The Oluwo of Iwo (Osun State, Nigeria): ‘Ritual killing deadlier and more devastating than SARS’

The Nigerian authorities have been facing nation-wide protests against the human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, intimidation and harassment of citizens, of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Despite its dissolution by the Inspector-General of Police, the protests haven’t waned. On social media the hashtag #EndSARS has become trending. However, on this site we are not dealing with the abuse of power by public authorities, unless it relates to ritualistic acts, muti murder, witchcraft practices, superstition or a cover-up of high-placed individuals implicated in these outdated practices.

In Nigeria, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, recently again raised his voice publicly. The monarch is a well-know fighter against ritualistic murders. On several occasions he has criticized the federal government for doing too little to fight these ugly crimes which are nicknamed ‘money rituals ‘ in Nigeria. Last year, the monarch even accused some traditional rulers of being involved in ritual killings. Also see my postings dated January 30, 2020 and August 21, 2019.

Recently, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi challenged the #EndSARS protesters to focus on ritual killing, cultism and other social vices which terrorize the Nigerian people. According to the monarch, ritual killing was deadlier and more devastating to the youth than SARS could be. 

The monarch is to be commended for his outspoken position in the fight against ritual killings. Let’s hope that his outspokenness helps in eradicating ‘money rituals’ in Nigeria (webmaster FVDK).

The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi

The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, speaks out against ritual killings

Published: October 12, 2020
By: Punch, Nigeria – Friday Olokor, Deji Lambo, Daud Olatunji, Wale Oyewale, Olaide Oyelude and Armstrong Bakam

Despite the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Sunday, protests against the unit for gross human rights abuse, including extrajudicial killings, intimidation and harassment of citizens, have continued.

However, the police authorities also received support from some Nigerians, who kicked against the scrapping of the unit.

Some protesters, on Sunday, stormed the head office of PUNCH Newspaper to demand the scrapping of the unit.

One of the protesters, Damilola Ayanniyi, said it was to demand the scrapping of SARS, adding that the policemen working under the unit had harassed him on three different occasions.

23 Ogun protesters arrested with guns, charms

In Abeokuta, Ogun State, 23 protesters were arrested by the police with guns and assorted charms.

They were arrested on Saturday during a protest that turned violent.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, stated this in a statement on Sunday.

According to him, after the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, and the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, had addressed them, the protesters headed for the palace of the Olowu of Owu, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, where the Owu Day was ongoing and violently disrupted the ceremony, which had former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Deputy Governor of the state, Noimot Salako, in attendance.

The PPRO added that the protesters damaged the back windshield of the deputy governor’s official car and later went to the SARS office at Magbon, Abeokuta, fired some gunshots at the men and injured one Sergeant Akabudike Augustine.

Oluwo advises protesters

Meanwhile, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, has challenged the #EndSARS protesters to channel their energy into kicking against ritual killing, cultism and other social vices in the land.

The Oluwo spoke on Sunday in response to calls on Instagram that he should lend royal in support of the protests.

The monarch said ritual killing was deadlier and more devastating to the youth than SARS could be.

Oba Akanbi, who lamented the increasing cases of ritual killings, said it was disappointing that despite the high level of crime in the land, Nigerians had not protested against ritual killings.

Campaign’ll ensure respect for human rights – Catholic Secretariat

Source: Despite dissolution, youths protest against, for SARS

Nigeria: ‘Amotekun should fight ritual killings and traditional corruption’, says the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi

It is not the first time that the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi speaks out against ritual killings in his country, disapproving and criticizing politicians and traditional rulers. See e.g. my August 21, 2019 posting entitled ‘Nigeria: Oluwo to lead protest against ritual killings, corruption’. Recently, he again raised his voice. Read below what he said. The Oluwo is to be commended for his frankness and courage. I sincerely hope that he will be heard. Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country. It ranks in the top 5 of African countries where ritualistic murders are committed on a regular basis.

‘Operation Amotekun’ is the codename for the establishment of the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN). Recently, the Federal Government and the six governors of the region (Western Nigeria) reached agreement on the establishment of the WNSN, see: ‘Amotekun: Buhari, Osinbajo’s intervention smoothens rough edges’, published on January 29, 2020 by Muritala Ayinla in the New Telegraph, Nigeria (see below). 
(webmaster FVDK).

The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi

Amotekun should fight ritual killings, ‘traditional corruption’—Oluwo
Published: January 29, 2020
By: Daily Trust, Nigeria

The Oluwo of Iwoland Oba, (Dr.) Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, on Wednesday called on Yoruba stakeholders to use the regional security outfot codenamed Amotekun to checkmate what he called the incessant traditional corruption and ritual killings. 

The royal father said politicians should be held responsible for trading their game with kidnapping.

In a statement by his press secretary, Alli Ibraheem, Oluwo said: “Amotekun as an institution should be made to fight traditional corruption most especially ritual killings consuming our children’s blood daily. There is blood of innocent people in the street. It is a failure on the part of government, traditional institution and other stakeholders that no severe legislation is enacted to punish ritual killers and their accomplice” 

“I’m not condemning Amotekun, but better direction of job specification should be streamlined. It is disheartening we misplaced our priority. Tell me a day you don’t read in the newspapers or hear on radio of innocent boys and girls being killed by ritual killers with part(s) removed?

“I want to charge all the stakeholders to streamline the activities of Amotekun to prioritize checkmating of ritual killings to protect innocent lives and enact death penalty for any culprit caught killing human for rituals. I’m not happy with ritual killers. They are not human. Government should help us by enacting a law against ritual killers. 

It must stop. Human are not animals that you slaughter, killed and dismembered. It is an aberration. Such is never part of any culture. We should empower Amotekun to challenge such barbaric act.

“Additionally, to fight traditional corruption, we need agents of unquestionable characters and not accomplice of ritual killings. We need a transparent institution that will lead us out of daily killing of our children for money, promotion, popularity etc”

Source: Amotekun should fight ritual killings, ‘traditional corruption’—Oluwo

Related article: ‘Amotekun: Buhari, Osinbajo’s intervention smoothens rough edges’
Published: January 29, 2020
By: New Telegraph, Nigeria – Muritala Ayinla 

Nigeria: Oluwo to lead protest against ritual killings, corruption

It’s not the first time that the Oluwo of Iwoland, Abdulrasheed Akanbi, speaks out against ritualistic murders (see my May 21 and August 11, 2019 postings) and it won’t be the last time either. He is courageous to raise his voice against this practice, which is based on superstition, greed, ignorance AND the absence of the rule of law. Governments must act: governments are obliged to protect their citizens and to uphold the law, to punish perpetrators of heinous crimes such as ritualistic killings, known as ‘money rituals’ in Nigeria.

Traditional leaders have a responsibility too. On previous occasions, the Oluwo of Iwoland, Abdulrasheed Akanbi, has even accused his fellow traditional rulers of complicity, of being involved in ritualistic killings in their domains (see my May 11, 2019 posting). True or not true, failing to address the issue and educate their people, traditional rulers may be reproached to be responsible – to a certain extent – of the atrocities committed (webmaster FVDK).

The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi

Published: August 20, 2019
By: Brendan Umoren  – Today (Nigeria)

Oluwo of Iwoland, HIM Oba (Dr.) Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has declared readiness to lead a national protest against ritual killings and corruption in the country.

He lamented the impotency of government at tackling ritual menace, stating that ritual killing is prevalence but deadlier than kidnapping.

Oluwo stated protection of lives is the primary responsibility of the government, noting such can be credited until ritual killings is checkmated by the present administration.

He equally vowed to declare an open protest against corruption characterising public officials in Nigeria.

Oluwo decry daily loss of innocent lives to ritual killings, saying it is an aberration to culture and highest denial of right to life.

According to a statement by the monarch’s press secretary, Alli Ibraheem, Oluwo called for enactment of strict penal system against human ritualists and corrupt individual to safeguard human and protect their lives.

“It is saddens no attention is paid by the federal government to prevalence ritual killings pervading our country. Thousands fall victim of ritual on daily basis but regrettably, no one condemns such. I’m not happy with the neglect of my outcry on daily killings of my sons and daughters by ritualists. These people are deadlier than Bokoharam and kidnappers. I will lead thousands of Nigerians with like minds on national protest against human ritualists and corrupt individual.

“Right now, as I’m talking, evil men are somewhere killing human for rituals in the name of money and promotion. Few relate offering human for sacrifice as culture, no, it is an aberration to every culture. No culture accepts human as sacrifice ” he said.

Oluwo added that “I’m appealing to federal government to declare war against ritual killings. Strict penalty like death should be meted on any one culpable. Killers should be killed. Killing is not a forgivable offence. If federal government refuse, I will declare an open traditional war against ritualists and front a national protest.

“The Afeniferes, OPCs, Agbekoyas and other pan Yoruba cultural groups should join the revolution against ritual killings. Many gave gone to the journey of no return in the hands of ritual killers. It is pathetic, sad and calls for urgent legislation. Ritual killing is decimating our population daily. Must we continue watching the menace? Those in the government are not seeing what we see. Ritual murders is prevalent on the south west, south east. We must rise before it claim all out promising sons and daughters.

“I want to state it clearly here that killing human for rituals is not Yoruba culture. It is alien to our culture. Yoruba culture is pure, clean and attractive. Look at my dress, it is enticing, fascinating, ostentatious and attractive. Only the ignorance and enemies of Yoruba culture will relate ritual killings to Yoruba culture.”

Oluwo said declaring emergency war against ritual killings is acute to secure human lives.

Source: Oluwo to lead protest against ritual killings, corruption

Related article: I’ll lead protest against ritual killings, corruption – Oluwo

Published: August 21, 2019
By: Hameed Oyegbade, Osogbo

The Oluwo of Iwoland,  Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, on Tuesday said he would lead a national protest against ritual killings and corruption.
 
Oluwo, in a statement by his press secretary, Alli Ibrahim, alleged government’s inability to tackle ritual killings which, according to him, are deadlier than kidnapping.
The first-class traditional ruler decried daily loss of lives to ritual killings, describing it as “an aberration to culture and highest denial of right to life.”

Oluwo advocated death penalty for ritualists and corrupt individuals.

He stated: “Thousands fall victim of rituals on a daily basis, but regrettably, no one condemns such. I’m not happy with the neglect of my outcry on daily killings of my sons and daughters by ritualists. Right now as I’m talking, evil men are somewhere killing humans for rituals in the name of money and promotion. No culture accepts human beings as sacrifice. “Killers should be killed. Killing is not a forgivable offence. If the federal government refuses, I’ll declare an open traditional war against ritualists and front a national protest. “Those in the government are not seeing what we see. Ritual killings are prevalent in the southwest and southeast.  I want to state it clearly here that killing humans for rituals is not Yoruba culture. It is alien to our culture. Yoruba culture is pure, clean and attractive.”

Source: I’ll lead protest against ritual killings, corruption – Oluwo

The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi.

“I’ll declare traditional war against ritual killings if FG fails to address menace” – Oluwo of Iwoland (Nigeria)

It is not the first time that the traditional ruler of Iwoland (Osun state), Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi speaks out against ritual killings in Nigeria. On May 19 of the current year he alleged that some traditional rulers are behind the ritual killings in their domains in Nigeria. See my May 21, 2019 posting. A shocking accusation and an interesting development. What drives the Oluwo the make these sensational accusations against his fellow-rulers – apart from his feeling of justice?
We will follow further developments and keep the readers of the present website informed as soon as more news emerges. (webmaster FVDK)

The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi

Published: August 9, 2019
By: Victor Ogunyinka – Vanguard (Nigeria) 

Oluwo of Iwoland, HIM Oba (Dr.) Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has challenged the federal government, FG, of Nigeria for their negligence in tackling incessant ritual killings in the west, claiming ritualism is deadlier than kidnapping in the zone.

The monarch lamented daily loss of innocent individuals to ritualists, urging federal government to dissipate equal concentration to ritual killings as done to kidnapping and bokoharam fightings.

Oluwo disclosed this yesterday while hosting the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Abdulmajid Ali in his palace as further reiterated in a press statement by the monarch’s press secretary, Alli Ibraheem.

Oluwo declared an open traditional war will be stage against ritual killers if federal government fail to address his outcry and curtail the menace.

The monarch condemned the ritual killings menace as uncultured, barbaric, callousness, Ungodly, inhumane and an affront on right to lives, stating the refusal to declared war and criminalize such act by the federal government is worrisome to his stool.

He said ritual killings should be vehemently fought more than the war against Boko Haram and kidnapping, called for urgent enactment of fatal penalty for perpetrators of ritual killings.

Oluwo further discredited the claim by some traditionalists relating ritual killings with culture as desecration of tradition itself, saying no culture accept human as sacrifice.

The statement reads: “It saddens no attention is paid to ritual killings by the federal government. Thousands fall victim of ritual on daily basis but regrettably, no one condemns such. I’m not happy with the neglect of my outcry on daily killings of my sons and daughters by ritualists. These people are deadlier than Boko Haram and kidnappers.

“I’m appealing to federal government to declare war against ritual killings. Strict penalty like death should be meted on any one culpable. Killers should be killed. Killing is not a forgivable offence. If the FG refuses, I will declare an open traditional war against ritualists.

“The Afeniferes, OPCs, Agbekoyas and other pan Yoruba cultural groups should join the revolution against ritual killings. Many gave gone to the journey of no return in the hands of ritual killers. It is pathetic, sad and calls for urgent legislation. Ritual killing is decimating our population daily. Must we continue watching the menace? Those in the government are not seeing what we see. Ritual murders is prevalent on the south west, south east. We must rise before it claim all out promising sons and daughters.

“I want to state it clearly here that killing human for rituals is not Yoruba culture. It is alien to our culture. Yoruba culture is pure, clean and attractive. Look at my dress, it is enticing, fascinating, ostentatious and attractive. Only the ignorance and enemies of Yoruba culture will relate ritual killings to Yoruba culture.

“Bible, Quran and traditionalists should not justify offering human for rituals. Clean religious clerics and traditionalists should join my preaching,” the monarch said.

Oluwo appealed to Nigerian citizens to exercise fear of God in their conducts.

Source: I’ll declare traditional war against killings if FG fails to address menace – Oluwo

Iwo is a City in Osun State, Nigeria that is the seat of the Iwo Kingdom, a traditional state

Oluwo Of Iwo, Osun state, Nigeria: Some traditional rulers behind ritual killings in their domains

An inspiring and powerful speech of the Oluwo of Iwo, Osun state, who is not afraid to say what’s on his mind, even if this may disturb his fellow traditional rulers. I quote: “Sadly, as we speak, no traditional ruler, as far as I know in Nigeria, is speaking against ritual killing, which is gradually becoming a norm in our present day society. If I may ask again, why are all these things going on and no king is talking about them? Are some of our kings part of these ugly game? Some kings justify so many ugly things pertaining to ritual killings in the name of customs and traditions. What culture and tradition are they talking about?

He even goes one step further, by directly accusing his fellow kings: “I know these comments will unsettle many kings, still involved in all manner of ritual killings.” Unquote. 

It is no small talk what Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi asserts – even though we we may be surprised by certain details.

We should congratulate him with his outspoken views and rejection of the heinous crimes which are the ritualistic killings in Nigeria, also known as ‘money-related rituals’.  

“Ritualism is not culture or tradition, as far as I am concerned”, according to the Oluwo of Iwo.

I sincerely hope that many traditional rulers in Nigeria will soon follow his example.

Read below what Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi had to say. 

Thank you Oluwo of Iwo!
(webmaster FVDK),

Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi 
Photo/ Facebook/ emperortelu1/ Taosandphotography

Oluwo of Iwo: some traditional rulers behind ritual killings in their domains

Published: May 19, 2019 – 3:07 am
By: Gabriel Omonhinmin  

On May 7, 2019, at exactly 7.45 a.m., Palace Watch got an SMS from HRM Oba Adewale Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi Telu 1, the Oluwo of Iwo, and the message was “Africans, nay Nigerians are no devils. Yoruba as a people are blessed and our culture and tradition is the best. But what is required now is for all men of goodwill to advocate upgrading of all sectors of our cultural practices to make them more appealing. As a King, I will not stop until I help to make our cultural heritage and traditional values, the envy of the world.”Palace Watch then reached out to Oluwo of Iwo, who shared his thoughts on various national issues.

What brought about the message you sent?
The message arose from the pains I currently suffer over the damming issues of ritual killings, kidnapping and other worrisome crimes, which have continued to unsettle most Nigerians and foreigners alike. For how long will all these crimes be allowed to fester unattended to in our society?

This is not the type of society we inherited, and there is no way I will continue to keep quiet like most monarchs across the country over these very worrisome matters. I have resolved to continue with my advocacy over these issues. I know most traditional rulers, who are involved in all manner of rituals will not be happy with me and will not find my advocacy funny. I am, however, determined to ensure our children no longer die unnecessarily over ritual related matters, due to age-long ignorance of ritual killings by kings and their friends or allies.

The act is not only barbaric, but it is also wicked and unacceptable in any civilized setting. We must, therefore, do all within our powers as traditional rulers to make sure African gods or deities that require only human blood are no longer appeased.Just a little over 100 years ago, it was a great woman called Mary Slessor that fought so hard to stop killings of twins in some Nigerian societies because we ignorantly believed then that twins were devils. All twins in Nigeria should eulogise and celebrate Mary Slessor. 

Nigerians are dying in thousands daily because of ritual killings. The case of Badoo in Lagos is one singular example of this evil. It is a very good example of money rituals, which have become the common practice in our society. Mind you, the practice is all about shedding of innocent blood. The situation has gotten so bad that children can no longer trust their parents and neighbours, due to societal craze and desperation for quick money. 

As if this is not painful enough, most parents, guardians and other relatives are now in the habit of selling their wards and relatives into slavery to places like Italy, Libya, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Some of these children are made sex slaves and in the process killed and unaccounted for. 

Other high level crimes are daily committed, due to desperation of seeking greener pastures abroad, which is a mirage. Enough of this. Government must now begin to act and speak up against this type of crime. If not for President Muhammadu Buhari’s quick intervention, innocent blood would have been shed by Saudi Arabian government in the case of little Zainab Aliyu and the 81-year-old man, who were implicated by a desperate drug cartel at Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano. Their lives would have been wasted just like that. 

With this type of crime, what precedent are we showing our children, especially the youths? All traditional rulers of good conscience should henceforth rise up and do all within their powers to rid the society of these elements, especially those residing in their domains. They should deliberately continue to do all within their powers to assist law enforcement agents to arrest these elements, no matter how wealthy they are. They are not good examples to any society.

It might not be palatable to most traditional rulers across Africa,especially Nigeria and Yoruba land. But we must henceforth learn to do away with traditional and cultural practices that encourage these types of inhuman practices. We as traditional rulers need to show love and compassion at any given time. 

We need to change what we met our forefathers ignorantly doing to harm our society. Such acts are not culture or tradition; they are simply evil that we must do away with. And once we do this, Africa will no longer be regarded as backward and evil by others, especially European countries. 

My prayer, therefore, is that any traditional ruler, especially my fellow Obas, who find it difficult supporting this type of noble act of preserving innocent lives, his family members should also experience the pains family members of victims of ritual killings, kidnappings and other violent crimes currently ravaging our society suffer.

The principal reason for placing this curse is simple. There is a common adage in Yoruba land, which says, “The elderly can’t be around and watch helplessly as children go astray or die recklessly in their presence.” Traditional rulers by our customs and traditions, no matter their age, are the elderly in any society. They, therefore, have a role to play to help stem this ugly trend that is not helping our society in any way or form. 

We are kings, so we must see everyone in our society as our children, especially the very young and vulnerable. Sadly, as we speak, no traditional ruler, as far as I know in Nigeria, is speaking against ritual killing, which is gradually becoming a norm in our present day society. If I may ask again, why are all these things going on and no king is talking about them? Are some of our kings part of these ugly game? Some kings justify so many ugly things pertaining to ritual killings in the name of customs and traditions. What culture and tradition are they talking about? 

I honestly expect my fellow Yoruba Obas to have learnt a lesson or two from the Efon Alaye king, who was hanged sometime in the 60s or early 70s for his complicity in the killing of a young child in the name of rituals. Ritualism is not culture or tradition, as far as I am concerned. That particular incident showed clearly that some of our Yoruba Obas are part of this nonsense. The Efon Alaye Oba was caught, but what about other kings, who are still doing these things and have not been caught? Is it right and proper? We are all sitting down looking in the name of culture, while they are busy killing our children.

And some people call such terrible barbaric acts culture and tradition? It was these types of acts that gave impetus to the money rituals that are almost becoming a norm in our present day society. When will they stop?All these happenings around African countries are contributing to our lack of progress. Mind you, any country that does all these things will never be at peace with itself. These are simply natural reactions that come without any curse. These ugly acts naturally recycle themselves and come with karma. People still have the erroneous belief that karma will never come. Then let’s wait and see, if they don’t stop henceforth, what will happen to them and their generations yet unborn. 

I know these comments will unsettle many kings, still involved in all manner of ritual killings. They will hate me more, but I honestly don’t care about how they feel. If this nonsense is not stopped forthwith, what kind of future are we laying down for our children and generations coming after us?

Why do you think Law enforcement agencies, particularly the Police seem helpless?
How can the police uncover the crimes, if people are not willing to cooperate with them? Police need lots of information to work with, and the people are not forthcoming with such information, just because they have been hoodwinked in name of culture and tradition. 

Just recently, an Oba in the Southwest was to be buried, women were particularly warned not to stray into the town during late hours, otherwise they would be killed. Assuming an illiterate lady that can’t read and write get stranded in that town, what is the guarantee that the innocent lady who is just going about her business would not be killed, to justify one nonsense culture and tradition? Which culture or tradition says that a king or his people should illegally take the life of another person they did not help to create?

With this position, most traditional rulers across the country, especially your fellow Obas from the Southwest, will see you as a rebel. Does this not bother you?
I don’t care what they think of me, I am only after the truth. Will I say because of what other Obas, who are mere mortals like me think or say about me, I should not speak against the barbaric acts they are involved in, and which are not helping society? If we choose to keep quiet, what are kings for? What are leaders for? What are the roles of traditional rulers in helping to make society a better place? 

My friend, people are free to use their mouths anyhow they like. I am for the truth and will never leave that path, which is pleasing to the Almighty Allah. Nigeria is just like the personal domain of every king. Once traditional rulers begin to genuinely speak against these evils, people involved in these acts will no longer have the liver to continue with their acts. And with this position, the entire country will become safer for all of us.

What is the way forward and how do we stop all these acts?
Our message goes out daily to the Obas and kings involved in these ugly acts, but they are not ready to change. The few of us that believe in the truth and the betterment of society will force them to quit the acts that do no one any good. Their alibi is that they inherited these customs from their forefathers, but they fail to realise that their forefathers were not living in a civilized and enlightened society, such as the one we have today.

Most of these secret cults that require human sacrifice, which some of our kings and their people cued into, were never founded by kings. The association founded by kings as a group, is the Assembly of traditional rulers, which is called Council of Traditional rulers in states and local government and the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria at the national level. 

Indeed, these groups are voluntary associations of kings across the country, where the welfare and well-being of kings are discussed alongside other issues of national importance. These groups or bodies do not demand any form of sacrifice nor human blood or that of an animal. 

So, I am henceforth advocating that we now have bodies that should be known and called for example, the “Yoruba Council of Oba,” an assemblage where all Yoruba speaking Obas should sit down once in a long while and discuss matters concerning the Yoruba nation generally. Similarly, we should have Ijaw Council of Obas, Igbo Council of Obis or Eze, and the Hausa Fulani Council of Emirs.

These groups should be able to meet separately at different times, compare notes about things happening around their areas that are bothering them, and then bring such before the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria. Please, try to get the point I am pushing here. These Yoruba, Ijaw, Igbos and Hausa Fulani Councils of Kings do not in any way invalidate all other existing councils in the Local Government Areas and the states across the country, which meet more frequently than the one I am proposing, which will only meet in a very long while.

If government wants the security situation in the country to improve drastically, it must henceforth learn to empower traditional rulers and traditional institutions. No security system can impact on the ordinary people without the cooperation and collaboration of traditional rulers across the country. 

Are you comfortable with the level of funding for traditional institutions by government?
Nice to know that efforts are now being made by the Federal Government to channel Local Government Areas’ allocation to them directly. But much as this move is applauded, it will not help the present security situation in the country. The Obas, Obis and Emirs are the Chief Security Officers (CSO) in their domains.

If this is true, then the kings need to be funded. The Federal Government should make provision for a special budgetary allocation for traditional rulers to deal with security needs. This is the way to go. Oftentimes, the kings that are not funded by government are the ones supporting and providing funds and other logistics for the police to fight crimes in their domains.

The Nigeria Police can hardly do anything meaningful without the kings’ cooperation. Honestly, the salaries of Obas, Obis and Emirs are nothing to write home about. If I tell you the monthly salary of a First Class Oba in the Southwest, especially in Osun State where I am, you will be ashamed and scandalised. Yet, so much is expected from these kings. The North is slightly better, but it is still not enough. 

Once the government at the centre begins to offer reasonable resources to kings across the country, and they are legislatively empowered to take some actions and decisions, things will naturally improve security-wise across the country. Most criminals see kings as toothless bulldogs that can do little or nothing. 

When a king wants to correct criminals in their domains, they go to court, saying the king does not have the power to do this or that to them. But if kings are given some legal backing, most criminals will run away from their domains or decide to behave themselves. Criminals are not ghosts, but there is little or nothing a king can do the way things are now.The government should, as a matter of urgency, formulate policies to criminalise some of these practices. Some kings are hiding behind ritual killings to commit all sorts of atrocities. These acts are nothing but cultural corruption.

Source: Some traditional rulers behind ritual killings in their domains — Oluwo Of Iwo

Confronting Superstition in Postcolonial Mozambique

The Nigerian human rights advocate and humanist Leo Igwe wrote a very interesting article on the background of superstition in Mozambique. He explains the belief in superstition and the fact that Mozambicans resort to occult practices:  “It’s all related (if not caused) by the lack of effective state interventions and leadership.” As he argues, “(…) in the absence of modernity, people in Mozambique and elsewhere in the region invoke magic and superstition to help process the existential challenges and uncertainties that they face in their everyday life. (…)

I have a very high opinion of Leo Igwe. For ten years or more I’ve been reading his thoughts, experiences and views. He’s a well-known human rights activist. I would wish there are many many more Leo Igwe’s! Therefore his opinions matter.

Leo Igwe critically examines the modernity arguments, referring to scholars such as Peter Geschiere, Jean and John Comaroff. But how right are they? One could easily reverse the question. Is state intervention the critical factor? What if it did not exist? To what extent it would have been decisive?

In my opinion the real explanation for the phenomenon of superstition lies in the fact that the people concerned have not been educated in the proper sense.

Education, education and once more education! I cannot emphasize enough the importance of modern education. It’s the only long term solution for the problem of superstition. In the short term, the State should do its work: enforce the respect for the rule of law and hold those who are suspected of human rights violations and ritualistic murders accountable for their heinous crimes!

More on Leo Igwe later.

Webmaster FVDK

Published on February 26, 2018
By Leo Igwe, Conatus News

In Mozambique, murders of albinos, bald men, and other superstition-fueled crimes are common. Where do these ritual killings come from? 

Recently, there have been reported incidents of harmful acts that are connected with traditional beliefs and practices across the region. For instance, some people attacked traders and fishermen for ‘tying the rain’. They alleged that the victims controlled rainfall in the area to benefit their businesses. The practice of rainmaking and unmaking in found in other African societies. Fortunately, the police intervened and warned the perpetrators against making such false accusations.

In another instance, ritualists killed five bald men in the district of Milange because their head supposedly contained gold. It is not clear how and when Mozambicans started associating bald heads with gold or magical wealth. Similar superstitious narratives have led to violence in other African cultures. For example, in Nigeria, those who believe that the hump contains some ‘precious mineral’ attack people with a hunchback.

Mozambique, however, has been particularly susceptible to ritual murders in recent years. People living with albinism (PLA) have been hunted down and killed in Mozambique for their body parts. The body parts of PLA are used to prepare magical substances that ostensibly bring wealth and good fortune. In September 2017, ritualists killed and removed the brain of a 17-year-old boy.

People Living with Albinism (PLA)

Mozambicans who suffer ailments or death impute witchcraft, and those who are accused of witchcraft are frequently attacked or killed. In 2011, at least 20 people were murdered for alleged involvement in witchcraft in Mozambique. Some of those arrested for attacking or lynching alleged witches were even schoolteachers. It has thereforebecome pertinent to explore how these manifestations of superstition and magical beliefs are related to the idea of modernity or the postcolonial context. Why has the spread of modernization not resulted in the disappearance of superstitious beliefs and practices in contemporary Mozambique?

A Reaction to modernity?

Some scholars such as Peter Geschiere, Jean and John Comaroff have designated the manifestations of occult beliefs in contemporary Africa as part of the dividends of Africa’s encounter with modernity. They have argued that modern changes have fractured Africa, and disrupted the lives of people within Africa. Ritual beliefs, and superstition-based practices, argue Geschiere and Comaroff, are ways that Africans make sense of these changes.

However, the modernity argument needs to be critically re-examined. First, how is accusing traders and farmers of holding the rain or killing PLA a way of making sense of modern changes? Does modernisation propel people to make witchcraft accusations and lynch alleged witches? How is the crisis wrought by modernisation (whatever that means) connected with magical imputations and ritualistic beliefs? Where is the logic in the argument that modernity is the raison d’etre of the growing visibility of occult beliefs in the region? Are modern phenomena not supposed to be oppositional to magic and superstition?

There is no doubt that modernisation has brought about significant change in African societies. The introduction of state bureaucracy, the school system, science and technology, neoliberal economics and the media has led to social, economic and political adjustments in postcolonial Africa. But occult beliefs and practices predate modernity in Africa. Africans have been using narratives of magic to make sense of their lives and social organisations before the introduction of state bureaucracy and other modern institutions. Modernisation has not led to the total disappearance of magical beliefs. So, is it justified to postulate that the manifestation of superstitions in postcolonial Africa is because of modernity?

In contemporary Africa, people make active use of both the magical and modern. Modernisation has provided Africans with an additional facility and resource in making sense of experiences. Where African people cannot use or access the modern, the magical is deployed. If the modern does not suffice, superstition is relied upon to supplement. People try to explain their misfortune using science and logic or by applying material and naturalistic resources. But where the material and natural are unhelpful and unsatisfactory, where they do not provide the answers and solutions, the supernatural and spiritual is used.

Superstition and magic are waxing strong and manifesting forcefully in places like Mozambique despite the modernisation process because there is some purpose that these ritualistic beliefs and practices are serving which modernity has not addressed.

State Failures

In Mozambique, the state has failed in helping the citizens to meaningfully manage the shortage of rain and other existential uncertainties and anxieties. The required education or awareness is lacking. The state has not provided evidence-based information or response to the problem of limited rainfall especially to people in rural communities. According to a local source, elderly persons in the country languish in poverty: “They do not have access to basic health services, transportation and housing. Most elderly persons do not enjoy psychological and material well-being. They live in deplorable conditions, abandoned by relatives, accused of witchcraft and with little or no income”.

The state of Mozambique has been unable to put in place effective poverty alleviation programs for the citizens. There is no functioning social support system to cater for the poor, and the unemployed. So people try to make sense of their unfortunate situations using whatever they can lay their hands on whether they are material, immaterial or mixed. No incentives are extended to farmers and fishermen who are struggling to earn a living. They bear the brunt of poor harvest without state support or subsidy. Traders and others managing various businesses are left to cope with the harsh economic realities.

Conclusion

Due to the lack of effective state interventions and leadership in these critical areas, Africans resort to occult practices to make sense of their lives and experiences. In the absence of modernity, people in Mozambique and elsewhere in the region invoke magic and superstition to help process the existential challenges and uncertainties that they face in their everyday life.

Source: Conatus News, February 26, 2017

Also: The Moravi Post, February 27, 2018