Osun State, Nigeria: Civil society group raises alarm over surge in ritual killings, calls on government to act

Warning: the following graphic details of heinous crimes may upset the reader.

Osun State is with an area of less than 10,000 km2 one of the smallest of the 36 Nigerian states and with an estimated population of 4-5 million people the state has one of the highest population densities in the country, Africa’s most populated country. The history and cultural diversity and richness of the people in Osun State are phenomenal and well-known. It’s also interesting to know that Osun State has a literacy rate of about 80%, one of the highest literacy rates in the country.  

Unfortunately, and seemingly in contradiction with the educational level of the people in general, the state is also notoriously known for its ritual murders which are locally called ‘money rituals’. In the past I have posted a large number of reported ritual murder cases, too many to mention here.

Interested readers may use the drop-down menu (under ‘African countries’ on the home page) and then use the search option for ‘Osun State’ if interested in more information on the subject.

A civil society group called Every Life Matters recently stood up raising alarm over the increasing numbers of ritual murders in the state, calling on the authorities to act and end this frightening trend. The founder of the organisation, Mrs. Babalola Atinuke, and her associates are to be commended for their action. Hopefully their action will be successful in curbing the incidence of ritual killings in this part of the country with the long-term goal of ending these practices which have no place in the 21st century. 

The article presented below summarizes a number of recent ritual murder cases, only the tip of an iceberg as we know, their gruesome details may shock certain readers.
(FVDK)

Civil society group raises alarm over surge in ritual killings

Source: 

Published: January 21, 2022
By: Kazeem Badmus – Osun Defender, Nigeria

A State of Osun based civil society group, Every Life Matters (ELM), has raised the alarm over increasing rate of ritual killings in the state, calling on the government, security agencies and all other state actors to work together to curb the menace.

The founder of the organisation, Mrs. Babalola Atinuke, while speaking with OSUN DEFENDERon Tuesday, said cases of killing for ritual purposes are dishearteningly on the rise in Osun, a situation she said calls for drastic action from stakeholders.

Atinuke attributed ritual killings to the inordinate desire of youth of nowadays and few older people to get quick and easy money without working. 

According to Atinkue, if drastic step is not taken to curb the situation, the state might become unsafe for the good citizens and residents. 

She said: “The spate of killing for ritual purposes is gradually assuming an alarming rate in the state of Osun and if not quickly checked, it can make the state unsafe for the good people.

“Children and some people are no longer safe to go out at night and I want to urge the government, security agencies and all other state actors to rise up and work together to clamp down on those perpetrating this act.

“The cases, when read or heard of, are disheartening, weepy, pathetic and calls for a sober reflection. As an organisation, we are trying our best by orientating our people, most especially the youth, on the need to thread carefully on their quest for money.”

Ritual Killings On The Rise In Osun

OSUN DEFENDER takes a look at some cases of alleged ritual killings in the state in the past few months.

On January 5, 2022, a native doctor, Ganiyu Wasiu, living in Igege town, Ola-Oluwa local government, was caught with mutilated human body parts.

The suspect, according to the Osun State Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, was arrested while conveying the mutilated human parts in a ‘Ghana-Must-Go’ bag.

On December 14, 2021, an Islamic cleric, Lukman Salawudeen (36), was arrested by policemen in the state in connection with the murder of a lady, Bolaji Akerele. 

The cleric attested to the fact that he prepared ritual soap for his customer, even as he denied kown how his client got the human part he used to prepare the ritual soap.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olawale Olokode while briefing Newsmen, said: “The police discovered a dead body identified as Bolaji Akerele dumped somewhere in Ile-Ife.

“Upon investigation, it was discovered that her head and palms have been severed from the body. One Sunday Olajide was arrested in connection with the murder

“The arrest of the first suspect on December 6, 2021, led to the arrest of three other suspects in Iwo, Osun state by a police tactical team. They all confessed to having strangulated the woman to death with the motives of using her for money rituals”.

On August 9, 2021, an Ikirun based Ogboni cult member, Ifadare Afolabi, and his friend,  Ifaseun Afolabi, a herbalist, were arrested for allegedly conspiring to kill a 35-year-old man, Ayoade Fasesin, and use his body parts for ritual purposes.

Speaking to newsmen when he was paraded by the police, Ifadare said he used his victim’s head and legs for a charm to draw clients to his temple in Ikirun.

He, however, lamented that the charm did not work, as his temple did not see an influx of people as expected.

Also, a lady, Toyin Adewale, was sometimes in June, last year brutally murdered by her boyfriend for ritual purpose after having sex with her. 

The boyfriend, Akin, according to his accomplice Kabiru, invited the deceased from Ibadan to Apomu, in the State of Osun, with the sole aim of using her head and heart for money ritual. 

Narrating how they killed the lady, Kabiru said the victim was brought from Ibadan by his friend Akin, to his residence at Agunla Junction in Apomu, where he had sexual intercourse with her.

“Akin brought the deceased to my house at Agunla Junction Apomu. The lady is not from our area. She probably came from Ibadan. She was Akin’s girlfriend. Akin is an herbalist and my friend. After sleeping with the lady, I entered the room and he had already strangulated her. I only helped him to hold the lady’s leg.

“Akin told me he wanted to do a money ritual and needed some organs for the ritual. He promised that whatever I needed would be given to me, if I helped him.  I didn’t kill the woman, Akin did. I gave him a knife that he used to dismember the body and we packed it inside a box in my room.”

Source: Group Raises Alarm Over Surge In Ritual Killings

Uganda: Burundi refugee arrested for killing wife in ritual sacrifice

Burundi is one of the African countries which is notorious for the murderous attacks on persons with albinism – see my previous postings. The Central African country isn’t often in the news when it comes to other ritual murders, ritualistic activities and other cases of witchcraft. However, this does not mean that there is nothing to report on. It seems more a question of communication, given the fact that Burundi is a French-speaking country and thus isn’t easily picked up by the international media and powerful search machines.

The murder case described below happened in Uganda, an English-speaking country, maybe an explanation for why it drew international attention. It proves that superstition and the belief in the powerful forces of human sacrifices exist in both countries, Burundi as well as Uganda: the murderer killed his wife and took her blood to a witch in Kampala in the firm belief that this would bring him material wealth.  (FVDK).

30-year-old refugee arrested for killing wife in ritual sacrifice

Published: January 20, 2022
By: Howwe Buzz – Uganda

A 30-year-old Burundian refugee is being held by Isingiro Police for allegedly killing his wife in ritual sacrifice to get riches. 

According to Rwizi Region Police Spokesperson Samson Kasasira, the suspect is Pio Simiyimana, a resident of Kitwe Kyembogo Village in Rushasha Sub-County, while the deceased was only identified as Rozario.

Kasasira told journalists on Thursday, that the suspect was lured into witchcraft as a source of wealth, and at a point of no return, he was advised to kill his wife as a sacrifice. 
After the incident, Simiyimana went into hiding until Wednesday when he returned to the village, forcing suspicious residents to demand the whereabouts of the wife, who had been reported missing.

Upon interrogation, the suspect confessed to having killed his wife and buried her body behind their house. 

Detectives arrested Simiyimana and whisked him to Rushasha Police Post and later transferred to Rugaaga Police Station where he is being held. The police are currently pursuing a court order to exhume the body for postmortem as part of the ongoing investigations.

Frank Akampulira the Kitwe Kyembogo Village Chairman claims that the incident of murder might have happened on Monday, January 17, 2022. Residents became suspicious later when  Rozario did not show up in her garden on Tuesday and reported a case of a missing person at Rushasha Police Post.

Simiyimana allegedly disclosed that he killed the wife and took her blood to a witch in Kampala in pursuit of material wealth.

Source: 30-year-old refugee arrested for killing wife in ritual sacrifice

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Burundian refugee kills wife, sucks out her blood in ritual sacrifice for wealth

Published: January 20, 2022
By: Pamela Achom – Galaxy FM

Burundian refugee kills wife

A 30-year old Burundian refugee residing in Isingiro district has been arrested for killing his wife in a ritual sacrifice for money.

Pio Simiyimana, a resident of Kitwe Kyembogo Village in Rushasha Sub-County, was directed by a native witch-doctor he consulted in Kampala, to kill his wife Rozario in order to obtain money and wealth.

Simiyimana reportedly chopped his wife using a panga,.siphoned her blood and buried her lifeless body in the backyard of their residence before fleeing to an unknown destination.

Frank Akampulira the Kitwe Kyembogo Village LC 1 Chairman says that the incident of murder might have happened on Monday, January 17, 2022 because Rozario was absent for her daily garden duty on Tuesday. He says a case of a missing person was already reported at Rushasha Police Post.

Burundian refugee kills wife 

Samson Kasasira the Rwizi Region Police Spokesperson says the suspect only returned to the village on Wednesday raising suspicion among the locals about the whereabouts of his wife. The locals suspected he could have killed the wife, considering he was recently involved in witchcraft acts and demanded to know where she was.

Kasasira says upon interrogation, the suspect confessed to killing his wife and burying the body for wealth.

He says the suspectis being held at Rugaaga Police Station as they pursue a court order to exhume the body for postmortem.

Source: Burundian refugee kills wife, sucks out her blood in ritual sacrifice for wealth

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Burundi refugee arrested for killing wife in ritual sacrifice

Published: January 20, 2022
By: Edson Kinene – Uganda Radio Network

Samson Kasasira the Rwizi Region Police Spokesperson

Rwizi Region Police Spokesperson Samson Kasasira says that the suspect was lured into using witchcraft as a source of wealth, and at a point of no return, he was advised to kill kill his wife as a sacrifice.

For subscribers only: You need to Log in and be a client to read this story in full and get access to audio and images.

Source: Burundi Refugee Arrested for Killing Wife in Ritual Sacrifice

Nigeria: wife of the Bayelsa State governor, Dr Gloria Diri, leads campaign against ritual killings

Let me first of all state here that Bayelsa State isn’t an exception in Nigeria when it comes to ritualistic murders. My impression is that these heinous crimes occur in every state of Nigeria. But it is, however, exceptional, that high placed people raise their voices against such practices. 

In the past I have posted several articles on ritualistic activities including murder in the southern state of Bayelsa, see eg. my May 11, 2021 posting ‘The scourge of ritual killings in Nigeria‘ which included ‘money rituals’ in Bayelsa; furthermore, ‘Ritualist’ lynched in Bayelsa state‘ (May 24, 2019) and ‘Confession of Yahoo Plus Boys: “Ritual does not give us money‘ (November 11, 2019).

The year 2022 started promising in Bayelsa State when the wife of the Bayelsa State governor, Dr Gloria Diri, led a coalition of civil society organization to campaign against ritual killings and the harvesting (as it is called locally) and trafficking of human organs in some parts of the state. Moreover, she called on state security agencies to step up the protection of innocent children. The campaign started with the slogan “No To Ritual Killings.”

My congratulations to Dr Diri for this initiative and I wish her and her fellow Nigerians success in their endeavors to end ritualistic killings, at least in Bayelsa State! 
(FVDK)

Diri’s Wife Leads Campaign Against Ritual Killings, Others

Published: January 21, 2022
By: Osa Okhomina – Leadership, Nigeria

Wife of the Bayelsa State governor, Dr Gloria Diri, has led a coalition of civil society and girl-child welfare advocacy groups to campaign against ritual killings and harvest of human organs in some parts of the state.

She called on security agencies to step up the protection of the girl-child in the state. The campaign started as early as 7am with an estimated 12-kilometre road walk to publicly declare “No To Ritual Killings.”

The various groups and stakeholders under the umbrella of the State Gender Response Initiative Team (GRIT) noted that though two cases of attempted ritual killings have so far been detected in the state, the state would no longer condone the mysterious killing of young girls.

Among the groups which participated in the 12 kilometer walk against ritual killings are the coordinator, Committee for Democracy and Environmental Dividends ( CODED ), Mr Keme Opia ,the chairman Collins Cocodia Foundation  and special adviser , political to the state governor, High Chief  Collins Cocodia, wife of the chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council, HRM,  Mrs Josephine Diette-Spiff, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA),  Women Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria, the chairman of the state chapter of the NUJ, Comrade Samuel Numonengi, Gloria Diri Foundation, Do foundation, Child Protection Network, Ethanrose Foundation, National Council of Women Society, Medical Women Association of Nigeria ( MWAN), Do Foundation international, Starrz Safety initiative and others.

The women groups were armed with placards with inscription such as “save the girl child from ritual killings”,  “Together we CAN”, “Join GRIT to stop senseless killings”, “Bayelsa is peaceful not for harvesting human parts”, and “ Our girls ,our pride.”

Mrs Diri, who expressed concern over the strange cases recorded and the alleged participation of young boys in aborted cases in the state, said the land of Bayelsa rejects such dastardly act and that by the peace walk, the stakeholders in the state reject such acts.

She also called on the mothers and the men to protect the girl child against such evil acts, “For everyone that enters the state, the gods of the lands and the security agents are watching. Let us watch and protect one another against ritual killing. For those caught in the act, we will ensure that the law takes its course. We are also now against out-of-court settlements and we want the law to punish the perpetrators.  Ritual killing is a distraction because if a child goes missing, government will abandon what they are doing and go in search of the missing child.”

Source: Diri’s Wife Leads Campaign Against Ritual Killings, OthersDiri’s Wife Leads Campaign Against Ritual Killings, Others

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Bayelsa First lady leads public campaign against ritual killers, ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ boys

Published: January 20, 2022
By: Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa – The Sun, Nigeria

Disturbed by the recent cases of attempted ritual killings in Bayelsa State, the wife of Bayelsa governor, Dr Gloria Diri on Thursday led other groups on a public campaign against ritual killing and activities of Yahoo-yahoo boys in the state.

A Niger Delta University (NDU)student, Deborah Emafidion and a 13-year-old girl (name withheld) were recently rescued from suspected ritualists in the state.

The public campaign put together by the Gender Response Initiative Team (GRIT) and Committee for Democracy and Environmental Dividends (CODED) and other groups armed with placards with inscription such as ‘Save Our Children from Ritualists’ ‘No to Ritual Killings,’ Join GRIT to stop senseless killings’, ‘Bayelsa is peaceful not for harvesting human parts”, commenced with a 12 kilometre walk and distribution of flyers from Ekeki Park, Azikoro road to the Peace Park, opposite the Bayelsa State Government House.

Dr Diri, who incidentally is the initiator of GRIT, expressed concern over the strange cases recorded and the involvement of teenagers in attempted ritual killings in the state.

“The land of Bayelsa rejects such a dastardly act and by this peace walk, the stakeholders in the state reject such acts. The youths and women of Bayelsa reject it. I urge everyone to be their brothers’ keeper. If they try it in other states, Bayelsa will not condone it any longer. For everyone that enters the state, the gods of the lands and the security agents are watching. Let us watch and protect one another against ritual killing. For those caught in the act, we will ensure that the law takes its course. We are also now against out-of-court settlements and we want the law to punish the perpetrators,” she said.

The Chairperson of GRIT, Dise Ogbise, pointed out that with the peace walk against ritual killings; Governor Douye Diri led prosperity Government has once again made history by bringing together key actors in its fight against ritual killings and cultism in the state.

“The state Government has once again reiterated its resolve to end all forms of violence in the state as perpetrators of ritual killing and cultic groups will be prosecuted,” she said.

hairman of the Collins Cocodia Foundation and Special Adviser, Political to Bayelsa Governor, Chief Collins Cocodia, also expressed concern over the cases of ritual killings and called for a concerted effort to nip it in the bud.

Queen of Twon Brass Kingdom and Chairperson, Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Wives Association, Bayelsa, Queen Josephine Diette-Spiff said the case of Deborah underscored the danger facing girls and women in the state.

While commending GRIT and CODED for putting the campaign together, she called on security agencies to step up operations to be able to track perpetrators of all forms of violence.

Other groups that participated in the solidarity walk include International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA), Gloria Diri Foundation, Collins Cocodia Foundation, Do foundation among others.

Source: Bayelsa First lady leads public campaign against ritual killers, ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ boys

Liberia: Bong County protests election year ritual killings (2017 article)

A few days ago, on January 19, I published a post ‘Sketchy overview of the most famous ritual murder cases in Liberia since the 1960s‘ which included a link to a number of 2017 ritual murder cases. Since experience shows that after a certain lapse of time links to articles sometimes have disappeared or have become inaccessible I have decided to include this 2017 article in a separate post (hereunder).

As I have often emphasized here, the same experience of lost links  – gained after some 20 years dealing with this phenomenon – justifies (in my eyes) the choice I made of adopting the same approach with respect to (all) other articles containing information on ritual murders, witchcraft, superstition or related topics in SSA. 

I hope future researchers will be grateful for the choice I made! 
(FVDK)

Bong County protests election year ritual killings (2017 article)

Published: August 15, 2017
By: Rodney Sieh – Front Page Africa

Gbarnga, Bong County – An increasing number of mutilated bodies found this year in Bong County has sown fear among citizens of the county of resurgence in ritual killings.

“We have seen over five killings since the start of the year,” said Jacob Sameway, president of the Bong Christian Association (BOCA).

He said most of the victims were young girls whose lips, tongues, genitals and other organs had been removed.

The killings have stirred rising anger against the Government of Liberia and Police for doing too little to halt the murders.

“We want to shout out our disappointment and tell the authorities that this needs to stop,” said Olivia Weetol, president of the Bong County Women Organization.

Ansumana Jalloh, whose 12-year-old daughter was killed in Gbartala, Yellequelleh district in mid-December, told FrontPageAfrica he was losing hope for justice.

“When the Police removed the body from the water, they saw that the tongue, the lips, and the genitals were cut off,” he said.

“I filed a complaint but nothing has been done.”

In the most high-profile ritual murder case in Bong County to date, is a 29-year-old girl named Angeline Kolleh, 29, whose body was recently discovered decomposed in the Sugar Hill Community in Gbarnga.

Bong residents disappointed

Residents of the county told FrontPageAfrica Tuesday they are frustrated with the number of apparent ritual killings for multi purposes.

They marched through the streets of Gbarnga to demand that more should be done to address these crimes.

Women of the county under the banner the Bong County Women Association and the Bong Christian Association marched to the Gbarnga administration building on Tuesday and handed over position statements to acting Bong County Superintendent Anthony Sheriff and Bong County Attorney Wilkins Nat detailing several killings that had taken place in Bong County.

The position statement also said that residents in the county no longer feel safe, which is their constitutional rights.

“We present the position statement to the leadership of the county and the joint security apparatus in the county to address the issue of ritual purposes and wants the government empower the security particularly the Police to conduct rigorous search for Moses Porkpah, who is the alleged murder of Doris Nyan to ensure his arrest and to face justice without delay and consequences of his actions,” it said.

‘Police Failing Us’

The document detailed several murder cases which were opened, but in which no arrests were apparently made.

“The death aged 27-year-old Madasu Sannoe, who was reportedly murdered by her husband on June 17, 2015.

The remains of Sannoe is still at the St. Kennedy funeral home without clear decision from either the government nor her family members concerning her burial,” it alleged.

“Secondly, Doris Nyan aged 29 was killed in Cow Farm, Zota district on June 1, 2017 by her husband Moses Porkpah, who also fired two other community people in an effort to get him arrested. To date, Porkpah is yet to be arrested,” it added.

John Flomo aged 30 was killed in Bowee town on October 16, 2016. Jacob Kollie aged 25 was killed in Jennipleta, Jorquelleh District One on December 19, 2016. Ansu Massaquoi aged 45 was killed at Gull farm, Jorquelleh district on January 21, 2017,” it added.

“Our Police are failing us… it is like [criminals] did their own research to find that it will be much easier here because the Police are behaving like school principals sitting in their offices instead of being out in the streets saving lives,” said relatives of Nyan.

It called for the Police to intervene with immediate effect.

“We also expect to get response with immediate effect before the community takes law into their own hands,” the relative said.

Responding to the citizens’ petition, Bong County Attorney, Wilkins Nahn, said the government will ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

Nahn called for patience from victims as all was being done to increase the search of Porkpah and other perpetrators. “I would like to thank you for resorting to this peaceful manner but I would like to assure that the Police have been exerting efforts to ensure that the perpetrators are arrested,” he said.

Solurce: Vote-Rich Liberian County Protests Election Year Ritualistic Killings

Sketchy overview of the most famous ritual murder cases in Liberia since the 1960s

As is clear from the article below, all Liberian presidents including William Tubman, William Tolbert, Samuel Doe, Charles Taylor, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as well as other political leaders  are aware of the occurrence of ritual murders in the country, notably during election campaigns. It is even whispered that some presidents had a more than passive role in this respect but these – sometimes persistent – rumors have never been confirmed or proven.

The author, Melvin Pyne, presents an astonishing – sketchy – overview of ritualistic murders from the 1960s onwards hence covering a period of over half a century. 

He hasn’t mentioned them all. Certain cases have never been discovered. The thick Liberian forests hide many ritual murder crimes, I am very sure about this harsh reality, though without having proof of it. Nevertheless I am pretty sure that many people in Liberia will confirm this ‘gut feeling’ of mine (webmaster FVDK).

The Liberian government must take charge of our security, or else…

Published: January 17, 2022
By: Melvin D. Weh – Front Page Africa 

Last year ended on a rather low note for many  Liberians with the wave of alleged ritualistic, serial killings which instilled fear across the country. Communities and residents were on the brink of paranoia. Thus is upsetting the way of life for everyone.

Liberian history tells us that such killings have happened in the past. In the 60s and 70s, Gboyos (Heartmen) ravaged the southeastern parts of the country. Gboyos were a feared society that allegedly wore top hats, black suits, and captured people for ritualistic purposes. They took body parts, especially the hearts of their victims, thus earning them the nickname, Heartmen. The situation was so bad that the citizens pressured the government to act.

In 1979, the administration of President William Tolbert, took action. It investigated and convicted seven individuals including top government officials who were involved in the ritualistic murder of Mr. Moses Tweh in Harper, Maryland County. The court, after hearing the case, established a precedent. They handed down the verdict of guilty. The convicts were sentenced to death and subsequently executed publicly in Harper. Amongst those executed were James Anderson, Superintendent of Maryland County, Allen Yancy, representative of Maryland County and Philip B. Seyton, Senior Inspector of the Ministry of Commerce, Maryland County. This deterrent action practically slowed the act.

Years later in 1989, President Samuel Doe’s administration tried and convicted Defense Minister Maj. General Gray D. Allison and his wife Mrs. Angeline Watta Allison for the ritual murder of a police officer, J. Melvin Pyne in the Caldwell community. Gen. Allison was tried under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) at a military tribunal, found guilty and sent to Belleh Yalla, the maximum-security prison in Lofa County. His wife was convicted at ‘Criminal Court C’, and sentenced to life imprisonment according to the Mr. Max  Dennis, son of Mrs. Allison.

See: PYJ Hunted As Int’l War Crimes Investigators Arrive In Monrovia – Hot Pepper Releases More On How He Murdered Gray Allison And Wife (published August 12, 2015)

Allison was the most renowned government official convicted during the Doe regime. However, it is reported that an aide to president Doe, Mr. David K. Clarke and five others were tried, convicted and executed for the ritual murder of two little boys in 1987.

See: Ritual killings brings arrest of 6 Liberians (published May 4, 1987; New York Times).

Also: Ritual killings continue to be a plague  (Part III, ‘Liberia Past and Present’; webmaster FVDK))

And: Ritual killing laid to Liberian Official (published August 15, 1989; New York Times)

Liberia: Prince Johnson sentenced my mother to death – Watta Allison’s son breaks silence (published June 28, 2018, FP Africa)  

During the war years and President Taylor’s administration, there were rumors of murders for ‘Juju’ purposes. We must note that those were years of injustice and arbitrary justice, therefore there is not much record on how those cases were legally handled. Men in arms allegedly conducted speedy quasi-investigations and punished alleged perpetrators, wrongly too. Serious attention was not placed on the issues perhaps because killings were almost the norm, sadly.

On 29 June 2005 before the special general elections, there were reports of ritualistic killings almost across the country. The interim leader, Gyude Bryant warned that candidates tempted to boost their chances by carrying out human sacrifices will be executed if caught. While no one was successfully tried and convicted, Mr. Bryant’s warning seemed to have eased the situation for sometimes, as it was observed. ( BBC News, 29 June 2005)

In 2017 during the reign of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, protesters (women in majority) stormed Gbarnga City in demand of answers to over series of young women including 12 years old girl who were seen dead with missing body parts. The women of the county under the banner Bong Women Association and the Bong Christian Association marched in the streets demanding more actions from the government in addressing such monstrous crimes.

See: Vote-Rich Liberian County Protests Election Year Ritualistic Killings (published August 15, 2017, Front Page Africa)

Another notable case of ritual killing was the murder of seventeen years old Cyrus Yeawonyee in September 2015 in the suburb of the commercial city of Ganta. Cyrus was killed and body parts including eyes, ears and tongue were extracted according to report. Cyrus’ convicted killer was another teenager, Jacob Vambo who was sentenced to life in prison in February 2016. Vambo confessed to luring his friend Cyrus into the trap of powerful muscular men who allegedly killed him for a well-connected government official. His claims of the involvement of others in the killing could not be authenticated to punish those he had accused.

However, his lawyer (a Public Defendant) Cllr. Mewaseh Payebayee (late) and some observers believed his claims as they felt such a lanky looking child was incapable of overpowering someone and committing such gruesome murder.

A day after the investigation into Cyrus’ murder case by the Liberia National Police-LNP on 29th September 2015, Ganta experienced one of the most violent disruptions since the civil war. This time, it was a motorcyclist. The news of Cyrus killing was gradually fueling tension when the young man was discovered dead with blood allegedly drained from his body for the wealthy businessperson. Though, investigation disproved the allegation of ritual killing and established that the killing happened as a result of robbery, the damage was done. The popular Alvino Hotel in the City was looted and burned while two persons were reported dead, among the many damages done. About fifty arrests were made in connection to the riot. 

Blood and Power: Investigating a Ritual Murder in Liberia. November 28, 2017 article.
While a teenager is convicted of a gruesome killing, questions linger about occult violence among the power elite. By Ashoka Mokpo 
Click on image to access article 

With such history, it is no surprise why the public will be alarmed if there is a rearing up of such activities. The FrontPage Africa News Paper September 23, 2021 edition reported the alleged murder of John Tubman at his residence with deep cuts in the neck. John was the son of Liberia’s longest serving president William V.S. Tubman. Barely a month later, the death was reported of the renowned Rev. William Richard Tolbert, III, a peace ambassador and son of another former president, William Richard Tolbert, Jr. then, a Madam Maude Elliot of the Liberia Immigration Services (LIS) was also found dead. Both were murdered in their respective homes in similar conditions.

Additionally, amongst many others, the FrontPage Africa newspaper published on November 8, 2021 a list of several murders all of which occurred this year alone with victims displaying similar conditions. On that list was Jane Doe (Unidentified Woman) found on 17th Street Beach (September); Mordecai Nyemah (May), Florence Massaquoi (February), as well as, Robert M. Blamo, Jr., Bobby S. Gbeanquoi, and Siafa G. Boimah.

While last year, amidst the global Covid-19 pandemic, several other killings occurred- Elijah Polumah, Abraham Tumay, and George B. Fanbutu, mentioning a few.

But most troubling of all this were two separate incidents. First, is a statement by President George Weah in November, when he signed the book of condolence for the late Mr. Emmanuel Barten Nyenswa. Mr. Weah is on record urging citizens and residents to install at their premises, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras. He pointed out that government’s focus of security was on the country’s borders. Mr. Nyensuah’s death like three other auditors from the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) is still being investigated. Many believe their deaths were for political reasons or cover up for some malpractices they may have uncovered.

Mr. Weah is either unaware of the financial hardship in the country or does not care much about the innocent lives being lost. A people that can barely afford, how does he expect them to buy CCTVs that cost $1000 USD at a minimum? With many parts of the city out of electricity, how does he expect the cameras to work?

The second concerning issue is the remark made by the Liberia National Police Inspector General, Col. Patrick Sudue at Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) press conference.  Col. Sudue alleged that the news of serial and ritualistic killings in Monrovia and other parts of the country were fake stories being created by opposition politicians who want to implant fear and give negative image of the country and malign government’s reputation.

The IG’s statement on these recent issues suggests a political posturing. While Col. Sudue is a political appointee, the office of the Inspector General needs to be apolitical and professional, always endeavoring to maintain the integrity and independence of the Liberia National Police.

In midst of this scaring security situation, such comments undermine the confidence of the people in the government and the ability of the Liberian National Police to combat these criminal acts.

Such levels of insecurities lead to several dire consequences. Those who can afford, would now take the law into their own hands, those who can’t might find other means not necessarily legal. Are we to now become a lawless society? Then, there is the investment angle. It doesn’t present a secured environment for investors. They could then leave the country and with them other citizens and residents out of fear would flee the country. Investors (local and international) do shy away from investing due to insecurity and lack of justice. When investors do not invest, economically the country is affected as unemployment increases. Government incomes (personal and corporate income taxes are lost. Aggrieved citizens usually take mob justice as the only alternative. These amongst many negative reactions are recipes for chaos and anarchy.

The questions now are: what can be done here to change the atmosphere of fear? And how can we do it?

To these questions considering the preceding, the government is under obligation to protect the lives of those residing in the country. To ensure that the citizens do not regret electing the current administration, she has to act, and do it now. To avoid mob justice, the government must take charge of matters immediately. To avoid fleeing of citizens and other residents from the country, the government must muster the courage to dig deep into these happenings and punish perpetrators. To ensure current and potential investors that their lives and properties will be protected here, the government must change gear and expedite investigations into these matters.

In closing, while these acts have happened in the past, the onus is always on the government to fight them and protect the people. The Liberian National Police has to step-up, take control of the security, and avoid becoming political in handling these issues.

Source: The Liberian Government Must Take Charge Of Our Security, Or Else…

Nigeria: six suspected ritualists nabbed over killing of 9-year-old boy in Zamfara State

Another sad story about the ritual killing of a 9-year old boy for ‘money rituals’ in Nigeria, this time in Zamfara State, in the islamic north of Africa’s most populated country. As I have recounted several times before, ritual murders occur in virtually every state in Nigeria and I fear that the cases which become known are just the tip of an iceberg.

Fortunately the police has reacted swiftly and arrested a number of suspects. Let’s pray that the story doesn’t fizzle out and that after a fair trial justice will be done. But there’s more work to do: the prevention of future ritual murders by eradicating the belief in ‘juju’ (webmaster FVDK).

Six suspected ritualists nabbed over killing of 9-year-old boy In Zamfara State

Published: January 12, 2022
By: Shehu Umar, Gusau – Daily Trust   

Zamfara State police command has arrested six people in connection with the killing of a nine-year-old boy for ritual purpose in Gusau, Caliphate Trust has learnt. 

The police had launched a manhunt for the culprits after a tip-off that the boy was  seen with one of them on the day he was abducted and killed.  

The suspects, upon interrogation by the police, revealed that they were assigned to kill the boy and extract parts of his body by an individual in Tudun Wada area of Gusau metropolis. 

One of them was reported to have said they had earlier killed two persons for ritual. He said he had been experiencing nightmares over the killing as the slain boy kept appearing to him in his dream smiling. 

The ring leader of the group responsible for the ritual killing was later apprehended and confessed to security operatives that he was the brain behind the killing of the boy.

Sources said the suspects had named one person in the state’s business community but that could not be independently verified.

The remains of the boy, identified Ahmad Aliyu Ijaba, was found in an uncompleted building in Barakallahu area of Gusau metropolis in December.  

The owner of the building spotted the decomposing body of the little boy when he went  to continue his construction work and immediately alerted the police. 

Ahmad went missing shortly after he came back from Islamiyya School in Gadar Baga  area of the city.  

The state police command’s spokesman, SP Muhammad Shehu, said investigation is ongoing and that he would not talk further about the matter.

Source: Six Suspected Ritualists Nabbed Over Killing Of 9-Year-Old Boy In Zamfara

Malawi: NGOs dismayed with executive silence on attacks and killings of persons with albinism

“Malawi is the worst case on the whole African continent as far as attacks, abductions and killings of persons with albinism is concerned.”

A never ending story?
Also see the comment(s) on the article below, follow the original link (webmaster FVDK)

Muhamba: We are challenging the police to ensure our total security from 2022 and beyond
Photo by Watipaso Mzungu – Nyasa Times

Published: December 20, 2021
By: Watipaso Mzungu –  Nyasa Times

Source: NGOs dismayed with executive silence on attacks and killings of persons with albinism