportedly petitioned the Department of State Services that Obede community was planning a tribal war.

“Among the treacherous indulgences of Igwe Fabian Eke was the sponsoring of a trumped up and frivolous petition founded on false information which was forwarded to the Department of State Service (DSS) and Ogunte Police Station, alleging that Obede community stopped Umuopu people from entering their place and that they were organizing a tribal war.  The false allegation led to the arrest of four (4) persons at Obede but they were later released when the police and DSS found out that the allegation was false.”

The Obede community leader, Ejiofor, added that Eke rerouted a power project that would have connected the aggrieved area to the national grid.

He claimed that he gave Eke N400,000 for the erection of an electricity pole to rectify the problem and nothing has been done.

SaharaReporters reached out to two family members of some of the slain victims. One of them who responded, Christian Idoko, the brother of Ike Idoko, who was murdered in 2018, said no one in his family could authoritatively say the person that killed his brother.

Christian, who is based in Lagos, said he was not in the village when it happened. 

“What I was told is this: he slept in the night, at daybreak no one saw him so they went into his house. They found out that some people attacked him with machetes. They tried to rush him to hospital but he was dead,” he said.

Christian maintained that Ike lived alone and no one saw the assailants come in or go out.

Responding to the allegations of insecurity and killings sponsored by him, Igwe Fabian Eke said via text that the allegations were “totally untrue.”

“Someone who wants to be Igwe in a non-existent community within Ugwuoji community is spreading unfounded rumour against me for no just cause. My community is in peace and the troublemakers are in a civil court in SUIT NO EZ/16/2020. Check out our statement of defence and counter at Enugu Ezike High Court over that matter and your story will be complete. Thank you for hearing from me,” he said.

The reporter tried further to have a conversation with Igwe to ascertain the specific civil case in court but he said he was in a meeting and was unwilling to address a case already undergoing legal proceedings.

SaharaReporters learned that the case in question was related to one of the attacks allegedly linked to Omeje that the community was able to bring to a police station in Abia State.

Source: Leadership tussle tears Enugu community apart as traditional head is accused of murdering nine persons 

Nigeria, political map

28-yr-old man in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, kills pregnant woman for N50,000 for ritual purposes (2016 article)

While working through old files of ritualistic murder cases I came across this article (below) reporting that – way back in 2016 – a 28-year-old man revealed to the Akwa Ibom State Police Command on how he was hired by a village council leader in Itu Local Government Area to kill a pregnant woman for ritual purposes.

For completeness sake (will I ever realize a complete overview of ritual murders in Nigeria? – I seriously doubt it), I am sharing it here, also to demonstrate that yesterday’s posting wasn’t about an isolated case. Akwa Ibom State, currently the highest oil- and gas-producing state in Nigeria, is a small but densely populated state, with a land area of 7081 km² and a population of over 5 million (webmaster FVDK).

28-yr-old man kills pregnant woman for N50,000

Published: January 14, 2016
By: Vanguard Nigeria – Tom Moses and Chioma Onuegbu

UYO—A 28-year-old man, Edet Stephen Asuquo, yesterday, made revealing statements to the Akwa Ibom State Police Command on how he was hired by a village council leader in Itu Local Government Area to kill a pregnant woman for ritual purposes.

Vanguard gathered that the suspect was arrested by the police on January 11 through the combined efforts of his brother and sister (names withheld) who reported the matter to the police, and the body was found by the police on a plantain farm.

Parading the suspect yesterday at the Akwa Ibom State Police Headquarters, Ikot-Akpanabia, Uyo, state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Cordelia Nwawe, said the suspect who was the victim’s customer, lured her to the market to buy oysters, later took her home to buy more, then killed and hid her body, hoping to harvest the foetus for rituals.

Nwawe said the suspect’s sister, who witnessed the act, reported to her elder brother who later alerted the police.

Suspect’s story

The suspect, Asuquo, told newsmen: “What brought me to the police station is because of the job given to us by a village council chairman. “He paid five of us to kill a pregnant woman so her head and her unborn child would be used for charms. “He said after we have carried out the job, he will give us N50,000 each. He did not give us any advance payment. After we had done the job, my brother became angry. “He said that this is not the kind of job I should have gotten myself involved in. He called my other senior and reported the matter to him.”

Source: 28-yr-old man kills pregnant woman for N50,000

Africa’s shameful acts of racism: the plight of persons with albinism (PLWA) in Africa

It is not known with certainty how many people in Africa are affected by OCA, which stands for  ‘Oculocutaneous albinism’ (see below). It maybe a quarter of a million, it may be more. What we do know is the plight of persons with albinism. The lack of melanin which brings this condition with it, results in unhealthy effects of ultraviolet radiation exposure. Moreover, widespread superstition causes many wicked people to believe that albino body parts bring wealth and/or power. As a result, persons with albinism are chased, kidnapped, murdered.

The article below contains many examples of these gruesome practices which occur in many African countries. The author, Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor of the Liberian newspaper, The Daily Observer , is to be commend for drawing attention to these outdated and cruel practices which constitute a serious violation of the human rights of people with albinism and have no place in a modern society. 

Warning: the following article contains graphic details of cruel ritualistic activities (webmaster FVDK).

Some of the protestors with various placards that called on the Liberian Government among other things, increase their budgetary support (Courtesy of Daily Observer, Liberia).

Africa’s Shameful Acts of Racism: The Plight of Persons with Albinism (PLWA) in Africa

Published: December 2, 2019
By: Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor, The Daily Observer (Liberia),  Webmaster Admin 

Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior to another, and that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics.   On the African Continent, we have seen the impact of colonialism and its attributes of racism and discrimination.

The former Apartheid system in South Africa and its institutionalized racial segregation was an extreme expression of European treatments of Africans. The miserable treatment of people living with Albinism by fellow Africans is not only unfortunate, it is shameful.

The condition known as ‘Oculocutaneous albinism’ (OCA) is a genetically inherited autosomal recessive condition and OCA2, tyrosine-positive albinism, is the most prevalent type found throughout Africa. Due to the lack of melanin, people with albinism are more susceptible to the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation exposure.

The National Institutes of Health reported that about 200,000 Americans are affected; and around the world, it is between one in 17,000 and one in 20,000 people are people living with albinism. However, it is prevalence in parts of Africa, but it is far higher than the global average. People living with Albinism makeup about one in 4,000 people in South Africa and perhaps one in 5,000 in Nigeria. According to a 2006 review published in the journal BMC Public Health, the prevalence in Tanzania is one in 1,400, but this estimate is based on incomplete data. Since Tanzania’s total population is more than 40 million that would suggest an albinism community of about 30,000. A census is underway, however, and the Albinism Association of Tanzania believes the total figure could be more than 150,000.

People living with Albinism suffered in the hands of fellow Africans

The human rights organization Amnesty International quoted the Malawian police’s description of the gruesome murder of Mr. Machinjiri: “About four men trafficked him to Mozambique and killed him. The men chopped off both his arms and legs and removed his bones. Then they buried the rest of his body in a shallow grave.”

There are superstitions in some parts of Africa that albino body parts bring wealth, power or sexual conquest, and that having sex with a person living with the condition of albinism cures HIV and AIDS. Attackers sell albino body parts to witch doctors for thousands of dollars, according to Amnesty International. In Tanzania, some 75 people living with albinism were reported killed between 2000 and 2016.

Also, there have been reports of people living with albinism killings in South Africa; although such crimes are less common there than in Malawi, Tanzania and Burundi. Last February, a South African court sentenced a traditional healer to life in prison for murdering a 20-year-old woman living with albinism.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN agency that deals with human rights issues reported in 2016 that hunters of people living with albinism sell an entire human corpse for up to $75,000, while an arm or a leg could fetch about $2,000”.

In many African countries, it is sad and shameful the atrocious manner in which people living with albinism are treated; their lives are compounded by “exclusion, stigmatization, and denial of basic rights such as the right to education and health,” according to Amnesty International.  People living with Albinism continue to experience social isolation and stigma which includes name-calling, mockery, and exclusion from certain community activities.

It is reported in Zambia that at least ten people living with albinism are murdered in ritual killings every year.  Some believe their body parts bring wealth or luck. Those born with the genetic condition are calling for an end to this madness. There are more than 25,000 people living with the condition in Zambia.

Madame Janet Kakusa Wonani of Zambia, Founder/President of Light of The World Foundation. She works closely with children with Albinism in Zambia, irrespective of limited financial support.

According to the Albinism Foundation of Zambia (AFZ), Executive Director John Chiti, more than 25,000 persons with albinism in Zambia are currently in need of sunscreen lotion.

In an interview with Africa Renewal, Ms. Ero, said that the albinism situation in Africa, “is a tragedy.” She referred to the 7,000 to 10,000 people living with albinism in Malawi and thousands of others in Tanzania, Mozambique and other countries as “an endangered people”, facing a “risk of extinction if nothing is done.” Tanzanians call people living with albinism zeru, zeru, meaning “ghosts.”

Prevailing Superstitious Mindsets

Superstitious mindsets in some African countries continue to seek murdered for body parts, including infants and babies. Most of the attacks have taken place in Tanzania. Murders and attempted attacks, though in smaller numbers, have also been documented in Burundi, Kenya, Swaziland, Guinea, Nigeria, South Africa, Congo, Zambia, Namibia, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso.

The Converson.com conducted research and looked at media reports published between 2008 and 2011 on albinism and murders in Tanzania. It published a data set of 563 media reports in both English and Swahili from Tanzanian national newspapers.

The data showed that the Tanzanian press portrayed and explained violent attacks against persons with albinism in four ways. They were:

  • criminal activity,
  • cultural practices,
  • a socio-economic phenomenon,
  • a human rights issue.

Ms. Kway-Geer, the first Member of Parliament in Tanzania with albinism described her individual testimonials, first-hand accounts of difficulties as:

“When I was at primary school, people used to laugh at me, tease me – some didn’t even like to touch me, saying that if they touched me they would get this color. People used to abuse me on the road when I took the buses to school. They would run after me – crowds of kids following me – shouting ‘zeru, zeru’. (zeru, zeru, is a derogatory term).

Recommendations

The Conversation.com has identified the following recommendations.

  1. There is an urgent need to address the violence faced by this vulnerable group. Public health awareness is an important first step.
  2. Adequate health services for skin and vision disabilities should be prioritized.
  3. Putting out messages that counter the stigma against people living with Albinism is also important, as is access to education.
  4. Interventions must consider Albinism’ human rights. For example, putting children with albinism in camps may protect their right to life and security,but it restricts their rights to freedom of movement, and family life.

In addition, African Governments should seriously advocate against harmful practices against people living with albinism.  State parties should take all appropriate measures and offer support and assistance to victims of harmful practices, including legal sanctions, education, and advocacy campaign to eliminate harmful practices perpetrated on persons with albinism, such as witchcrafts, abandonment concealment, ritual killings, etc.

Conclusion

One thing for sure, the people living with Albinism did not create themselves; they were created in the same way you and I were created by the God who doesn’t make a MISTAKE. Their birth process is the same as you and me! Their mothers’ carried them for nine (9) months in their wombs before giving birth to them.

Who are we – be it an individual or government to decide that they should not live because they are different? Did God ask he needs our HELP to make His decision? The Almighty God does not need the assistance of mortal humans to run his affairs. The actions of those individuals perpetuating violence against persons suffering from albinism are no different than King Leopold II of Belgium, Adolph Hitler of Germany, Napoleon Bonaparte of France, and White racists today.

In Genesis 1:31(NIV): “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good…” God himself said it was Good, NOT bad. God doesn’t create anything UGLY! So, why individuals, including governments, are killing these innocent people? In addition, 1 Thessalonians 5:22 instructs us to “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” Accordingly, the GENOCIDE against these poor innocent people must be STOPPED!

Now, take a closer look at the beautiful tapestry of the people living with Albinism provided here. The question that readily comes to mind is any of you better looking than the people living with Albinism provided in these photos? I DOUBT IT! Therefore, let the persecution and killing of people living with Albinism STOP before the wrath of God descends upon us.

As Africans, it is embarrassing to read or hear that other Africans are discriminated against due to their race. Racism is contrary to God’s plan for humanity. The divisions we face today in contemporary Western nations are due to Race, the color of one’s skin or ethnic background.  And obviously, this perception is not part of God’s plan.

The Albinism Society of Kenya held a Mr. and Miss Albinism beauty pageant in Nairobi to support those with the hereditary condition. (https://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-46439699).

In the words of Maya Angelou: “We, the black people, the most displaced, the poorest, the most maligned and scourged, we had the glorious task of reclaiming the soul and saving the honor of the country. We, the most hated, must take hate into our hands and by the miracle of love, turn loathing into love. We, the most feared and apprehensive must take the fear and by love, change it into hope. We, who die daily in large and small ways, must take the demon death and turn it into life.”

Indeed, Children living with albinism in Africa are our brothers, sisters, daughters, and sons, let us protect them always, they are all God’s children as well.

Source: Africa’s Shameful Acts of Racism: The Plight of Persons with Albinism (PLWA) in Africa

Africa Map

Nigeria – confession of Yahoo Plus Boys: “Ritual does not give us money”

Screenshot from ICIR Nigeria website showing suspects Uche, Onoriode, Desmond and Obajero. 

The International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, is an independent, nonprofit news agency that seeks to promote transparency and accountability through robust and objective investigative reporting. The ICIR’s mission is to promote good governance and entrench democratic values by reporting, exposing, and combating corruption. 

Comment webmaster FVDK under construction.
Check Elozino Delta State University in earlier posts
(webmaster FVDK)

Confession of Yahoo Plus Boys:
“Ritual does not give us money”

Published: November 8, 2019
By:  Ejiro Umukoro

IN their desperation to join the ranks of their compatriots who have been making millions of dollars out of online-scams, young Nigeria- based wannabe scammers known as ‘yahoo boys’ are resorting to the use of traditional charms and mystical powers to charm potential victims.

Yahoo Boys are young men —usually aged between 22-29 years—who specialize in various types of cybercrime. Many of them may be undergraduates or college dropouts whose distinct lifestyles of fast cars, wealth and ostentation is the envy of many of their age-mates. The Yahoo Boys are not limited by geography— the internet is their home— and their victims are as diverse as there are naive and people ready to fall for get-rich-quick scams.

There are numerous websites dedicated to providing tips for those interested in joining the growing ranks of Yahoo Boys. According to a research report, Understanding Cybercrime Perpetrators and the Strategies They Employ in Nigeria, the use of voodoo and charms for spiritual protection and to charm potential victims is very common among Yahoo Boys in Nigeria. The practice is referred to as “Yahoo Plus. According to the report, another level in the use of charms is known as Yahoo Plus Plus, which “involves the use of human parts and may need kidnapping other human beings for rituals, which is not necessary in ‘‘Yahoo Plus.’’ In Yahoo Plus Plus, the use of things such as victims finger nails, rings, carrying of corpses, making incision on their body, sleeping in the cemetery, citing of incantation, using of their fingers for rituals, and having sex with ghosts are common.”

Two suspects: Emudiaga and Desmond 

Getting a Victim – The Kidnapping

The car drives by in a lazy fashion. Its three passengers, all male: Macaulay Desmond Oghenemaro, Emese Emudiaga Kelvin and Onoriode Enaike are good spotters. They know a victim when they see one. The signs are usually obvious: a response to a cat-call, eye contact, a smile, a wave of the hand, a thumbs up or just the mere sight of their expensive car is enough to pull a vulnerable, or even, willing participant. This is their fourth recon for their next task. The last three girls they got had been easy catch, their names unremembered, their bodies long decomposed; each one, a girl on the lookout for quick money, free food, or free drinks in return for a one night, short term, or simply a girl keen on dating only men who drive cars.

The three of them sight a potential victim. She flags them down and gets in. She looks about twenty-years-old. She’s not a student; a fashion designer she tells them. They drive to the hottest spot in town for drinks, skewered meat and food. They continue to pour alcohol into her glass, ordering more bottles of beer. She guzzles down the beer as she feasts on the meat and other goodies that they push before her.

The night was about to be ushered in. Their day job as ‘Yahoo boys’(online fraudsters) has taken a new twist. They are now Yahoo Plus Plus, a code name for ‘ritualists’ – or those who are in the business of getting human body parts for use in rituals and occult practices which are supposed to guarantee success of their internet scams. They signaled each other: it was time to take her out. They get her into the car in a drunken stupor then drive several kilometres to the outskirts of Oghara into a bush where they first plucked out one of her eyes while she was still alive. The young lady was crying, begging them to forgive her and let her go, but they went ahead and pluck the other eye, remove her breasts and heart before she died.

Three hours later they are done with her. They abandon her body out in the open, her hands and feet bound with marine ropes. Within three hours they cut off her organs: breasts, heart and eyes. Once they were done, they head for their next stop at the ‘Jazz Man’s’ shrine in Alegbo, Warri.

His name is Ojokojo Robinson Obajero, a 63-years-old man, who though an expert in herbal medicines, mixes his craft with occult practices. They call him the ‘Jazz Man’ in pidgin patois. When the three men meet him and presented the human organs, Obajero tells them when to return. They leave. Four days later, Obajero summons the three men and hands over the burnt ashes of the deceased’s body parts he claims he used in preparing a “money ritual concoction”, which he tells them will guarantee that their online victims fall prey for their tricks to obtain money through fraud.

Several weeks later they returned to Obajero, disappointed and angry. Their business of internet fraud has not been booming as they expected. Instead, it seems that the online victims they have been targeting have become smarter and are no longer falling for their scams. It’s also been several months since they made any money from female victims looking for love on the internet.

They demand to know from Obajero why his ritual did not work. He tells them that he has been testing them – the first three victims whose body parts they brought to him for conjuring was a test to confirm they would not divulge his identity as the person making the charms. He tells them he is confident they will keep their mouths shut and demands that they must get a fifth victim whose body parts he will use to make a new charm.

The three scammers are not happy with this new request. Desmond tells Obajero that they had put in a lot of effort to get the body parts from their four previous victims, and yet they had not got any results. Desmond is angry that even though they had invoked the occult, they were not as successful in luring victims as they had been before they started engaging with Obajero. But this time, Obajero makes a firm promise: “This time you will make money through the death of the girl and the ritual I will do for you.”

The three men left wondering where to get their next victim. Less than 24 hours later, Onoriode calls Desmond and Emese. He tells them there is a possible victim — a student in Abraka University where he works as a security guard. The girl, Elozino Ogege is a 300 level Mass Communication student of the Delta State University who had a few days earlier, asked him if he could help her with information regarding available rooms for rent within the school’s staff quarters, and he had now has asked the girl to return the next day. He told his two accomplices this would be an opportunity for them to kidnap her and take her out of the school premises with the help of the head of security, Nwosisi Benedict Uche, who will be paid N30,000 for allowing them to pass through the gate without the boot of the car being subjected to a search.

One of the victims: Elozino

Inside the Lecturers Staff Quarters, the three of them waylay Elozino, incapacitate her with a toxic fume, and dump her in the boot of the jeep they brought. While Onoriode waited behind at his guard post, the other two drove to Emese’s house in Umeghe and waited for Onoriode to join them after work hours. Once Onoriode arrived, they drive towards Abraka just before Obiaruku by the right when coming from Warri axis into a large expansive land thick with vegetation. They drive through the bush track of lined palm trees. The bush track leads to Ugunu Community but they do not drive inwards, parking the Corolla car a few metres from the expressway. It was already dark. They get their tools and torchlight.

Desmond had drank half a bottle of strong expensive alcohol but his two friends had no need to dull their senses before they mutilated the girl they had successfully kidnapped. Elozino was crying, begging them to let her go but they ignored her pleas while they plucked her eyes out, removed her heart and cut off her nipples. Two and a half hours later, they are done with the deed. They drive off and deliver the dismembered parts to the occultist who once again instructs them to return after two days when he would have completed preparing the charms.

This was their 5thvictim. In their desperation to make money through ritual killings and sacrifices, they covered an estimated distance of at least 78KM, a journey of about 1hour 27mins between Abraka to Otefe, Oghara in at least 10 instances (780KM) (870 minutes); including traveling back and forth from Abraka to Warri on at least 10 occasions to meet with the occultist who prepared charms, estimated distance of 490KM both ways, a total of 660 minutes; in addition to navigating their way from their home base in Abraka to Delta State University, DELSU, towards the expressway some distance from Obiaruka where they committed their last crime, a journey of at least 41KMboth ways and roughly 50mins at the least. On average, it took them about 3 hours on each victim to extract the organs, an average total of 15 hours spent.

While they were at home awaiting the call from the jazz man, in less than 48 hours later, in the early hours of Saturday 10thNovember 2018, all three men including the occultist were rounded up by the police. A tipoff from the victim’s family led to an investigation that helped the police trace the girl’s cell phone, a Tecno K7 Mobile, to the murderers. Elozino Ogege was their fifth victim.

Four suspects: Uche, Onoriode, Desmond and Obajero

ON MISSING GIRLS

A follow-up investigation into the other 4 missing girls was made. Reports from Police Missing Person data does not have any record of reported missing girls during this period when the acts were carried out. According to the Police IPO in charge of Elozino’s case, who followed up on the perpetrators confession, no bodies of the missing girls were found when they went to inspect the areas where their bodies were dumped in the bushes in Oghara.

The late Elozino-Ogege 

When the police was asked why there was no missing persons’ report, one theory postulated was that since the bodies of the girls according the yahoo boys were left abandoned in the open, decomposition was fast and the decayed bodies and bones likely eaten up by animals.

The other reason he explained was that, as a rule, because police don’t trust anyone, many people prefer not to report such cases of dead or mutilated bodies found so they are not mistaken or held for being responsible for such deaths or incidences. To remedy this, he suggests that citizens in general can report such cases to NGOs whose focus covers such issues who will then bring the case to the police. That way, the person who made the report is at first protected until investigations into the matter are completed.

But most importantly, citizens should begin to take it upon themselves to report suspicious activities and suspicious persons to the police early on as a preemptive call-to-action. Neighbourhood Watch is a must in combating crimes, illicit and illegal activities in all communities, especially more so in the ‘ember’ months ahead, where end of year activities are highest.

Efforts were also made to reach the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) to give us data on activities surrounding violent killings of females within the context of Yahoo Plus Plus using the FOI Request but no response, over two months before this report was filed, was gotten from EFCC regarding this. Violence of any kind against women: yahoo plus plus, other occult related killings, rape, assault, etc., are human rights abuses that must not be condoned by society. Cases must be reported and speedy justice administered to stop the scourge and prevent future incidents.

More needs to be done to collect data on missing women in Nigeria, to better understand the scope of the problem and work towards making university campuses a safe space for female students.

THE SCAM

As foreign law enforcement crackdown on online scams in a bid to protect their citizens from online fraud, it will become harder and harder for the Yahoo Boys to keep operating as they have in the past. Ritual killings and the belief that their victims’ body parts will create charms that will enable them to earn a living from scams are just one of the results from a population of young people who are turning to crime to make a living.

Nigeria’s youth unemployment rate averaged 36.5% iin the third quarter of 2018, while the national average rose to 23.1%. With graduates entering the workplace in greater numbers, there needs to be a concerted effort by national and state governments to provide an environment that will enable job creation to give young people better choices.

Yahoo Boys as also adept at cyber-enabled financial fraud. A six month operation wire wire conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service resulted in 74 arrests in the United States and overseas, including 29 in Nigeria, and three in Canada, Mauritius and Poland.  The operation also resulted in the seizure of nearly $2.4 million, and the disruption and recovery of approximately $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers. Many of these scammers who were in Nigeria have since fled to other countries eg Ghana, Dubai ,South Africa, Gambia as the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes commission closed in on them.

I set out to interview Desmond and Onoriode who admitted to practicing Yahoo Plus Plus rituals. Together as a gang they spent an estimated 1,311KM, equaling a total of 1,580 minutes on the prowl looking for vulnerable women they can lure. Their lead-man, Emese, was alleged to have slumped and died when the police were close to catching him. Desmond and Onoriode were both in police custody while awaiting trial when this interview was conducted. During the interview, they were unemotional as they narrated how they kidnapped their victims and mutilated their bodies.

Sitting down on a short bench close to a hedge of plants, the sun shining overhead with a white plastic table separating us, this is an excerpt from the interview I conducted in the presence of the police:

Yahoo Plus Boys Onoriode and Desmond     

Q: What’s your name and how old are you?

Macaulay Desmond. I’m 32 years. I Finished secondary school in 2008 (Urhuoka Secondary School, Abraka) but I was born in Lagos. I did my primary school in Benin and secondary school in Abraka.

Q: Were you in business before?

Desmond: I was into photography work and sand dredging from high sea. My job was to pile it up. I dredged in Bayelsa and with Delta Glass for two years and six months. Photography was from 2006 to 2013. I was learning photography as an apprentice at the same time I was schooling in secondary school. After school I go to do my apprenticeship. I was good with snapping photos, creating handbills, all types of photo enlargements, making complimentary cards, CD plate transfers and so on. But after I finished secondary school I stop my apprenticeship and left the job. Because I didn’t have the money to open my own shop I decided to work for my boss. After a while I left the job because it wasn’t paying that well. So I went to Lagos to work for another construction company. But that too wasn’t paying me well.

So I approach my Uncle to help me with money to further my studies. So my Uncle put me in the line of dredging sand from 2013 up till 2016 when I now leave for Ghana. I left because the dredging contractors who supplied the sands to Beta Glass was not paying, they owed us for long periods. Life was difficult. When I complain to my uncle he no show concern; im own be say e don put you for line. His own is to build the barge, rent it out or sell it out. The weather in the place too was a problem especially when I was hungry. So I got fed up.

Q: Why didn’t you learn how to make barges yourself from your Uncle? Or you didn’t want to learn how to make barges?

That’s not what I discussed with him actually. I told him I have finished my photography work and I just need money to finish my studies. My Uncle told me he does not have that kind of money. But the best he can do for me is put me in the line of working in the barge.

Q: So how did you get into this other line of business?

When things got rough with the dredging business, I called my friend and told him things are rough with me here (Nigeria) that’s when my friend now ask me to come in 2016.

Q: So what happened in Ghana? What were you now doing in Ghana?

We are doing the yahoo yahoo.

Q: Where exactly in Ghana?

Kasoa.

Q: How long were you there for?

I was there like 8 months.

Q: So you were living with your friend there? How were you paying or compensating him for living in his house?

There was no compensation because he’s my childhood friend. We went to the same secondary school. The agreement we have is that if I collect money, then the percentage we’ll share it. If I collect N300,000 we can share it 40/60 because he’s the one providing for the network and feeding. That’s how they do it everywhere. Everybody that travels to Ghana that’s how they do it. It’s 40/60. Or some chairman the one that’s not greedy 50/50.

Q: Describe this your yahoo business for me.

Yahoo is kind of internet relationship. When you meet a woman.

Q: So you target women?

Yea its women. Some people do male one or female, depends on the one you want. You tell the woman that you love her and you want her to be your wife for the starting when you propose to her if she agree.  For the first week you push love to her then may be for the second week you still push love to her. From there she will give you her number so you can be communicating with her so both of you can be talking. Then may be she can tell you that you cannot be talking on phone-phone that she want you to come over. That’s when she’s in love. She’ll tell you to come over. Because them they believe in love. Once they tell you that they’re in love they’re really in love.

Q: Which kind of women are you targeting? African women or …?

Any woman. Let me say in Africa, only South African women because it is the currency we’re looking at. We target women in Germany, U.S, Italy, London,

Q: So do you target this women? You look at their profile or you randomly choose anyone you want?

We bond them through Facebook. Facebook show your location, your name. So you can use your name and put your phone number and everything about you will show. And if you like to accept you accept, and if you don’t like to accept…

Q: So once I accept your friendship, the next thing you’ll be sending me messages?

We’ll be chatting.

Q: How long does it take before a woman gives in?

It depends on how long it takes for the woman to fall in love. In the past it used to take two weeks for her to ‘fall in love’. But these days it can take up to three years because many are now aware that there are scammers. So most of them are very careful. So if you tell her you love her, she will say no, because most of them have been played before. Those ones that have been played before will tell us so and so person did this to me. Those types of women, we leave them. No need wasting time with them. Once they tell you they’ve been played before its best to leave them because nothing you’ll tell that person will change them. You dump her and look for another one. Those who have money will give you.

Q: What language do you speak to these women?

For English women, you speak English. For Spanish women, you download an App to translate English to Spanish or English to German or English to Portuguese.

Q: When did you start Yahoo business?

January 2016. But my friend has been in it since 2013.

Q: How much do you make on a weekly or monthly basis?

Money doesn’t come in like that. But within a month, if you meet a woman who fall for you, you can get as much as $3,000 – $4,000. Once she pays you that money, you leave her for some time so you can build trust. Else if you demand too quick after the first one, she will not believe you.

Q: What do you tell her that moves her to give you such money?

The type of work I’m doing is what I used to get her. I tell her I’m an engineer. I pose as an engineer working at sea into rig drilling. That’s the only way to get a vacation from my boss. Then I’ll tell her to write to him because he’s the only one who can grant me my vacation since I’m not due for leave yet. And the only way to get out of the sea is through a helipad. If she can pay for that, plus other expenses like ground transportation, accommodation and feeding, then I can be with her fast fast. So the cost will be like $3,000 to hire the helipad plus another $1,000.

Q: But how does she know which company you work for?

I design a website that looks exactly like a popular offshore drilling website company but my pictures will not be on it because once she sees who I really am, she won’t fall for it. So I will send the company email to her which I have already created. She now writes to by ‘boss’ using that email. But the email is coming back to me. I will now reply to the email as the ‘boss’ telling her that “the message she sent has been received. And will get back to her in a few days.” After she has received this first email she’ll now copy it and send it to me to say this was the response she got from my boss.

Two days later, the ‘boss’ will now write back to me saying: “We have granted the vacation. Since this is not his normal vacation time, it will require a helipad to take him out from the sea.”

She will now copy this and send to me. That is when I will now tell her it would cost $3,000-$4,000 to pay for the helipad that will take him out of the sea to land including expenses for hotel, feeding and accommodation.

Q: How does she send the money to you?

We keep a collection of women on the internet for different reasons. Some we propose marriage to and keep promising them that to keep the relationship going but tell them we’re struggling in Nigeria with a business we want to grow so that when need for her arises like in transferring money from one European country to another, she provides the bank account needed for the transaction. By this time I would have told her I only trust her and I have a big contract in Nigeria worth $300,000 that is going to run for a year and six months (or whatever time I like to give her), but because I don’t have all the money yet to execute it, I will tell her I’m asking money from friends and families within and outside Nigeria to help me with some money so I can succeed in the business. Then the monies would be sent to her account and after the contract is done, the entire money will be paid into her account then we can be together. I will now ask her to assist too since the other monies will be dropping into her account. Because the woman sees herself as wife to be married to me, her future husband she believes me. So when I get a new client ready to pay money, I will reach out to my ‘wife’ who now provides me with the bank account and the money is wired in it. Already I’m posing as a non-Nigerian. And although I am in Nigeria, I’m working as a contractor but don’t have an account yet. I will now tell her to send the money to my supervisor who is a black man. Then I will provide her with my own account details. Or any other account needed for the purpose.

Q: Is the pickup woman part of the yahoo team?

No she’s not. She’s just like the other women looking for love too who I have already proposed to.

Q: Why send the money through her? Are you not worried she will keep it for herself?

There’s a lot of problems that will come up if I give her my account. Money transfer from inter country takes 6-7 days. And if you use your own account, your face as a black man will show and that will terminate the transactions.

Q: At what point does the woman know that she’s been deceived?

She cannot know. She does not know. The only time she begins to think so is when her daughter, friends or even husband tells her that the person she’s dealing with is scamming her.

Q: From the point she sends in the first money, how long does it take from that time for her to know she’s been scammed?

It takes a while. Even after the first payment, some of them will send more money again as long as she doesn’t realise. But once she realises, she would stop. In the past it used to take four years of continuously sending money before she realises she’s being scammed. But these days it may not take up to two years.

Q: How many women have you gotten money from like this?

Since 2016 till December 2018 I only succeeded in getting two women to give me money. But I have spoken to many women who think I’m in love with them. Many of them are genuinely in love but don’t have money. The reason being that once you mention money even after you have proposed to them and keep promising love, some will tell you they don’t have or will just stop talking to you.

Q: How much have you made since 2016-2018?

We split the money into 60/40. So the money that has come to me is up to N3.5 million naira.

Q: What do you do with this money? 

I use it for myself and give my sisters too. I also have cousins I share it with.

Q: Do they know that this is how you got the money between 2016 and 2018? They didn’t ask you?

I told them I was travelling. And even after I came back to Nigeria and continued, they don’t know what I do. I don’t stay with them. I stay with my friend and we live very far from them even though we’re all in Abraka. They call me whenever they need money and I send it to them.

Q: Why did you leave Ghana?

My friend asked us to come back to Nigeria with the promise that we will return to Ghana. But to my surprise, he said we were no longer going back. He deceived me. I was very angry at him because his attitude towards me changed. It wasn’t about money. I quarreled with him. Another friend of his, a guy in the same line of business came between us. I was very angry with my friend so I left him. Later he came to beg me and I went back to stay with him.

Q: Why didn’t you just go back to Ghana on your own?

There was no money.

Q: At what point did you now add ‘ritual killings’ to your business?

It was after we got to Nigeria when the money was no longer coming in again like before. That was one of the reasons I quarreled with my friend. Nigeria wasn’t favourable. I even went back to loading tipper and dredging sand to see if I can raise money but I wasn’t even making enough money to save so that we can use it to go back to Ghana.

Q: So who introduced you to ‘ritual killings’?

My friend, Emese, who was here with us in the prison. But he’s dead now.

Q: Are you convinced ‘ritual’ gave you the money?

To me what I see there is that it’s just being manipulator. Let me say so. Or is just when things will just happen. Now I don’t believe that anybody on earth, nobody can tell me this kind of thing.

Q: Desmond you took the lives of 5 girls. Elozino was not drunk, nor drugged but awake while you guys cut her up … How did you feel when you were doing that? How were you able to do that Desmond?

It was not easy to do. But that was why I drink.

Q: But that was not your first time, Desmond. You did it 5 times. Each of the times you did it to the girls, they begged you to stop? Were they not crying?

YES.

Q: So when you saw the tears and heard their begging, how come that didn’t move you to stop? Why didn’t you feel sorry enough to let them go, to free the girls?

It’s because of what the herbalist told us. That was why we were afraid. He said we would go mad or die.

Since Desmond made his confession, he is still very much alive in 2019, several months since he committed the act in 2018.

ONORIODE’S CONFESSION:

Q: How Old are you?

23 years

Q: How long have you been a security man in Abraka?

6 months. Sometime in May. Before June.

Q: Before this time, what were you doing?

I was studying nursing at a private hospital in Eku. Life Care Hospital.

Q: What kind of nurse were you? Auxiliary or Regular?

Auxiliary

Q: What was your job in the hospital?

I learn how to stitch people. I can stitch. After that, we learn pharmacy, to know more about drugs. I go chemist go learn drugs. You can discuss with the person to do apprentice for 6 months or 1 year.

Q: Why did you want to learn about drugs?

Because nurses just treat and do stitches and put drugs into drips using injection but don’t know drugs. That’s all they know. But when you go into pharmacy, you know more drugs. That is the reason why I go to pharmacy, to know more drugs.

Q: How long did you practice as an auxiliary nurse?

2 years.

Q: How many hospitals did you go to learn this auxiliary nursing? 

Nursing was in Eku, Life Care Hospital. I Learn how to treat, how to pass drip. But I do pharmacy in Obiarukwu.

Q: What year did you learn all these?

2015 to 2018.

Q: So before 2015 what were you doing?

I wasn’t doing anything then. I finished my secondary school in 2007.

Q: So between 2007 and 2013, what were you doing these 6 years?

I was farming in Abraka.

Q: What kind of farming were you into?

Cassava farming.

Q: Was it your land or you rented it?

Family land

Q: How was the business back then?

It was okay.

Q: So why did you leave it to enter nursing? 

I cannot just rely on farming every time. I must look for something to do.

Q: Was the farming not a good business? If it was paying, why leave it?

I always love nursing. That’s why I go for the nursing.

Q: Why didn’t you study for JAMB (Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board conducted exam for every student seeking entrance to university), pass your exams and go to university to learn it instead?

I no get helper.

Q: Are you the first child? How many are you?

My father has three wives. Out of the three wives children, I am the last. My mother has 5 children and my stepmother has 6 children. And the third wife has 2. But my father is late. He died in 1995.

Q: But you do everyday business? And you make some money too?

Yes.

Q: So why didn’t you use the funds to help you further your education if you made money from farming?

What I plan before as I finish the nursing, na to open chemist so better income will help me further my education.

Q: So what now happened that you didn’t open the chemist or go to school, but instead became a security man? What happened between this time? 

I go to the chemist union. Dem tell me that before I fit open a chemist shop, I must be a union member as they cannot allow me run chemist shop without joining association first. That was when they tell me I have to register with N300,000, plus I will buy drinks and kill goat as part of the registration process before they will allow me stock my store with medicines, apart from the money to rent the store, employ a store keeper, and so on, so I gave up and tell myself to focus on other things or business until I can meet up with the requirements.

Q: So how did you get into this business of using human parts? 

It was Desmond’s friend who introduced me to it. We all live in the same community in Abraka.

Q: What is the friend’s name? 

Emudiaga Emese. He is from Umeghe. I am from Ovuso/Abraka. Mudiagha who is boss to Desmond came to meet one day like that asking if I remember him. I said yes. That was when he told he will teach me about his business so I can join him. He asked me if I didn’t admire him for how he has money? I said yes, I’ll like to. He now said he will put me in line so I can learn how to make money like him.

Q: Police record shows that before you got your job as a security guard in Abraka University you were put in jail. How did you get to be in prison?

I was arrested sometime in January/February of 2014 and released in December 2015. What happened was that there was a party in my compound. Someone brought a car into the compound with another person but by morning that person died. So what happened was that police raid the area and pack all of us into cell. They charged us to court then sent to prison. This happened when courts go on strike. So when I was supposed to get bail, court did not sit. So that was how I was kept in jail for one year. The court was waiting for DPP advice, so they kept me there in jail in Sapele Prison.

Q: Are you a cult member? 

No.

Q: Who bailed you out from prison? 

My mother and older brothers get lawyer for me. I am the youngest of my mother’s children.

Q: When you came out of prison, what happened before you became security guard in Delta State University (DELSU)? 

It was after I came out of prison I went to learn nursing work.

Q: So when exactly did they recruit you?

  • But they only approach me to join them for ritual killings after I started work as a security guard in DELSU.

Q: During this time you were ‘moving about’ with them, what were you guys doing? 

Because Mudiagha had money, he will come to and take us in his car and then we all stroll together.

Q: What do you mean by stroll together?

We go to beer parlours to drink, carry girls, tour the town then go back home.

Q; When you carry girls. What do you do to them? 

If it is a girl Mudiagha wanted to use, we carry the girl, get her drunk, take her to the bush and thereafter take the parts we want.

Q: Do you drug the drinks the girls take?

No we don’t drug their drinks. Is just a simple thing we do. We get in the car, girls see us in this beautiful car and they agree to join us then we go to a beer parlour and just get her drunk.

Q: Which kinds of girls do you target? How you know if you speak to a particular girl she will do your bidding? 

We don’t target the girls! Girls dem too like cars! They like to flex, have fun, party. So when they see a young boy with a car they like to hang out with you. We don’t even spin them before they just jump into the car because they assume that before you can own a car, it means you’re loaded. You have money. So they just follow you.

Q: So how many girls have you gone and targeted like that with Desmond and Mudiagha that you were a part of? 

5.

Q: How much have you made from this online money since you started 2 years ago? 

Sometimes I get N50,000 or N100,000

The next question is directed to Desmond

Q: Is that how much you give him, Desmond?

DESMOND: It depends on how the money comes. Sometimes Onos gets N200,000.

ONORIODE: You have never given me up to N200,000 at once.

DESMOND: Yes we have. 200,000 up to N300,000 sef. Will I lie against you (he turns to look at Onoriode).

ONORIODE: But I don’t have a say on how they share the money. They are the bosses that does the sharing. So whatever they give me as my share I simply take it.

Q: So how many times did you collect N50,000 and N100,000 separately? 

ONORIODE: I was given money 5 times. I collected N100,000 on three different occasions. Then N50,000  on 3 different occasions too.

Q: So between 2016-2018 you made at least N550,000?

Yes.

Q: What did you do with the money?

I used it to buy shoes and clothes.

Q: Did you give any of the money out as gifts to anyone? Family? Friends? 

  1. I flex with the money: beer parlours, nights in hotels, buy suya, spend money on restaurant food, and so on.

Q: Out of the N550,000 you made, who did you share part of the money with?

Nobody.

Q: Not even your mother?

NO.

Q: Why didn’t you give anybody out of the money?

You know, when money is in your hands, all you think of is have your bath, think of the next place to go and spend money and just flex around. You hear there’s a birthday party, and other such things and you’re there. Just like that that’s how I spent the money.

Q: So this period you didn’t extend any money gift to your mother or sister like a way of showing care or supporting them?

NO.

Q: So why did you take the security work in Abraka since you’re already making money through this?

I use it to patch up.

Q: Who recommended you to the management of Abraka to hire you? 

Abraka na my area. I know it well and I am part of the community so they know me. I already know the man in charge of security too. So I approached him for the job and got it.

Q: What other reason did you have for applying for this security job? 

To gather myself up to raise enough to start my chemist shop.

Q: Why did you go after Elozino, the last girl? 

It was just a coincidence. We already get a plan to get a girl for the next ritual as the jazz man tell us to do. So our mind is set to look out for a girl that will provide the parts for us. So when the opportunity just show the day after we had discuss, and this girl approached me two days before na then I make up my mind that she go be the one. So I tell my guys. So when she show up the next day we kidnap her.

Q: In what condition were you guys when you carry out this act? Do you take any drink?

DESMOND: Yes. I take a lot of alcohol and spirits before we go out to do it. I take up to half bottle.

ONORIODE: Me I no dey take anything. No drink. No drugs. No smoking of any kind.

Q: So you do it with clear eyes, Onos?

Nods his head in the affirmative.

Q: Why do you take drink before you start, Desmond?

I take it so that when I feel the pain, because na human being like me too, na that alcohol go give strong mind to finish the work.

Q: So Onos, you said you do it with your eyes wide open, no weed, no alcohol or drugs to douse your senses. And you have done it 5 times like that?

Wetin we just talk be say e tell me say if we do this one finish before, we go get money.  So na the stuff, money wey be say I no get naim make me fit do am.

Q: So you don’t feel sorry for the girls you’re doing this to as long as it’s money you’re after? 

It’s not as if I don’t feel sorry for them. I feel sorry. But based on the fact that I have struggled to get money and haven’t succeeded, I just focus on the work so I can get the money.

Q: But you already have a job as a security guard. Why did you have to take this girl’s life?

ONORIODE: Wetin be N20,000? That one na money?

Q: Onos, since you started this ritual business, have you made money? 

ONORIODE: No. no. no. I have not made money.

Q: So if after all this time, you didn’t make money, why did you continue? 

ONORIODE: It is because the Baba, the Jazz Man, promise that this last one will bring us money. He said we will go mad or die if we talk.

Q: But the man promised you this, 1sttime, 2nd, 3rd, and 4thtime, yet did not fulfil this promise and the money you’re looking for you didn’t get it, why go for the 5thone?

ONOS: The Baba promise that this 5thone is what will give us the money.

Q: So why didn’t the others give you money?

ONORIODE: The Baba said he was testing us to see whether we will reveal the secret and now that he’s sure we will not do so, he then promise us that this 5thone will bring us the money. He said if we follow through on this one we will get money from it.

Q: The baba who is promising you all these riches, how rich is he?

ONOS: No he’s not as rich.

Q: Where does the herbalist live?

ONOS: In Warri. Alegbo Axis. He lives in the last street before Alegbo Primary School.

Q: Do people in the area know him for his ritual activity?

DESMOND: No. I’m not sure. But we hear people address him Doctor. They call the Baba Doctor. The man na herbalist.

Q: What is the role of your fellow security man who is in custody? Many feel you just named him to rope in.

ONORIODE: See the matter. He did not join us in any ritual cutting. But the thing is that anybody who drives into the school with a car must have the car searched and because he is head of security at the post he has veto power to search and approve any car passing at the main gate. So there was no way my guys can leave the school without being searched after we have capture the girl in the car. So I tell him about the deal and told him one of my big bros is a Ghana Burger and he has money. I discuss this with him two days before we get the girl.

Q: So you told this senior security man that this your boss is a Ghana Burger and he has money?

Yes. So I told him we cannot do this without his permission, and he’ll get his cut after we succeed. He asked me what I mean. So I explain to him that the person we wanted to carry is within the school premises and since he’s the one always at the gate, we need his help as the supervisor to allow our vehicle pass out of the gate without check. That we need him to pass the order so that the junior security men at the post will allow the car pass through without being held up. Once he give the order to raise the bar at the gate, nobody will challenge it because he’s the supervisor. Any order he gives they must obey him. After I explain all this to him he accept the offer and promise to do his part. The other part of the arrangement was for him to post me on my next shift to the lecturer’s lodge area the next day since I had already made arrangement with my guys to call the girl to meet me where she met me the day before. If I no reach arrangement with him, he will post me elsewhere. Because the lecturers lodge is very far we can carry our plan and nobody will see us. Any other security post by the roundabout or near the school gates is not a good hiding place. So the supervisor agree.

Q: How much did you promise to give the supervisor, the head of security?

ONORIODE: I did not mention bulk amount to him. But I told him he will get some huge cash. I tell am say better money go enter eim hand. And I know too that once we made the money the supervisor could get up to N30,000 to N40,000.

Q: What’s the supervisor’s name?

ONORIODE: Supervisor’s name is Uche Benedict Nwosisi

Q: From your experience now, does ritual killing actually bring in money?

DESMOND: NO. Na circumstances they make everything correct, just rhyme. Let me say, is just being manipulator or is just the way things will just happen.

ONORIODE: I be follow follow first. I never sabi.

DESMOND: Onos know everything already. Na the yahoo dey give us money.

Q: But since you do the ritual e bring money for you?

ONOS: e no bring money for me.

Q: So, if e no bring money for you why you kon dey do am dey go till you kill 5 girls?  Sense dey the thing?

ONOS: No sense

Q: So why did you continue doing it when you realised there was no sense in continuing killing more girls? 

AWKWARD SILENCE

Q: So what will happen to you now?  Do you know what will happen to you going forward? 

DESMOND and ONORIODE: I don’t know.

Q: What do you think you deserve to be done to you for what you both did to those 5 girls? 

DESMOND: Imprisonment.

Q: Is that the only thing you deserve? 

SILENCE

Q: what about you Onos? What do you deserve for all the atrocities you committed?

LIFE imprisonment

Q: So if you’re to give advice to people who think ritual brings money, what would you say to them? 

DESMOND: That it is not how to make money. You make money with your hands, and make money from the right source, not quick money. If you have opportunity fine. But if you don’t have, you wait until God blesses you.

Q: What if you get hungry, is it enough to do this kain thing? 

DESMOND: If you’re get hungry then you die. But I know that hunger does not kill somebody.

ONORIODE: it is better to build with your hand than to do this.

Q: how many were you in this yahoo ring in Ghana?

Me, my friend and two other guys from Nigeria.

Q: Where in Ghana were you living? 

Kasoa. Many Nigerians are into yahoo in Ghana. We are many. They are still there. We all stayed in a popular estate, Obo(lu) Estate in Kasoa. Kasoa is big. Take a bike and tell them you want to get to Obolu estate. They’ll take you there. They will ask which of the estate. So you tell them but I can’t remember the exact name of ours. But when you say Obolu estate, they will take you there. The man Obolu has many estate. So you’ll have to tell them the specific estate because the Obolu estate is very big and there are different estates there too.

Q: The police thinks ritual killings with yahoo boys started from Ghana. Except you don’t know it? 

DESMOND: People do it here in Nigeria before them go Ghana. They are the ones who introduced it in Ghana. A week, two weeks they have made money then they now come back to Nigeria. But when I was there in Ghana for eight months (2016-2017), there was nothing like ritual killing.

Desmond and Onoriode are currently under trial in Delta State, and the status of their conviction is yet to be determined.

This story is supported by WanaData a project of Code For Africa

Source: Confession of Yahoo Plus Boys“Ritual does not give us money” – Suspects

This story was – one day earlier – published by The Guardian (Nigeria), on November 7, by the same author Ejiro Umukoro:
Ritual does not give us money, Yahoo Plus boys confess
(webmaster FVDK).

Malawi appoints commission to probe albino killings

Almost six months ago, in early March 2019,  President Peter Mutharika ordered an investigation into the killing and maltreatment of people living with albinism in Malawi.

I will check the outcome of the work of the commission created AND the follow-up to its report. Subsequently, I will inform the readers of this site.

To be continued (webmaster FVDK).

United Nations’ Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism Ikponwosa Ero addresses a press conference at the end of her official visit to Malawi on April 29, 2016. – Malawi’s estimated 10000 albinos “are an endangered group facing a risk of systematic extinction over time if nothing is done to stem the tide of atrocities,” a UN expert warned on today. Ikponwosa Ero, a UN independent expert told journalists at the end of her 12-day assessment of rights of albinos in Malawi that the situation “constitutes an emergency, a crisis disturbing in its proportions.” She said according to police, 65 cases of attacks, abductions and murders of albinos have been recorded since end of 2014. (Photo by Amos Gumulira / AFP)

Published: March 8, 2019
By: News Central (Nigeria)

Malawi has experienced a surge in violent attacks on people with albinism over the past four years.

Malawi’s president, Peter Mutharika, on Friday appointed a commission of inquiry to probe a spate of attacks, abductions and killings of people with albinism. The panel, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Robert Chinangwa, will submit its report to Mutharika by April 30, the president’s office said.

The announcement came after mounting criticism of Mutharika for his response to the attacks. The Association of People with Albinism has been staging a vigil in the capital Lilongwe and says it will contact foreign embassies in a bid to seek refuge. Around 200 albinos, joined by 500 sympathisers, marched to the presidential palace on Wednesday.

Malawi, has experienced a surge in violent attacks on people with albinism over the past four years. In many cases, those with albinism are targeted for their body parts to be used in witchcraft.

In a June 2018 report, rights group Amnesty International said that since November 2014 there had been 148 crimes reported against people with albinism, with at least 21 deaths.
(italics added by the webmaster FVDK). Just 30 percent of those attacks have been properly investigated, according to official statistics, with only one murder and one attempted murder case successfully prosecuted.

Of the 600 cases of violence against albinos in 28 African countries, Malawi accounted for nearly a third.

Albinism, a genetic disorder, causes a partial or total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. As a result, many albinos often experience eye problems and have a heightened risk of skin cancer.

Source: Malawi appoints commission to probe albino killings

‘Stop killing us for our body parts’: Albinism society South Africa (2016 article)

In South Africa, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Mozambique, Burundi, in most countries in Southern Africa people with albinism are targeted, terrorized, attacked, mutilated, murdered, all for one purpose: muti. In recent years governments in some of these countries have taken measures to protect their albino-citizens. President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania pledged to crackdown on albino killings (2015), the Malawian government ordered police to shoot in a bid to protect albinos (2015). Prosecution of suspects have started in various countries. Yet it is not enough. The attacks and killings continue. More needs to be done: education – to teach people that superstition, the belief in the power of muti is misplaced and that one cannot get away with murder – and the rule of law are key to eradicate these heinous crimes against innocent people who are born with a disability and have to live with it: albinism. (webmaster FVDK).  

Johannesburg, 2 June 2016 – The African Union and SADC are being urged to do more to protect people living with albinism. Hate crimes against people with albinism are still rife across the continent.

Published: June 2, 2016
By: eNCA

JOHANNESBURG – with hate crimes against people with albinism still rife across the continent, the African Union and SADC have been urged to do more on their behalf.

In South Africa,a campaign has been launched  to try and put an end to this human rights crisis.

A recent victim was Thandazile Mpunza, a 20-year-old KwaZulu-Natal woman, whose remains were found in a shallow grave last August.

It is suspected that she was murdered for witchcraft purposes because of her albinism.

The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) has taken up the fight.

CRL Commission Chair, Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, said, “We need to say as Africans we need to say not in our continent, you can’t continue with this thing here and as a continent we need to protect people with albinism.

“There is a lot of energy worldwide to protect the rhino, we expect the same if not more energy to protect people with albinism. If they are being hunted like the rhino, how much coverage do they get, one rhino killed in Malawi or in SA the while world will know about it. But people with albinism their story is not told aggressively enough as we hear stories about the rhino.”

*View  the attached video for more on the plight of people living with albinism in Africa.

Source: ‘Stop killing us for our body parts’: Albinism society

South Africa – Provinces

Teenage albino boy killed and dismembered in Burundi

File photo (Getty Images)

Published: August 18, 2019
By: Zamira Rahim 

A teenage albino boy has reportedly been killed and dismembered in Burundi. An albino rights group said the 15-year-old’s body was found late on Saturday, according to the AFP news agency. “The young albino was killed atrociously … his murderers cut his right leg off at the knee, his right arm and his tongue,” said Kassim Kazungu, the head of Albinos Without Borders.

Previous albino killings in the African country have been linked to people practising witchcraft. More than 20 albino people have been killed in Burundi since 2008. (iitalics added by the webmaster FVDK)

In 2016 a five-year-old albino girl was kidnapped from her home by gunmen. The child’s dismembered body was discovered shortly afterwards. (Also see my October 4, 2018 posting).

Burundi’s government has banned witch doctors who claim to perform spells and charms using albino body parts to bring good luck and wealth. But in some areas a complete albino skeleton is worth as much as $75,000 (£62,000), according to the Red Cross. 

Around 500 albino people live in Burundi.

Officials believe killings are carried out by local residents who work with witch doctors in neighbouring Tanzania, where 53 albino people have been killed since 2007 for their body parts. (italics added by the webmaster FVDK).

There are around 170,000 albino people living in Tanzania. 

Source: Teenage albino boy killed and dismembered in Burundi

Related article: 
Albino teen found dismembered in Burundi

Published: August 19, 2019
By: Agence France-Presse

NAIROBI, Kenya – A 15-year-old albino boy has been found dismembered in Burundi a week after going missing, the first such killing in the country in three years, a local albino group said Sunday.

Albinos, who have white skin and yellow hair as a result of a genetic disorder that causes the absence of pigmentation, are killed regularly in some African countries for their body parts, which are used in witchcraft rituals. 

The teenager was found dead late Saturday in the northwest of the country along the Rusizi river separating Burundi from the DR Congo, not far from his home village.

“The young albino was killed atrociously… His murderers cut his right leg off at the knee, his right arm and his tongue,” said Kassim Kazungu, the head of the local association Albinos Without Borders.

More than 20 albinos have been killed in Burundi since 2008, with the last case in 2016 when a five-year-old girl was found dismembered after being taken from her home. 

Kazungu said a four-year-old albino boy had been missing since October 2018 from the village of Cendajuri near the Tanzanian border, but that he had “no hope” of finding him alive.

Some experts believe the demand for albino body parts in Tanzania — where such attacks are the most prevalent — has fueled such killings in border areas.

Source: Albino teen found dismembered in Burundi: association

Ritual killers terrorise Lusaka, killing and removing body parts (2016 article)

Published: April 19, 2016
By: Paul Shalala – Africa blogging

Tired of discovering mutilated dead bodies, some Lusaka residents recently protested over what they term as lack of protection from the Zambia Police Service (ZPS) following the suspected ritual killings which have claimed six lives in the past four weeks.

Residents of Chunga township took to the streets chanting anti-Police slogans and calling for the killers to be arrested and jailed.

“We want these satanists to be arrested and killed. We have lost too many people and we cannot allow this to continue,” said one of the protesters who identified himself as Chimwemwe.

Today’s protest was triggered by the discovery of a mutilated body of 30 year old Anthony Mwaba of George township which was lying in a pool of blood. ZPS Deputy Spokesperson Rae Hamoonga confirmed that Mwaba’s private parts, heart and ears were removed by his killers and his body was dumped 500 meters away from his house.

“The body had no heart, both ears and private parts. We are making an earnest appeal to residents of George compound to remain calm and cooperate with the Police as we are working and trying with all legal means at our disposal to resolve this heinous crime as soon as possible,”said Hamoonga.

The wave of suspected ritual killings started on 17th March this year when four bodies of men where discovered in an area called Paradise within George township. The four had their private parts and ears removed and this annoyed the residents who protested and burnt down a Police Post in the area forcing Police officers to run for their lives.

A few days later, Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja visited the area and pleaded with the residents not to take the law into their own hands. Mr Kanganja later offered a K50,000 reward for anyone who would provide information leading to the capture of the criminals.

Since then, the Police has intensified patrols in the area but this has not deterred the killers. So far, Zingalume, Chunga, Lilanda and George townships are the areas where the killers are said to be terrorising residents.

The total number of people who have been brutally murdered and have their body parts removed are six: four had their ears, hearts and private parts missing while two had only hearts missing.

Five FM radio journalist Mike Sichula who has extensively covered the recent killings says two other bodies which were found in the area but had all body parts intact, are not in the Police tally for ritual murders.

“There are only six confirmed ritual killings including today’s. Those others were ruled out. There was the bar case where one was strangled and then the one who was found in his apartment,” said Sichula.

These killings have sent fear in the areas where bodies have been picked and residents are said to be getting indoors as early as 18:00hrs for safety. The speculation is that the killers are either business people involved in the trade of body parts or are serial killers who are taking pride in killing people for the sake of killing.

In July 2012, a 19 year old student at the National Institute for Public Administration in Lusaka, Ruth Mbandu, was brutally murdered and her naked body had its eyes and ears missing while her facial skin was peeled off.

Her lifeless body was dumped in Emmasdale, an area which is three kilometers from Zingalume, the area where the current ritual murders are taking place. Four years later, Ruth’s case is still before the courts of law and it has not yet been concluded.

TV2 reporter, Patricia Mapiki, who has extensively covered murders in the suburbs of Lusaka, says the latest cases of suspected ritual murders actually started in October last year.

“Paul, the killings in Zingalume started in October last year. Remember the 53 year old lady who was killed, then the albino, then another lady in February this year and then the four victims on 17th March,” said Patricia.

She points out that the pattern of these killings suggests that there is coordination. “What is worth noting is also that the bodies are dumped in the same area, raising suspicion that the slaughter is just in one area,” she added.

Police have so far not arrested anyone in connection with the killings and they have also not recovered the missing body parts.

Source: Ritual Killers Terrorise Lusaka, Killing And Removing Body Parts

Related:
Four male bodies with missing private parts picked up in Lusaka

Published: March 17, 2016 
By: News Desk  – Zambian Eye

Police in Lusaka this morning picked up four male bodies with missing private parts and ears in George compound near a place called The Paradise.

Police Spokesperson Charity Munganga-Chanda disclosed this in a statement made available to Zambian Eye Thursday morning. She said the two out of the four have been identified as Alex Zulu and Alias Phiri aged 21 and 18 years respectively. They were both last seen on 16th March 2016 around 18:00 hours.

The bodies were discovered by members of the public and had multiple head injuries. Preliminary investigations indicate that the deceased were dumped in the area after being murdered from elsewhere. The incident is suspected to have happened between 23:00 hours on 16th March and 06:00 hours 17th March 2016.

The bodies are lying at UTH mortuary.

“We are appealing to members of the public with information leading to the apprehension of the perpetrators to report to the nearest police station,” said Munganga-Chanda.

Source: Four male bodies with missing private parts picked up in Lusaka

And:
Four bodies with private parts and ears missing picked in George compound

Published: March 17, 2016
By: Lusaka Times

Police in Lusaka this morning picked up four male bodies with missing private parts and ears in George Compound near a place called The Paradise.

Two out of the four have been identified as Alex Zulu and Alias Phiri aged 21 and 18 years respectively both were last seen on 16th March 2016 around 18:00 Hours.

The bodies were discovered by members of the public and had multiple head injuries.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the deceased were dumped in the area after murdered from elsewhere.

The incident is suspected to have happened between 23:00 hours on 16th March and 06:00 hours 17th March 2016.

The bodies are lying at UTH mortuary.

Police spokesperson Charity Munganga Chanda has confirmed.

Source: Four bodies with private parts and ears missing picked in George compound

Kenya: Witchcraft tales in thirst for land put elders lives at risk

Introduction – under construction

A volunteer teacher Nguma Kiwala (right) talks to elders at Kaya Godhoma Centre in Kilifi County. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Published: April 13, 2019
By: Baya Samuel and Siago Cece

Hidden deep in the thicket, just a kilometre from Mrima wa Ndege township is Kaya Godhoma Centre, a sanctuary that has hosted tens of elders since 2008.

As we made our way in, we were stopped on our tracks, and told we had to undergo a cleansing ritual, as we were entering a cultural place.

“Let’s all stand up and form a ‘lungo’ (a traditional circle formed by a number of people gathered before prayers),” Emmanuel Katana, 45, the current chairman of the centre asked, and we all obliged.

For the next few minutes, together with the group of about 15 elders, we joined in their prayers, in Giriama dialect, thanking their gods for us, the visitors.

The prayers then ended with a handshake, signifying peace among the members. A brief introduction followed and later we were ushered inside the kaya minus our shoes, which we left at the bushy entrance.

KAYA MEETING

Looking famished, with despairing faces, several elderly persons trickled into the kaya meeting point, under a tree shade.

Some were dressed in faded shirts and torn clothes holding their three-legged stools, while supporting their thin frames with wooden walking sticks. The women, on the other hand, donning torn lesos, carried woven mats which they spread down for the rest to sit on.

Kahindi Ngoka cuts a figure of a man weighed down by worry. At 76, Mr Ngoka is bitter at how his family turned against him, as they eyed his prime land in Kilifi.

Mzee Ngoka was branded by his own wife and children a witch, before they attempted to harm him. All along, their prime target was his one-and-half-acre prime land.

WITCH

“The problem started in 2011, when my children accused me of being a witch. I defended myself, even suggesting that we go to a local witch buster called Mwasamani in Kwale County. Even when the ‘witch buster’ exonerated me, they didn’t stop,” Mr Ngoka said.

As he tried to ignore their accusations, the family upped the stakes by tricking him into a meeting at his eldest son’s house. “As soon as I entered, the doors were locked from outside and I knew that was the end. I had to act, sneaking through the thatched roof, and I escaped,” Mr Ngoka said.

What Mr Ngoka didn’t know was that a plan had already been hatched to push him out so that his land could be sold.

“Barely weeks after I escaped and came to Kaya Godhoma, I received news that part of my land had been sold and that one of my family members had gone to court to stop the sale,” Mzee Ngoka said. “I later realised that all the troubles were the plan of my wife and some of my children. They branded me a witch so that they could sell part of my land. I leave it to God,” he said.

WORRIES

Karisa Ndhudhi’s gait depicts a man burdened by worries about his life. The 63-year-old native of Konjora village in Kilifi, struggles to control his emotions, as he narrates his near death ordeal.

“I arrived here in August of 2017, having escaped death after a section of my family turned against me, branding me a witch. My problems started immediately after the death of my wife on December 24, 2013,” said Mr Ndundhi.

Immediately after her death, after a long illness, word went round that he was responsible for it, as he had bewitched her.

“Since I wanted to prove to them that I was not a witch, we went to a witchdoctor in Kwale, who exonerated me, after performing a ritual,” he said.

Thinking that he was off the hook, Mzee Ndundhi returned home, unaware that the worst was yet to come.

CHOLERA

“Four years later, in July 2017, my third born son contracted cholera, but unfortunately despite the quick medical intervention, he passed on. Hours after my son’s death, I was again accused of bewitching him and the villagers and part of my family members descended on me with stones,” he said.

As the youths stoned him, an assistant chief called officers from the nearby Ngerenya police post, who rescued the hapless old man.

“I was then taken to Chumani village where our larger family resides,” he said. “At Chumani, a decision was arrived that he must be taken to Kaya Godhoma.

“I still love my home but I fear that once I return, they will kill me. Now my land is at stake and I have heard that there is someone seeking to purchase it, with the help of my other children,” he said.

SAD TALES

Katana Thuva, 60, died a dejected bitter man. On paper, he was worth millions but in reality, he died a pauper, surrounded by elders who were also in the same predicament, offering nothing more than companionship and sad tales.

At the time of his death in October last year, Mzee Thuva owned a half-acre plot in Watamu, second row to the beach, which the current market value stands at Sh20 million.

He was also accused of practising witchcraft, even as he said his family was out to kill him, as they sought to sell his prized possession.

Mzee Ngoka and Ndhudhi’s predicament paint the sad picture facing hundreds of other elders in Kilifi and Kwale counties, which are being dispossessed off their prime land, some touching on the beaches, by money thirsty children, who want to make a quick killing from the black gold.

SOUGHT REFUGE

The elders have all sought refuge at the Kaya Godoma in Kilifi, a centre that offers them safe refuge; whiling time away, nursed by the haunted memories of their past, and the very resource they say connects them to their forefathers – land.

Within the Coastal counties, land ownership is still an emotive issue with the resource notably the cause of the killing of most elders.

In 2018, killings in Kilifi remained high with the security agencies stating that there are about 108 cases that were reported in the entire county.

Most of those we interviewed at Kaya Godhoma Rescue Centre in Vitengeni, Kilifi County connected their ordeal to land ownership.

Even with much spirited campaign from the government to end the trend, scores were killed especially in Kilifi and Kwale counties.

A report done jointly by Haki Africa and Institute for Land, Governance and Human Rights has shown that land ownership tussles were behind the killings. In an interview with Saturday Nation, Haki Africa executive director Khalid Hussein said that the report focused on the three years to 2018.

KILLED

The report shows that in 2016, 41 elderly people were killed, while in 2017, 37 lost their lives. Last year, there were around 25 old men and women who were killed. “The main thing we found from the residents is that witchcraft was being used as a trigger of forceful land inheritance, with the children becoming impatient,” Mr Hussein said.

“We are currently undertaking a programme which we are implementing with local leadership in Kilifi and Kwale counties to address this menace.”

Poverty is also said to be a contributing factor, which has driven a lot of the young people to have an insatiable appetite to sell their ancestral lands.

The report further said that most of the victims were innocent of the witchcraft accusation, but still lost their lives because of land tussles.

“When over 100 people are killed in a span of one year, then you know that there is a problem. The only thing we are doing at the moment is to raise awareness so that locals can desist from killing the elderly,” Kenya National Commission for Human Rights (KNCHR) Coast regional coordinator Brenda Dosio said.

WITCHCRAFT ACT

Ganze legislator Teddy Mwambire said he will be pushing for an amendment in Parliament to review the Witchcraft Act to cushion the elderly people from being murdered on suspicion of being sorcerers.

“The Act in its current form falls short of providing security to the aged. Ignorance is to blame for the rampant killings of the elderly in our society. People associate advanced age with witchcraft, a trend that has seen hundreds murdered. I will be seeking amendments of the Act or table another Bill altogether in parliament that will seek to cushion the elderly from such retrogressive acts,” he said.

DEEPER PROBLEMS

Mr Julius Wanyama, a Peace Programme Coordinator at Haki Yetu organisation, said “From our assessment, the witchcraft accusations against the elderly are an excuse, but a very fatal one. It’s a trigger to deeper problems within the society -that is the thirst for land and money.”

“As an organisation, we have had to seek a meeting with the county security team to address the problem. We discovered there was no ready forum to address or resolve misunderstanding and initiated a programme called ‘Wapatanishi’ (local interveners), who have helped especially when they of the targets. So far they have managed to save 20 in Kilifi County and 10 in Kwale who are currently living in their homes without fear of being killed.”

Source: Kenya: Witchcraft tales in thirst for land put elders lives at risk