Not a word too much. This Op-Ed of the Nigerian newspaper ‘For God and Country LEADERSHIP’ echoes my firmest belief, my most ardent wish. I wholeheartedly share the editors’ cry for an end to ritual killings, for justice and the rule of law in Africa’s most populated country, Nigeria. Repeatedly I have drawn here attention to the fact that ritual murders are rampant in the country and I have reported numerous examples on this website. When will the Nigerian authorities, both on the federal as the state level, act accordingly? (webmaster FVDK)
Ritual Killing: Let The Carnage Stop
Published: March 5, 2021 By: Leadership, Nigeria – Editorial
Last week, the internet was awash, yet again, with another case of suspected mass kidnapping and ritual killings. In the suburb of Onitsha, Anambra State, a woman and her children were found, in a bizarre collaboration, with several toddlers and kids whom she randomly selected to pound in a mortar into mash and then deliver the blood-cuddling product to her clients. The self-acclaimed prophetess has since been arrested.
Such a gory tale spiced with the worst dose of cruelty and man’s inhumanity to man brings to the fore the pervasive wickedness and deceit of the human mind.Still suspected, alleged and proven cases of ritual killings, grave robbery and dealing in human parts are replete across the land. From Calabar to Maiduguri and Lagos to Sokoto such cases, reported and unreported, fill the news space and rumour mills drawing attention to tendencies towards the grotesque.
Sadly, this development is becoming scarier by the day as the young, the old, male and female share in this ugly trend, engaging in a macabre competition with kidnapping and terrorism, all of which make the land more insecure. It gores the heart that even with the alarm raised by well-meaning individuals, institutions and organisations, the situation rather than abate, persists.
In the opinion of this newspaper, it is somewhat confounding that a nation whose citizens pride themselves as the most religious and happiest on earth could descend so low into debauchery, sheer cold-blooded murder and cannibalism in the name of ritual killings. To which god(s) do the perpetrators of these evil acts offer their fellow human beings as sacrifice and for what purpose?
As unacceptable as it is, the ailing economy may present itself as a lousy excuse for those who risk such practices. Yet, it is utterly inconceivable that some do sink this abysmally low to the point of patronising all shades of nocturnal, diabolical and dubious characters including kidnappers just to get the raw materials to feed their yawning bestial desire.
In our considered opinion, it is a shame if not utterly reprehensible that motherless homes, orphanages and health institutions euphemistically referred to as baby factories have been reported to be part of the huge source which feeds the furnace of this raging conflagration of ritual killings.
We recall that, consistently, well-meaning Nigerians, religious leaders, other leaders of thought and culture enthusiasts among them have, at various times, spoken out in open condemnation of this drift towards nihilism. We urge them to do more. As a matter of urgency, they should step up the campaigns against ritual killing, an act that is not only despicable to mortals but also offensive to the Supreme Being.
It is pertinent to stress that it is time all the relevant government agencies and non-state actors took the war against ritual killing to the perpetrators. There is an urgent need to save the country from being stigmatised by this ugly stamp added to those of insecurity and corruption which are already an albatross on the neck of Nigeria. The case of baby Adam (a victim of ritual killing) confirmed to have been killed in faraway United Kingdom but whose origin was traced to Nigeria is still fresh in the mind.
Behind this ugly trend is cultism indulged in by some members of society who yield to the negative in their mindless quest for power and the penchant to be dreaded and feared. These are people who nurture the self- delusion of being in charge and in control. Their co-travellers in this trip to nothingness, in our view, are the get rich quick maniacs who go to any length to acquire wealth for the sake of it. And when they soon realise that it is all vanity, they go to their religious leaders to confess their blood oaths. The police have a right to know whose blood was used in those unwholesome rituals. The religious leaders owe it a duty to humanity to report such confessions.
While we salute the courage and gallantry of the security personnel who often put their own lives on the line trying to secure the land, it is also important to let them know that the battle will not be won until the last vestige of anti-social behaviour is extirpated from decent society.
Furthermore, we implore law-making bodies, across all the tiers of government, to enact laws (where not in existence), strengthen the hands of the law enforcement operatives, with stringent penalties and other wherewithal necessary to bring these evil elements to justice.
I have hesitated to present here the following reports since there’s no kidnapping, mutilation or murder involved, hence no violation of human rights. However, I decided to include these articles for three reasons.
First, to demonstrate the pervasive existence of the belief in superstition in society, not only among ‘ordinary’ (read: uneducated) people but also among highly educated people such as lawyers and even judges. Apparently, the latter consider the belief in witchcraft enough reason to disband many-year-old marriages if a couple accuses one another of witchcraft. It is important to emphasize that it’s in this context – belief in witchcraft – that ritualistic activities such as murders, kidnappings, mutilation of victims and grave robbing occur. Hence, the second reason to include these reports is that the belief in witchcraft, even if it does not culminate in murder or another heinous crime, lies at the basis of ritualistic killings (known as ‘money rituals’ in Nigeria), which terrorize the population and form a serious and intolerable infringement upon their basic human right to live without fear. And thirdly, last but not least, this site is not only focusing on ritual killings but also on witchcraft and superstition, after all closely related (webmaster FVDK).
My husband wants to use me for ritual – Woman tells court
Court dissolves 10-year-old marriage over alleged money ritual
Published: November 24, 2020 By: Daily Post, Nigeria – Annie Nwosu
A Mapo Customary Court in Ibadan, on Tuesday dissolved a 10-year-old marriage between one Basirat Adeyoyin and estranged husband, Adeyoyin Niyi over attempted money ritual. Basirat told the court that she was calling it quit with her husband because, “he was making desperate effort to use her for money ritual.’’
She said that she first noticed this when her husband did not show any regret after she lost her last pregnancy due to much sexual activities with him.
“Suddenly in 2018, Niyi came home one night and told me that he received a message that he must have a seven-day marathon sex with me without a gap of any day.
“I read no meaning to it and I allowed him until there was a problem.
“I was already carrying a three month-old pregnancy before that time and on the second day of the marathon sex, I lost the pregnancy.
“I took care of myself in the hospital only for Niyi to come home to start requesting for the continuation of the seven-day marathon sex even when I was still bleeding.
“Then, I consulted my parents and relatives and from every indication, we discovered that he was trying to use me for money ritual, ”Basirat said.
Her husband, Niyi in his defense said his wife was too troublesome for him and was a careless housewife.
“Even if this court would dissolve my marriage, I pray to be given custody of the two children because Basirat cannot take care of them.
“One of the young boys in our neighbourhood raped our first child and she did not tell me about the incident.
“My Lord, it was because she often overstay in the market that such a thing could happen,” Niyi added.
Delivering judgment, the President of the court, Chief Ademola Odunade said that the court would not watch until there was anarchy before making the right decision.
Odunade, therefore, dissolved the union between Basirat and Niyi in the interest of peace and tranquility.
He awarded custody of the two children produced by the union to the plaintiff and ordered the respondent to pay N10, 000 as the children’s monthly feeding allowance, NAN reports.
Another ritual murder case in Kenya. At least, all indications point to this cruel, senseless crime motivated by greed and based on superstition. Warning: the following stories contain graphic details of the murder of a young child (webmaster FVDK).
Murang’a: Girl, 8, found dumped with missing body parts hours after she disappeared
Shock has engulfed Kayu village in Kangema, Murang’a after a body of an eight-year-old girl was discovered badly mutilated and some body parts missing in what is believed to be a ritual killing.
According to the locals, the minor, Hannah Wambui went missing on Monday evening at around 7.30 pm. At the time, Wambui was at their shop located in their home compound and a search was immediately launched.
Kangema Subcounty Police Commander John Ogolla said they had arrested a 34-year-old neighbour of the deceased who is a casual labourer and was conducting investigations to establish whether he was involved in the murder.
Gideon Gitahi, the local Nyumba Kumi chairperson said after receiving a distress call from the deceased’s father, residents decided to move door to door in search of the little girl.
“Her mother had gone to look after a sick relative in Nairobi and so the deceased had been left under the care of her father. The girl went missing while the father was preparing supper in the main house,” said Gitahi.
He added that after conducting a search, the villagers found one of the deceased’s socks at the main suspect’s bedside and the police were promptly called.
Even after the police arrested the culprit, locals continued with their search mission for the whole night.
The long search came to an end after one of the neighbours who was involved in the search stepped on the body which had been dumped at a tea plantation.
Stephen Mwangi said the body had its private parts removed and skinned from the chest to the stomach.
“I could not look at the body twice, I made a distress call and when people came, they confirmed that it was the missing girl,” Mwangi said.
Mwangi joined his neighbours in alluding that the girl died of a cult activity but they also suspected that she could have been defiled before being killed.
“Her clothes were found in Kianguku shopping centre but her socks were found at the bed of the main suspect leads us to conclude that he could have defiled the minor,” locals claimed.
But it is the lack of bloodstains at the scene that baffled the locals who are yet to find any sign of bloodstains at any place in the village.
“Even if the girl was killed elsewhere and the body transferred to the scene, we could have seen bloodstains, and again the private parts were missing,” Gitahi said.
The deceased was a Standard One pupil at Rwathia Primary School and was the firstborn in a family of two.
Outrage over ritual-like murder of 8 year-old girl in Murang’a
Published: March 2, 2021 By: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation – Sylvia Ombuya/ Wambui Mwangi
Police in Murang’a County have launched investigations into the mysterious murder of an 8 year-old girl.
The badly mutilated body of Hannah Wambui was discovered shortly after she went missing on Monday evening
According to residents of Kayu village in Kangema Constituency , the minor went missing on Monday evening at around 7:30 pm at their shop located in their home compound when the search ensued.
According to area Nyumba Kumi Initiative chairperson Gideon Gitahi, residents decided to conduct a door to door search for the girl after receiving a distress call from the deceased father.
“Her mother had gone to look after a sick relative in Nairobi and so the deceased had been left under the care of her father. When the father was preparing supper, the girl was in their shop located in their homestead. After conducting a search from door to door, we found one sock at the bed of the main suspect and we called the police, it was around 10pm,” Gitahi said.
Even after the police arrested the culprit, locals continued with their search mission overnight.
“Her clothes were found in Kianguku shopping centre but her socks were found at the bed of the main suspect leading us to conclude that he could have defiled the minor,” locals claimed.
One of the neighbors who was on his way to answer the distress call stumbled on the body which had been dumped at a tea plantation bringing to an end the long search.
According to Stephen Mwangi, the body had its private parts removed and skinned from the chest to the stomach in what has triggered fears that the murder could have been a ritual killing.
“I could not look at the body twice, I also made a distress call and people came and confirmed that it was the missing girl,” Mwangi said.
The deceased was a Standard One pupil at Rwathia Primary School and was the first born in a family of two.
The body of an eight-year-old who went missing last night (Monday) was on Tuesday, March 2 found in Kayu Village, Murang’a county. The girl was brutally murdered and dumped at a tea plantation
Hannah Wambui was a grade one pupil at Rwathia Primary school went missing on March 1, 2021. According to residents, she had been left in the care of her father after her mother left for Nairobi to care for a sick relative.
She reportedly went missing at 7:30 pm at their shop in the homestead while her father was making supper. The father called the local Nyumba Kumi Chair, Gideon Gitahi who called for an immediate door-to-door search.
“Her mother had gone to look after a sick relative in Nairobi and so the deceased had been left under the care of her father. The girl went missing while the father was preparing supper in the main house,” stated Gitahi.
One of the members of the search party raised an alarm after finding one of the girls’ socks in a man’s house.
“Her clothes were found in Kianguku shopping center but her socks were found at the bed of the main suspect leading us to conclude that he could have defiled the minor,” the locals reported.
However, police are also pursuing the angle of a ritual killing as the girl’s private parts had been removed.
The man was arrested but the search went on until one neighbor stepped on the body of the girl in a tea plantation.
“I could not look at the body twice, I made a distress call and when people came, they confirmed that it was the missing girl,” said Mwangi who has found the body.
There were no bloodstains at the scene where she was found which led the locals to believe that the act must have been propagated elsewhere.
“Even if the girl was killed elsewhere and the body transferred to the scene, we could have seen bloodstains, and again the private parts were missing,” added Gitahi.
Kangema Subcounty Police Commander John Ogolla said they arrested the 34-year-old man in whose house a sock was found and investigations are underway to unravel the murder.
Bauchi State Police Command has arrested a 28-year-old herbalist, Rufa’i Yunusa, for allegedly killing four children, aged between two and four, for ritual purposes.
Yunusa who is a resident of Rumbu village, in the Ningi Local Government of Bauchi State, was apprehended by the police on Wednesday.
The development was confirmed in a statement released by the spokesperson of the command, Ahmed Wakil, on Sunday.
Wakil noted that Yunusa was arrested due to a complaint by one Isyaku Ahmed of Kafin Madaki, that the suspect allegedly deceived him that his daughter was suffering from an ailment that required spiritual intervention.
The suspect, however, killed the child after the father handed her over to him for the healing process.
He said, “The Bauchi State Police Command on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, arrested a 28-year-old suspected ritualist, Rufa’i Yunusa, who has been involved in the killing of not less than four little children between the ages of two and four.”
“His arrest followed a complaint lodged at the Ganjuwa division of the state command on the same day around 4.30 pm by one Isyaku Ahmed, of Unguwan Yamma, Kafin Madaki.”
“He reported that on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at about 12.30 pm, he took his daughter, Maimuna Isyaku, to a native doctor (Rufa’i Yunusa) for traditional treatment. Rufa’i told him that his daughter (Maimuna) was suffering from a spiritual ailment and assured him that his daughter would be cured.”
“He then solicited and got the sum of N10,000 from the father, after which he took the little girl into the forest purportedly for a spiritual healing session, only to return after a while to inform the girl’s father that the little girl mysteriously disappeared during the process.”
“Upon receipt of the report, the Ganjuwa divisional patrol team swung into action, combed the entire forest and found the slaughtered body of the said Maimuna.”
The police spokesman said the victim was rushed to a hospital, where she was confirmed dead by a medical doctor.
He said the suspect, during interrogation, voluntarily confessed to killing the girl.
“He further revealed that she was not his only victim and claimed to usually carry out the act with parental consent by tacitly informing them that the children might not return during healing sessions.
“A knife and 26 pairs of children clothing were recovered as exhibits during the operation and investigations are ongoing, after which the suspect will be charged to court for prosecution and possible conviction,” he added.
Bauchi herbalist arrested for killing four children for rituals
Published: February 24, By: The Street Journal, TSJ – Lucy Adegbe
The police in Bauchi State have arrested a herbalist, 28, for allegedly killing four children, between the ages of 2 and 4 for ritual purposes.
According to the police spokesperson, Ahmed Wakil, the suspected ritualist, Rufa’i Yunusa, of Rumbu village, in the Ningi Local Government of Bauchi State, was arrested on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.
The spokesperson said the arrest followed a complaint by one Isyaku Ahmed of Kafin Madaki, that the suspect allegedly deceived him that his daughter was suffering from an ailment that required spiritual intervention.
SP Wakil said Yunusa, however, killed the child after the father released her to him for the healing process.
The statement said, “The Bauchi State Police Command on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, arrested a 28-year-old suspected ritualist, Rufa’i Yunusa, who has been involved in the killing of not less than four little children between the ages of two and four.
“His arrest followed a complaint lodged at the Ganjuwa division of the state command on the same day around 4.30 pm by one Isyaku Ahmed, of Unguwan Yamma, Kafin Madaki.
“He reported that on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at about 12.30 pm, he took his daughter, Maimuna Isyaku, to a native doctor (Rufa’i Yunusa) for traditional treatment. Rufa’i told him that his daughter (Maimuna) was suffering from a spiritual ailment and assured him that his daughter would be cured.
“He then solicited and got the sum of N10,000 from the father, after which he took the little girl into the forest purportedly for a spiritual healing session, only to return after a while to inform the girl’s father that the little girl mysteriously disappeared during the process.
“Upon receipt of the report, the Ganjuwa divisional patrol team swung into action, combed the entire forest and found the slaughtered body of the said Maimuna.”
The police spokesman said the victim was rushed to a hospital, where she was confirmed dead by a medical doctor, adding that during interrogation, the suspect voluntarily confessed to killing the girl.
“He further revealed that she was not his only victim and claimed to usually carry out the act with parental consent by tacitly informing them that the children might not return during healing sessions.
“A knife and 26 pairs of children clothing were recovered as exhibits during the operation and investigations are ongoing, after which the suspect will be charged to court for prosecution and possible conviction,” the statement added.
The Paramount Ruler of Iwoland, Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has again raised his voice against the seemingly endless killing of innocent citizens for ritual purposes in Nigeria. Its is not the first time, as I have repeatedly said here on this site.
This week, on February 24, he said what I always feared and have indicated multiple times. The Paramount Chief said no one can account for the number of lives lost to ritual per day. He said: “No crime is good but there are more ritual killings in the South. It consumes an unaccountable number of our sons and daughters every day. Only a few are reported while many were not caught.”
A gruesome reality. Repeatedly I have drawn attention to the unaccountable number of ritualistic murders in Africa’s most populated country. More action is needed by federal authorities and on the state level. Perpetrators must be caught and tried, the rue of law should be upheld, and a nation-wide public awareness campaign should start immediately aiming at rooting out this cancer of the Nigerian society, fighting this disease based on superstition and ignorance. (webmaster FVDK)
Oluwo To Yoruba Activists: Use Energy For Pursuing Herders To Address Ritual Killings In South-West
Oluwo said no one can account for the number of lives lost to ritual per day, saying it will amount to disservice if such could not be addressed by Yoruba activists.
Published: February 24, 2021 By: SaharaReporters, News York
The Paramount Ruler of Iwoland, Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has urged Yoruba agitators and freedom fighters to commit their energy towards ending ritual killings consuming innocent sons and daughters of Yoruba in their thousands rather than attacking Fulani herdsmen.
The monarch urged agitators to be more interested in probing crimes and not attacking ethnic groups.
He, however, condemned the kidnapping, raping, and killing by some herders across the region.
Oluwo said no one can account for the number of lives lost to ritual per day, saying it will amount to disservice if such could not be addressed by Yoruba activists.
He said, “No crime is good but there are more ritual killings in the South. It consumes an unaccountable number of our sons and daughters every day.
“Only a few are reported while many were not caught. Yorubas should dissipate more energy in checkmating ritual killers and openly protest against them. Someone’s son and daughter are being killed by ritualists at the moment. There is a baby-making factory in the South. When are we protesting against that?”
Oba Akanbi claimed he is a preacher of peace and a united Nigeria, describing ethnicity as “ungodly and enemy of humanity”.
He said, “I stand on the path of peace and to me, that is the path of honor. Nigeria’s ethnic diversity is too fragile to be drumming ethnic war. I remain an unrepentant preacher of peace and a one, united Nigeria.
“Ethnicity is Ungodly. No faith preaches attack on all because of the crime committed by the few. Prosecute the criminals and probe crimes, not the tribe. Nigeria is a nation of ethnic diversities. Peace and unity are our strengths, not war. I never regret beating the drum of peace. We should rather hang on Fulanis to produce the bad eggs among them and not a total condemnation of the tribe. Even if it is the Igbo tribe that is being persecuted because of the bad few, I will stand to defend the good ones among them.
“Yoruba race is one of the best with rich cultural value. I love her people. I’ve never sold even a plot of my subjects’ land or anything from them since enthronement. Even, my salary is dedicated to the poor in my hometown. For what gain and purpose will I now mislead or sell them out? Never. What I preach is peace and truthfulness. The path to peace is to prosecute individual crimes and not their tribe. I stand on this and will keep repeating it.”
He further called on the government to ensure quality formal education and enlightenment on modern ranching for Fulani children.
Today, a voice from Kenya: the voice of Isaac Mwaura, senator for persons living with disabilities (PWDs). He is the first Member of Parliament (MP) in Kenya with albinism. It is important to emphasize the fact that Isaac Mwaura himself is a person living with albinism, so he knows what he’s talking about. He knows the constraints which people living with disabilities have to face in society, he knows what discrimination means in practice, he knows the dangers which notably people living with albinism have to confront.
You’ll find his impressive Wikipedia page here. Isaac Mwaura can be followed on Twitter where he tweets as @MwauraIsaac1
In the message reproduced below senator Isaac Mwaura sumps up what he has been able to achieve since he was elected in parliament. It is an impressive list, though far from complete. Still much has to be done to protect the interests of people living with albinism which forms a broad and varied group. It is significant that – inter alinea – he mentions that he has been able to rescue Kenyans with albinism, including children, from ritual killing.
In several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa people with albinism are being hunted, kidnapped, mutilated and killed for obscure reasons based on superstition. The example of Isaac Mwaura merits to be duplicated in other SSA countries. Let his voice be heard! (webmaster FVDK).
People have been asking me what has been achieved so far in representing people living with disability in Parliament and politics in general.
My answer is simple: A lot has really been achieved, against all odds.
It’s important to note the marginalisation, stigma and discrimination against persons with disabilities has been going on for thousands of years. This is largely because of the way many societies perceive the functional, and indeed, utilitarian aspects of a human being, especially a child who is born differently.
Disability in many societies has been seen as a taboo, a bad omen or even a disease. Therefore, very few people are socialised to embrace it. This means a lot of the work we do is to ‘deconstruct’ these notions on one hand, and also to increase equal opportunities for PWD.
In my journey for eight years since the constitutionally recognised representation of PWDs, the first thing I did upon assumption of office was to form an association of all MPs with disabilities.
I formed the Kenya Disability Parliamentary Association (Kedipa) with 13 members, five of whom were nominated to represent persons with disabilities, six directly elected by the people in single member constituencies, and one being a parent.
Kedipa became the first caucus of its kind in the history of Parliament. The aim was to create synergy amongst MPs for the disability agenda to be promoted in Parliament.
For example, Parliament wasn’t as accessible to wheelchair users and people with other mobility difficulties. In this regard, we pushed for the modification of the chamber and provided an extra aide to assist those with mobility difficulties.
Through legislative proposals, I have been able to to increase the retirement age of PWDs from 60 to 65 years to compensate for years lost due to lack of employment.
I have also been able to help hundreds of PWDs secure jobs in the public and private sectors. I have also ensured several of them were appointed to constitutional offices such as constitutional commissions.
A very interesting innovation is the enrollment of youth with disabilities into the National Youth Service. This paramilitary training was perceived as not attainable by PWDs, yet hundreds have since graduated with useful skills for the nation. This is the world’s first programme of its kind.
In terms of education, I have successfully pushed to increase funding to special schools, helped create a full directorate of special needs education from a division at the Ministry of Education.
I pushed to create a special allocation of funds to education assessment resources centres and ensured all boards of management in all public schools include a representative of PWDs.
For the first time in the history of Parliament, special schools learners have visited the House to follow live proceedings, and I have enabled some of them to get school buses.
I have also visited special schools across many counties in far-off places such as as Lisa Hola School for the Deaf in Tana River.
PWDs are now represented in the NGCDF from the constituency level to the national board. They are also represented in all the Uwezo Fund committees.
Kenya Sign Language has now been elevated to to English and Kiswahili to ensure the deaf have an equal chance, over and above ensuring TV stations provide this critical service.
In government budgeting, I pushed to increase the funds allocated to the NCPWD from Sh700 million to Sh1.8 billion to cater for amongst others, cash transfer for Kenyans with severe disabilities.
Further, persons with albinism receive free sunscreen lotion, protective gear and skin cancer treatment from the government, thanks to my work.
I also started the Mr & Miss Albinism beauty pageantry to create awareness. Then other African countries have adopted this.
I have also lobbied for the creation of the position of the Africa Union Special Envoy on the rights of persons with albinism. I have also lobbied the EU Parliament to adopt fair treatment of albinism as a human rights issue.
Additionally, I have also rescued Kenyans with albinism, including children, from ritual killing. In 2019, I helped PWAs to be counted for the first time, including the intersex persons who heretofore hadn’t been recognised in Kenya.
Through the AT2030 project, I have pushed for the production of a local electric wheelchair that is affordable and durable in our terrain.
I have sponsored the highest number of bills in the Senate.
A lot remains to be done but we have progress to build upon for a better tomorrow for all of us. As someone said, disability is a club, anybody can be a member.
Yesterday I posted my worries that Zimbabwe is going through a period marked by an upsurge in ritual murders. Today I add another suspected case. Last Sunday, February 7, a woman’s dead body was found with her tongue missing. The police suspect that he killing could be ritually motivated. (webmaster FVDK)
Mberengwa woman found with tongue missing in suspected ritual killing
Published: February 8, 2021 By: The Chronicle, Zimbabwe
A 45-year-old Mberengwa woman was found dead near her homestead with her tongue missing.
The killing, which the police suspect could be ritually motivated, occurred last Sunday night in Butete Village under Chief Mahlebadza.
Midlands provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko confirmed the incident.
He said Beatrice Dube retired to bed around 8:30 pm on Sunday and her body was found lying some metres outside her homestead the following morning.
“Police in Mberengwa are investigating a murder case in which a body of a female adult, Beatrice Dube was found about 500m from her homestead.
“Circumstances are that the night before her body was found, she bade farewell to other family members saying she was retiring for bed.
“About some 20 minutes later, her 13-year-old daughter then followed her intending to give her a mobile phone she had forgotten but she could not find her in her bedroom hut,” said Insp Mahoko.
He said Dube’s body was found by a village boy the following morning.
Insp Mahoko said the deceased was bleeding from the mouth where her tongue was missing.
He said police investigations were underway.
“We are appealing to members of the public who might have information helpful to the police investigations to approach any nearest police station,” said Insp Mahoko.
In Zimbabwe, during the fourth quarter of last year the number of ritualistic murders or suspected ritual killings could no longer be counted. I’ve raised the question before whether there was a real surge in ritual murders or an increased interest of local media and the authorities for these heinous crimes – in the wake of the tragic death of the 7-year-old Tapiwa Makore, in Murehwa village, in September 2020.
To illustrate the foregoing I have selected a small number of recent ritual murder cases. I must emphasize that by presenting these cases I do not pretend to be exhaustive. It is to be feared that the murder cases reported and described here only represent the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
Warning: the following articles contain graphic details of ritualistic activities (webmaster FVDK)
Horror as Mwenezi men kill brother’s child, cut off privates in another brutal ritual murder
Published: December 31, 2020 By: iHarare, Zimbabwe – Tim E. Ndoro
In yet another very disturbing incident of ritual murder, two men from Mwenezi were arrested after they brutally murdered a 6-year-old girl, and cut off her private parts intending to sell them in South Africa for ritual purposes. One of the alleged murderers is the older brother of the victim’s father.
iHarare has learnt that Taruziva Sithole (37) and Shackmore Dube (26), both from Chomutamba Village 3 under Chief Mazetese in Mwenezi West, were arrested on December 30, barely 24 hours after committing the heinous crime.
Local publication TellZim reports that Dube who is a frequent traveller to South Africa told Sithole that his boss in South Africa was looking for the private parts of a young girl. He went on to say that if they delivered the gruesome package, they would be handsomely rewarded with a car and a lot of cash.
After being enticed by Dube’s promises of how to get rich quickly, Sithole plotted to kill Irene Sithole, his younger brother’s daughter.
On December 29 at around 8 pm, Sithole is alleged to have brutally assaulted Irene with a log until she collapsed and died due to the injuries sustained in the diabolical assault.
When he noted that his niece had died, Sithole placed her body in a plastic-weave bag, commonly referred to as Shangani Bag, and went to Dube who was waiting for him outside the Sithole homestead.
The two men then carried the body into the bush, where Dube proceeded to cut off the young girl’s private parts with a knife he had come prepared with. After getting the privates, Sithole and Dube burned Irene’s body in an attempt to destroy the evidence of their heinous crime.
However, Sithole’s wife who was appalled when she saw her husband brutally assaulting the little girl alerted the other villagers, who promptly informed the police.
Police officers from Mwenezi were dispatched to the village, where they discovered the little girl’s burnt remains. However, the private parts are yet to be recovered.
Sithole and Dube were arrested and charged with Irene’s murder. The two appeared before Mwenezi Magistrate Honest Musiiwa on Thursday. The Magistrate did not ask for them to plead and remanded them in custody.
In the last few months, Zimbabwe has been plagued with cases of brutal ritual murders in which minors are being murdered by people for money-making charms. Some of the cases include that of 7-year-old Tapiwa Makore of Murehwa who was murdered and decapitated allegedly at the instructions of his uncle and namesake Tapiwa Makore Senior.
Published: December 31, 2020 By: TellZim News – Cephas Shava
MWENEZI – In probably one of the most gruesome murder akin to the Murehwa boy’s callous murder, two Mwenezi men connived and allegedly murdered a six-year-old girl and burnt her body after removing her genitals
The two accused, Taruziva Sithole (37) and Shackmore Dube (26), who both reside at Chomutamba Village 3 under Chief Mazetese in Mwenezi West, were arrested yesterday, December 30, after allegedly committing the offence the previous day.
The two were not asked to plead when they appeared before Mwenezi Magistrate Honest Musiiwa today, December 31.
Musiiwa remanded them in custody for the murder of the minor who is daughter to Sithole’s younger brother.
It is alleged that on December 29, the two accused persons connived to kill Irene Sithole who lived at the same homestead with Sithole. On the same day at around 20:00, Sithole began to assault Irene using a log and she collapsed and died as a result of the assault.
Upon realising that the girl had died, Sithole took a Shangani bag and placed the deceased’s body inside and went to meet Dube who was reportedly waiting for him outside the homestead.
In the dead of the night, the two carried the body to the bush where Dube reportedly used a knife to cut the girls’ vaginal lips which he allegedly intended to sell to South Africa.
In an attempt to conceal the evidence, the two accused allegedly burnt the girls’ body using some firewood.
The matter came to light after Sithole’s wife, who had seen her husband beating the deceased, alerted other villagers who later on informed the police. Mwenezi police attended the murder scene where they recovered the minor’s burnt skull, teeth and ribs.
The girls’ private parts was not yet recovered by the time of writing.
Sources said the two decided to kill the girl after Dube, who often travels to South Africa, promised that upon delivering the private parts to his boss who is outside the country, they would be rewarded with a car and a lot of money.
In a yet another case of ritual murder, two men from Mwenezi allegedly murdered a six-year-old girl and burnt her body after removing her private parts.
This comes after the dust has hardly settled following the murder of a 7-year-old Murehwa boy, Tapiwa Makore, which was followed by another gruesome murder of a juvenile in Gokomere, Masvingo last month, yet another murder case of a minor has been recorded in Mwenezi.
The suspects, Taruziva Sithole (37) and Shackmore Dube (26), have since appeared in court to answer to murder charges following an incident which happened on the 29th of December, 2020.
The deceased, Irene Sithole, allegedly died after being assaulted by her uncle, Taruziva Sithole, who is said to have carried the body to a nearby bush where Shackmore Dube allegedly cut off the deceased’s private parts.
The two accused allegedly burnt the deceased’s body using firewood and were arrested after villagers reported the matter to Mwenezi police.
Police officers found the deceased’s burnt skull, teeth and ribs at the crime scene.
The two accused persons were remanded in custody to the 14th of January 2021.
In yet another very disturbing development, a man from Honde Valley, Manicaland recently confessed to murdering his own brother’s son for ritual purposes. The uncle to the deceased boy revealed that he harvested the minor’s private parts, arms, ears, and eyes after being contracted to do so by his other brother and a local businessman.
The case comes at a time when the country is still reeling from the brutal ritual murder of 7-year-old Tapiwa Makore of Murehwa, who was also murdered for ritual purposes at the instruction of his uncles.
iHarare has learned from the Manica Post that Jacob Muranganwa confessed after seemingly being tormented by the spirit of his nephew Zedek. Zedek was murdered last year, allegedly by Jacob.
The issue came to light when Jacob made the bizarre confession during a session of the traditional court held by Chief Mutasa. At the court session, Jacob’s other brother John said he wanted protection from his siblings James and Abraham. He alleged that the two were harassing him and accusing him of killing Zedek for ritual purposes.
Jacob shocked the court, however, by confessing to the ritual murder of Zedek and exposing everyone who was involved in the fiendish plot.
“I cannot endure this torment anymore. Every morning I wake up sleeping outside. At first, I thought I was sleep-walking, but when I started seeing Zedek’s image every night, I knew his avenging spirit was behind it all.
“Whenever it gets dark, l see the boy’s image. I am the only one who sees him, even when I am with someone else,”
Without being prodded, Jacob went on to narrate in graphic detail what had transpired.
“Sometime last year, my brother John, Kwambana and another businessman asked me to harvest a young boy’s body parts for money-making rituals.
“The next day I saw Zedek coming from school and I lured him to my workplace — John’s grinding mill. I promised to give him some money for his school fees and he obliged. I gave him sadza laced with Maragada pills.
“He ate the sadza and dozed off moments later. I took a hammer and hit him once on the head. Zedek died instantly. I took his body and hid it behind the grinding mill.
“After closing the grinding mill, I cut off the body parts. When John and his partners came to collect the body parts, they placed the body in a refrigerator. It stayed there for three days before they instructed me to hang it near Zedek’s home to make it appear like the boy had committed suicide,”
After noting that the matter was beyond his jurisdiction, Chief Mutasa handed the matter over to the local police station.
In another twist to the saga, John mysteriously died a week later and was buried last Friday. The local community as well as the Muranganwa family believe that he was haunted to an early grave by the spirit of his murdered nephew Zedek.
Curiously though, Jacob is reported to be walking scot-free after the police released him from custody despite the damning confession.
When reached for comment on the case, the police could neither confirm nor deny the matter. Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Tavhiringwa said,
“We have called Ruda Police Station and they could neither confirm nor deny that they are handling such a case. However, word doing the rounds in the community confirms the murder case. We will need to dig deeper with the investigations to get to the bottom of the issues,”
The father of the 9-year-old Zimuto boy who was brutally murdered in yet another ritual killing has spoken out saying he doubts that the perpetrator, his cousin, is mentally ill.
The nation was shocked to learn that 22-year-old Clever Chitiga had brutally murdered 9-year-old Trevor Mapxashike (also known as Mapwashike) and dismembered his body. Clever and Trevor’s father, Henry Mapxashike are cousins. After killing his nephew, Clever stewed the body in a pot after pounding it and seems to have prepared to feast on it. He was caught before he could continue with his bizarre ritual.
Trevor’s heartbroken father narrated how he made the gruesome discovery to local publication Herald,
“I almost collapsed, after forcing the door to one of his rooms, open. A trail of blood, which we believed to be my son’s, led us to his head which was being stewed in a big pot.
“The door had been locked from inside and I had to gain entry through the window and opened it from inside.
“My mother, who accompanied me to Clever’s homestead, used a stick to shove the head so that we could properly see what was in the pot and to our shock, it was my son’s head which was being stewed. He had shaved it using a broken beer bottle and pounded it with a pestle and mortar.”
Despite the shocking crime, Henry said that he bears no ill-will towards his cousin who brutally murdered his son and instead called for unity among his family members. He, however, questioned the narrative that Clever was mentally ill saying that his actions showed that some planning had gone into committing the vile deed.
“My only appeal and prayer is for the family to unite and get to the bottom of this because I think there is something behind this. We need to sit down and cleanse our family because this is strange and bizarre. It’s unheard of. When I got to Clever’s homestead, he had already fled from the scene after I had asked him if he had seen my son,” he said.
“I believe there was juju at play because from what I know, Clever never had a history of mental illness. In fact, his discreetness and the way he tried to conceal evidence of his diabolic act smacks of someone who is mentally stable.”
Clever’s brother, Brine Chitiga (40) also ruled out mental illness. Brine said that he suspected that his young brother was being tormented by the spirit of a person whom he murdered when he was into gold panning a few years back. He also said that his younger brother may have been into occultism and juju.
“I suspect that he (Clever) might be tormented by an avenging spirit. He might have killed a person in Mberengwa where he was panning for gold since 2018.
“He started acting strangely after he returned from Mberengwa. He always threatened to kill people and was acting strangely,” he said.
The local community as well as the traditional leaders have called on the Mupxashike family to hold a cleansing ceremony to remove the dark could hanging over the family following the death of Trevor. Most of the community said that they had never witnessed or heard of anything like the Zimuto ritual killing of young Trevor
Nigeria’s security problems have many faces. In the northeast of the country Boko Haram terrorizes the population and has disrupted ordinary, daily life. The exact number of victims of the jihadist terrorist organization which also operates in neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, can no longer be counted. It is estimated that since the beginning of the uprising, in 2002, between 25,000 and 30,000 people have been killed, over two million people have been displaced, and a countless number of children have been kidnapped – girls for sexual motives, boys to be forcibly recruited as soldier in the terrorist organization which originally started as a campaign against corrupt officials.
The seemingly perennial violent conflicts between herders and farmers in several states also have cost thousands of people their lives. Furthermore, a countless number of people have been abducted by kidnappers, bandits and cultists. Moreover, superstition and the greed for (more) power, prestige or success are at the origin of the notorious ‘money-rituals’ for which Nigeria is known and which is feared by virtually the entire population, not only in the southeastern states as my posting of January 30 could suggest. Last but not least, ‘ordinary’ criminal killings, manslaughter, murder and extrajudicial killings by security personnel add to the many security challenges which Nigeria is facing.
In the coming days and weeks I will elaborate on the ‘money-rituals’ and the criminal activities of cultists, herbalists, witchdoctors, and other perpetrators of heinous, criminal ritualistic acts. If a government wants to effectively fight and eradicate this ugly, partly traditional phenomenon it will have to take the overall (in)security situation of the country into consideration.
The author of the article reproduced here, Femi Falana, SAN, is a Human Rights Lawyer and a recipient of the prestigious Bernard Simmons Award of the International Bar Association. In his article he explains the violent clashes between herders and farmers, and provides a possible solution to their conflict which basically is a dispute over land. Although the topic of his article is beyond the main focus of the present website, the article is reproduced here in its entirety, not only for a well-deserved respect for the author but also for information reasons as well as to illustrate that for every problems there exists a solution (webmaster FVDK).
Violent Clashes Between Herders and Farmers: A Legal Panacea
Published: February 2, 2021 By: This Day, Nigeria – Femi Falana SAN
From 1999 to 2021, thousands of people have been brutally killed in herders/farmers’ clashes in several States of the Federation. The mindless killings have continued, due to official impunity and negligence which have led to the virtual collapse of the security architecture of the neocolonial State. Hundreds of other citizens have been abducted by gangs of kidnappers and bandits. While some of the abducted people were killed in gruesome circumstances, others were released after the payment of ransoms running into hundreds of millions of Naira by their family members. The hardened criminal elements, have subjected abducted women to sexual abuse. Over 100 school girls in captivity, have been forced to marry their abductors. In spite of the routine assurance of the security of life and property of every citizen, the Federal Government appears to have lost the monopoly of violence to the criminal gangs.
As a result of desert encroachment, the Fulani herders have been forced to seek fertile land for grazing of their cattle in the middle belt and southern parts of the country. Since the State has failed to address the challenge of desertification, the herders have continued to graze their cattle in the bush. In the process, they graze their cattle without regard to State laws and the rights of the farm owners. In struggling to survive on fertile land, the herders attack farmers who resist the invasion of their land. They attack farmers with AK 47 rifles, which have been acquired to protect cattle from rustlers. The violent clashes between herders and farmers have continued, due to the failure of successive governments to revive the ranches inherited from the regional governments of the First Republic, but which collapsed during years of the locusts under successive military regimes.
History of Ranching in Nigeria
The point that I am struggling to make is that, ranching is not a new phenomenon in the country. It is on record that the regimes of Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe established ranches in the Northern, Western and Eastern regions respectively. The Obudu Cattle Ranch which was the oldest in the country, was established in 1951 by a Scot, but was later taken over by the Eastern Regional Government. The Northern Regional Government established a ranch in Mokwa (Niger State). In the West, there were ranches in Iseyin (Oyo State), Oke Ako (Ekiti State) and Akunu (Ondo State).
Under the Yakubu Gowon regime (1966-1975) , the Kano State Government headed by Police Commissioner Audu Bako, established ranches in the State. All the ranches collapsed during the years of the locusts, under successive military juntas. The famous Obudu Cattle Ranch has since been turned to Obudu holiday resort.
In 2014, the Jonathan regime decided to establish ranches in the country. A team of young people were sponsored to learn animal husbandry in Botswana, while the sum of N100 billion was released to some State Governments to establish the ranches. In a recent probe, the House of Representatives confirmed that the money was diverted, as not a single ranch was established.
In 2016, the Buhari regime also opted for the establishment of ranches, in order to end the perennial violent conflicts between farmers and herders. About 55,000 hectares were acquired in 11 States, for the project. The Federal Government also announced its plan to disarm the herders, and other armed bandits. But, instead of establishing the ranches and disarming the herders, the Federal Government has handled the violent clashes between farmers and herdsmen rather lackadaisically. The sudden embrace of cattle colony or RUGA policy by the Federal Government, was suspected by many citizens as a design to take over and turn over land seized from farmers to herders.
Clashes and Kidnapping
Even though the dangerous policy has been dropped, the plan to establish ranches has equally been abandoned. In recent times, the clashes between herders and farmers has been compounded by many incidents of kidnapping that have been traced to some herders. Owing to the failure of the Federal Government to bring the situation under control, some people have reported to self help and jungle justice. The various State Governments have come up with policies such as enactment of anti-grazing laws, and compulsory registration of all herders and farmers operating in forest reserves. The Umar Ganduje administration, once invited displaced herders in Benue and Taraba States to Kano state.
Instead of adopting knee jerk reactions to the crisis, the Federal Government and State Governments should encourage the immediate establishment of ranches. Apart from ending clashes between herders and farmers, the policy will lead to large scale production of meat which will be distributed throughout the country, and possibly exported. Ranching is working in Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya and South Africa. It has worked before in Nigeria. It can work again. Let the Authorities move speedily to end the violent clashes between herders and farmers, without any further delay. Let the Authorities adopt proactive measures to end kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and ritual murder, as well as extrajudicial killing by security agencies.
State Governments and Security Challenges
A few years ago, armed robbers launched violent attacks on banks in Lagos State. The criminals killed many bankers, customers and security personnel, and carted away millions of Naira. The then Babatunde Fashola administration, sought the permission of the Federal Government to purchase and import some modern security equipment and gadgets. As soon as the licence was granted by President Umaru Yar’adua, the Lagos State Government brought in the equipment and gave them to the State Police Command. Armed with such equipment, the Police succeeded in securing the banks and other commercial institutions in the State. Shortly thereafter, about 20 well armed members of the Boko Haram sect sneaked into the State and concluded plans to launch bombing attacks on people, religious centres and schools. The terrorists were arrested and detained under the Terrorism Act, a Federal offence. The State Government requested the Federal Government, to try the dangerous suspects.
When it became clear that the Federal Government was foot dragging over the matter, the Attorney-General of Lagos State applied for the fiat of the Attorney-General of the Federation to enable him to prosecute the terror suspects. As soon as the fiat was granted, the suspects were tried, convicted and jailed.
In another development, the State Government faced fresh security challenges when another set of criminal elements embarked on kidnapping school children and other innocent people. Again, with the acquisition of more sophisticated equipment by the Lagos State Government, the Police Command has frontally attacked the crisis and brought the situation under control. About three years ago, the Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit recently arrested a billionaire kidnap suspect, Mr. Chukwudimene Onwuamadike (a.k.a Evans). The suspect was alleged to have specialised in extorting millions of dollars and other foreign currencies, from victims of his criminal enterprise. At the end of the Police investigation, the Lagos State Government took over the matter and has since charged the suspect and his cohorts with armed robbery and kidnapping, before the Lagos high court.
Before then, the Ondo State Government had invoked its sovereign powers to deal with the challenge of insecurity. On September 21, 2015, Chief Olu Falae, a former Secretary to the Federal Government was kidnapped by a gang of kidnappers on his farm at Ago Abo in the outskirts of Akure, Ondo State. The criminals demanded a ransom of N100 million, for his release. President Muhammadu Buhari who was embarrassed by the report of the incident, directed the Inspector-General of Police to rescue Chief Falae without further delay. The Chief regained his freedom three days later, after the payment of an undisclosed ransom. The seven kidnap suspects (Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibrahim, Masahudu Mohammed, Idris Lawal, Abdulkadir Umar and Babawo Kato) were arrested and paraded by the Police at Abuja, in the Federal Capital Territory.
As soon as the investigation was concluded by the Police Headquarters, the then Ondo State Government decided to take over the case in exercise its constitutional powers. Since the case had disclosed that the offence of kidnapping was committed in Ondo State, the then State Attorney-General, Mr. Tayo Jegede, SAN requested the Police to transfer the suspects to Akure, together with the case file and the exhibits recovered during the investigation of the case. As soon as the suspects were brought to Akure, they were charged with conspiracy and kidnapping before the Ondo State High Court. At the end of the marathon trial, the presiding Judge, the Honourable Justice Williams Olamide found the Defendants guilty as charged, convicted and sentenced them to life imprisonment.
No doubt, by prosecuting the dangerous kidnappers and armed robbers, both Attorneys-General of Lagos and Ondo States have demonstrated that State Governments are not encumbered from maintaining law and order in their areas of jurisdiction. It is my strong belief that it is the failure of other Attorneys-General to enforce relevant criminal and penal codes, that has led to a breakdown of law in several States of the Federation. Even though hundreds of suspects have been arrested in several parts of the country by the combined teams of Police and Army personnel for abducting several people including children, they have not been brought to book by the Attorneys-General of the affected States. Majority of critics who are not aware that it is the exclusive constitutional responsibility of State Attorneys-General to prosecute suspects indicted for the offences of kidnapping, armed robbery and culpable homicide, have continued to blame the Federal Government for not prosecuting herders who have been arrested by security agencies.
Welfare of the People
Since a country cannot be secured by a Government that is not prepared to attend to the welfare of the people, the Constitution has outlined the socioeconomic rights of the people and embodied them in Chapter two of the Constitution. The said socioeconomic rights are otherwise called, the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy. Even though the ruling class has made them not justiciable, the workers in alliance with other progressive civil society organisations have compelled the Government to enact a number of laws to promote the welfare of the people. But, the welfare laws have not been implemented due to alleged lack of ,funds in spite of the nation’s enormous wealth. On account of the failure of the Government to fund welfare programmes, Nigeria is said to have the largest number of poor people in the world.
The economic paradox has been fuelled by large scale looting of public funds, by the ruling class. Most of the problems at the root of insecurity in Nigeria, are traceable to the implementation of neoliberal policies imposed on the nation by imperialism. Over 25 million young people including university graduates, are in the unemployment market. In addition to that figure, there are over 10 million children of school age who are roaming the streets, which is said to be the highest figure in the world. Not unexpectedly, such street kids are easily recruited by terrorists, bandits and other criminal gangs to unleash mayhem on the people. The hijack of the recent #EndSARS protests by hoodlums and other criminal elements, has confirmed that the nation is sitting on a keg of gunpowder.
Since armed robbery, kidnapping and murder or culpable homicide are State offences, we have pointed out that State Governments ought to be blamed for failing to end impunity, by prosecuting the herders and other criminal suspects arrested and indicted for kidnapping and killing of innocent people. Instead of engaging in ethnic profiling, concerned citizens should be organised to prevail on the Federal and State Governments to discharge their constitutional duty of protecting the life and property of every citizen. The Governments should also be compelled to put an end to the perennial violent conflicts between farmers and herders, which have needlessly claimed many lives and the destruction of properties worth several billions of Naira in many States of the Federation. As a matter of urgency, herders and bandits should be disarmed by the Federal Government. Having embraced ranching as a permanent solution to the clashes between herders and farmers, the Federal Government and State Governments should proceed to establish ranches in a number of States.
Femi Falana, SAN, Human Rights Lawyer, recipient of the prestigious Bernard Simmons Award of the International Bar Association
Yesterday a posted an article entitled ‘Curbing the menace of ritual killings in the southwestern states‘. Appropriate as it was to draw the attention of our readers to this worrisome and frightening situation, it nevertheless seems useful to paint a more general picture of the security situation in Sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous country.
Everyday Nigerians are facing an extremely dangerous situation consisting of political and criminal violence, ritual murders (‘money-rituals’), abductions, kidnappings, ransom cases, by terrorists, bandits, political thugs, ritual killers, cultists, criminals, and traditional herdsmen. A personal experience in this respect may illustrate the foregoing.
A couple of years ago I visited Nigeria for professional reasons. My employer, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, had made the use of a special, armored car mandatory for government officials when traveling in Abuja or the rural areas. The only other countries with a similar precaution and obligation were Iraq and Afghanistan. No wonder, that last year the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) ranked Nigeria the third most dangerous county on earth, after Afghanistan and Iraq.
Therefore, I consider it useful to get to know the observations and warnings of Dr. Ona Ekhomu, a well-known Nigerian security expert, when reading about and analyzing ritual murders in the Nigeria. As repeatedly said before, Nigeria ranks number One with respect to ritual murders in Africa, but this should nevertheless be judged against the background of an alarming security situation in general (webmaster FVDK).
Insecurity: Government must keep its end in this social contract, says Security expert, Dr. Ona Ekhomu
Published: January 2, 2021 By: The Guardian News, Nigeria
I REALISTICALLY expect the security situation in Nigeria to worsen this year. Given that the national and sub-national governments have not taken the time to understand the scope of threat and risk spectrum, there is no serious effort to resolve the security conundrum.
The authorities have continued to rely on intuitive thinking in a situation that requires critical thinking and complex problem-structuring and problem-solving methodologies.
Therefore, the security situation will worsen because a wound that is not treated becomes an ulcer. In research design, we say that past is prologue to the future. So, what is the evidence of insecurity in Nigeria? Amnesty International recently published that in the first six months of last year, over 1,126 persons were killed mostly in the rural areas where “the authorities have left communities at the mercy of rampaging gunmen.”
According to Dataphyte Nigeria, over 70,000 Nigerians have been killed in the last nine years in acts of criminal violence. The Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgency has killed over 37,500 persons, displaced 2.5 million and created 244,000 refugees. In the first quarter of 2019, Nigeria recorded over 685 kidnap for ransom cases.
Clearly, this statistic will pale into insignificance when you consider 4th quarter of last year, where in one fell swoop, over 344 students were abducted in Kankara, Katsina State.
In December alone, about 26 travelers were seized by bandits along Benin-Auchi road and marched into the forest at Igieduma in Edo State. The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad III, at the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council meeting in Abuja in November last year, warned that the security situation in northern Nigeria had gotten out of hand and bandits (terrorists) had overrun the region.
He said in some parts of the north, bandits walk around openly carrying AK47 rifles without being challenged by security agents. The Sultan revealed that 76 persons were killed in a Sokoto community, yet it went unreported. The frequency of kidnappings, killings, murders had become high that it was not news worthy anymore.
The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) for last year ranked Nigeria the third most terrorism impacted nation on earth. With this ranking, Nigeria is rubbing shoulders with Afghanistan and Iraq.
The security scorecard for Nigeria last year is very poor. Government performed below expectation in its most important duty of keeping citizens safe, as kidnappers, bandits, killer herdsmen, cultists, ritual killers and political thugs had a field day at the expense of citizens.
The Northwest terrorism (euphemistically referred to as banditry) intensified with several communities in Zamfara, Katsina, Niger, Kaduna and Sokoto states deserted due to incessant attacks and wanton killings and kidnappings by the aggressors. The so-called bandits have resorted to levying farmers millions of naira to harvest their farms. The situation in the Northwest is likely to trigger a food crisis in Nigeria this year.
In the Northeast region, Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgency continued to flourish, with terrorists attacking targets at will and shedding blood of innocent citizens without compunction.
The chief driver of insecurity in Nigeria is the incapacity of security agencies to prevent attacks against soft targets. The philosophy of the security agencies is to take casualties and then counter-attack.
The agencies are supposed to design an architecture that will prevent attacks in the first place. However, due to severe resource constraints and leadership factors, they adopt the counter-punch strategy. In other words, the authorities are adopting a law enforcement approach to a terrorist threat.
In dealing with terrorism, the best approach is prevention and disruption of plots. Any time a terrorist attack occurs, the effects are devastating. Every incident of terror (mass kidnap of travelers, mass abduction of school children, suicide bombing, roadside bombing, attack on traditional rulers on the highway, brutal rape of female travelers, killing of farmers in the bush, even cannibalism by killer herdsmen, etc.) is a statement of grave insecurity.
Many Nigerians avoid road travels because of fear of terrorist attacks along the Kaduna-Abuja highway, Lokoja-Okene highway or Benin-Auchi highway. These are killing fields where bandits emerge from the foliage and open fire on total strangers, not a targeted attack to rob them and then kidnap the survivors of the initial attack for ransom. Those unable to pay ransom are liable to be executed. In some instances, ransom is paid and the victim is killed.
The unfortunate trends in insecurity will continue and probably be exacerbated. What are the trends? There would be an increase in highway kidnappings. It is a low risk and high yield venture that government does not seem willing to confront head on.
There would be an intensification of Northwest banditry, as the vast landscape is largely ungoverned. A situation where bandits could hide 344 students in Rugu Forest is unfortunate.
The Northeast insurgency is likely to intensify. The new leadership of ISWAP is quite bloodthirsty and would continue to tax communities and kill persons without justification.
Attacks on Army Supercamps by ISWAP will continue. Having succeeded in overrunning military bases and posts, the terrorists would take on the more hardened targets, like Supercamps.
Ansaru terrorist attacks would multiply and flourish in Kaduna and Kogi states. These terrorists are likely to infiltrate south into Edo and Delta states. Security planners in those South-South states are urged to be forward thinking.
The epidemic of terrorist violence would continue with piracy and illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region. The IPOB agitators would continue to attack Police personnel and soft targets in the Southeast.
Cult violence would continue to claim lives in Edo, Delta, Rivers and Cross River states. Ritual killings would continue to flourish in the Southwest states.