Superstition and witchcraft, reasons to dissolve a marriage (Nigeria)

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

Published: March 5, 2021
By: Daily Post, Nigeria – Nsikak Nseyen 

A Customary Court in Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State has dissolved a six-year-old marriage between a trader, Kaosara Okeowo and her husband, Lateef, over alleged threat to life.

The mother of two had told the court that she was in danger because her husband wants to use her for ritual.

Delivering judgment, Chief Ademola Odunade, the President of the court, dissolved the marriage in the interest of peace.

NAN reports that Odunade awarded custody of the two children to Okeowo.

The arbitrator ordered Lateef to pay N10,000 as child support.

Testifying, Okeowo said, “My Lord, things are not going on well. He requests for unusual and personal things from me.”

But Lateef denied the allegations.

”She can go if she wants to leave. I want the court to order her to return his cooking utensils, clothes and a big ram in her custody,” he said.

However, Lateef’s father argued that his son was not a ritualist and that his daughter-in-law was such an opportunist who had seen another man with more money.

Source: My husband wants to use me for ritual – Woman tells court

And:

My husband uses “charms” on me during sex – Woman tells court

Published: February 5, 2021
By: Daily Post, Nigeria – Don Silas

A businesswoman, Bukola Ejalonibu, on Friday, told a Mapo Customary Court in Ibadan to dissolve her 23-year-old marriage to her estranged husband, Kolawole because he uses charms on her during sex.

In her petition, Bukola prayed the court to grant her prayer for divorce because: ”my husband uses charms on me before sleeping with me.

“My lord, my life is in danger. Every time he uses the charms, I faint and have to be hospitalised. Kolawole is a reckless drunk and can kill me,”.

She alleged that Kolawole threw her things out of the house and destroyed her supermarket.

In his defence, Kolawale said that his wife was an ingrate.

”She wants me dead so that she can inherit my property.

“I opened a multi-million Naira supermarket for her. I give her money. My wife is promiscuous,” he alleged.

After listening to the testimonies, the president of the court, Chief Ademola Odunade dissolved the marriage.

Odunade granted custody of the first two children to Kolawole and the
last two to Ejalonibu.

He ordered the respondent to pay N10,000 as monthly feeding allowance to Ejalonibu.

Source: My husband uses “charms” on me during sex – Woman tells court

And:

Man narrates how wife asked witch doctor to tie him spiritually, milk him dry

Published: January 14, 2020,
By: Daily Post, Nigeria – Annie Nwosu

A Customary Court sitting in Mapo, Ibadan, on Thursday dissolved a 15-year-old marriage between a mother of two, Olubunmi Faseyitan, and her husband, Kolawole, over ”witchcraft” suspicion.

Kolawole, who prayed for the dissolution of his 15-year-old marriage on grounds that his wife was into black magic, said he did everything possible to please her. but it was not enough.

“I abandoned the home to her after she confessed to me,” he said.

He also presented the recorded conversation between his wife and the alleged witch doctor as exhibit before the court.

In her defense, Faseyitan told the court that she never wished death on her husband.

According to her, “all I wanted was to him in bondage and make him sick, until he serves his purpose.”

”I only told the witch doctor to do it in such a way that people would be convinced that his second wife was responsible for the calamity that befell him,” she said.

Delivering Judgement, President of the court, Chief Ademola Odunade, dissolved the marriage after Faseyitan admitted that she asked a witch doctor to ”tie her husband spiritually to milk him dry”.

He said that he dissolved the union in the interest of peace and granted custody of the two children to Faseyitan.

Odunade also ordered Kolawole to pay N6,000 monthly for the children’s upkeep, NAN reports.

Source: Man narrates how wife asked witch doctor to tie him spiritually, milk him dry

And:

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.

Source: Court dissolves 10-year-old marriage over alleged money ritual

Kenya: outrage over ritual murder of 8 year-old girl in Murang’a

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

Published: March 2, 2021
By: Standard, Kenya – Ndungu Gachane 

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.

Source: Murang’a: Girl, 8, found dumped with missing body parts hours after she disappeared

Related article:

Outrage over ritual-like murder of 8 year-old girl in Murang’a

Entrance to a Kenya police station

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.

Source: Outrage over ritual-like murder of 8 year-old girl in Murang’a

And:

Missing 8-Year Old Girl Found Brutally Murdered

Published: March 2, 2021
By: Kenyans – Lilian Wamathai       

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.

Source: Missing 8-Year Old Girl Found Brutally Murdered

Oluwo to Yoruba activists: use energy for pursuing herders to address ritual killings in southwest of the country (Nigeria)

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.

In 2020, on at least three occasions, and also the year before, he drew attention to this ugly crime and spared no one when elaborating on the culprits. Read what he said on October 21 (‘Ritual killing deadlier and more devastating than SARS’), August 20 (‘Oluwo to lead protest against ritual killings‘), January 29 (‘Amotekun should fight ritual killings’) in 2020 and on August 9, 2019 (“I’ll declare traditional war against ritual killings if FG fails to address menace”).  

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.

The Paramount Ruler of Iwoland, Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi

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.

Source: Oluwo To Yoruba Activists: Use Energy For Pursuing Herders To Address Ritual Killings In South-West

Kenya: a voice for PWDs: what has been achieved so far

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).

A voice for PWDs: What we achieved so far

Isaac Mwaura speaking at the Albinism Society of Kenya during the 5th celebration of the International Albinism Awareness day on Saturday, June 13, 2020 in Nairobi.
PHOTO DENNIS ONSONGO

Published: February 26, 2021
By: Star, Kenya – Isaac Mwaura

Dear reader,

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.

Source: A voice for PWDs: What we achieved so far

Security challenges in Nigeria

This is the third posting in a row focussing the huge and apparently growing security problems which nearly 200 million Nigerians are facing daily. On January 30, I published Nigeria: curbing the menace of ritual killings in the South West and on January 31 I posted Nigeria: Insecurity: Government must keep its end in this social contract, says Ekhomu.

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

Introduction

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.

Conclusion

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

Source: Violent Clashes Between Herders and Farmers: A Legal Panacea

Ghana: family of young lady murdered at Doryumu believes she was murdered for ritual purposes

First of all I should state that it has not been established with certainty that the murder described below was a ritual murder.

Having said this, the reason why I nevertheless decided to include the report covering the murder here is to illustrate that the phenomenon of ritualistic murder is an accepted reality for many people in Ghana and an instinctive reaction to explain someone’s sudden death. 

As soon as someone gets missing – a child, an adolescent, or a grown-up person – and as soon as the mutilated and lifeless body of a murdered person has been found, people start whispering and gossiping, fearing that again a notorious ritualistic act has been committed. And Ghana is not the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa where this is the case. 

This is precisely one of the reasons why the present website on ritual killing in Africa has been created: by exposing this fear of people – an anxiety which violates one of their human rights: the right to live without fear for life, honor or property – (i) showing the need to fight a cruel, outdated practice based on superstition and ignorance and (ii) contributing to its eradication. 

Details of the murder at Doryumu have not been disclosed. However, the family of the 19-year old Juliette represented by the head of the Obu family publicly said they believe the victim was killed for ritual purposes.

Its a sad reality that ritualistic murders are on people’s mind as soon as they are confronted with a senseless or an unexplained murder (webmaster FVDK).

Shai-Osudoku MP commiserates with Family of 19-year-old lady murdered at Doryumu

Audio – To listen to the article, click here 

Published: January 26, 2021
By: Modern Ghana 

The Member of Parliament for Shai-Osudoku Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Linda Akweley Ocloo has paid a visit to the bereaved family of the 19-year old lady who was murdered in cold blood by unknown assailants at Doryumu weeks ago.

The MP’s visit which took place yesterday, January 25, was to commiserate with the family and assure them of her support following the lose of their daughter. 

Hon. Akweley used the opportunity to call on the youths of the community where the murder took place to assist the police to investigate the incident and bring all perpetrators to book. 

Juliette who was a twin and a bar attendant was spotted by residents walking in the company of a certain young man believed to be her boyfriend few hours before her bloodied and lifeless body with multiple deep machete wounds was spotted at 10pm on Monday, January 11. 

Head of the Obu family while speaking during the MP’s visit said he believes their daughter was murdered for ritual purposes. 

He further pleaded with the MP and her entourage to work with the police in the area to chase out alleged kidnappers who he claims have been hiding in the Dodowa forest to perpetrate evil. 

Juliette mortal remains has since been deposited at an undisclosed morgue. 

Investigators at the Greater Accra Regional police headquarters are handling the case.

Source: Shai-Osudoku MP commiserates with Family of 19-year-old lady murdered at Doryumu

Map of Shai Osudoku of the Greater Accra Region, Ghana

Ghana: pastor killed daughter to fulfill ‘ritual obligations’ for power

At first sight this looks as ‘an ordinary or common’ murder case. So, no reason to include the crime on this website. However, upon further investigation there seems to be a ritualistic aspect. Apparently, preliminary reports indicate that the victim, the suspect’s daughter, had been murdered by her own father for ritual purposes and upon directives from an unnamed ritualist.

If future disclosures confirm or contradict the suspicion of a ritualistic act I will report it here. After all, the focus of this website is on ritual murders, i.e. murders committed for ritualistic purposes, based on superstition, and with the objective to increase the wealth, health, status, career or reputation of the perpetrator or an associate, a client or a relative.
(webmaster FVDK).

UPDATE: Pastor killed daughter to fulfill ‘ritual obligations’ for power – Report

Pastor Boakye Gideon has been arrested by Nkoranza Police Command in the Bono East Region, Ghana

Published: January 18, 2021
By: GhanaWeb

Personnel of the Homicide Unit of the Ghana Police Service has exhumed the body of the 9-year-old girl who was gruesomely murdered by her father who is a pastor.

Even before the suspect Pastor Boakye Gideon of the Heavens Kingdom Palace Ministry International in Accra is arraigned before court and provisionally charged for murder, preliminary reports suggest the girl was murdered for ritual purposes.

The pastor at the centre of the crime claims that he beat the poor girl for committing an offense and she collapsed and died but evidence from the scene of the crime MyNewsGh.com has been told, suggests the deceased was gruesomely murdered by her biological father upon directives from an unnamed ritualist.

Though police investigators are tight-lipped over details as they conduct a DNA analysis on the skeletal remains of the exhumed body to establish if indeed it is the body of the girl, close family members including an uncle disclosed to this portal they suspect she was deliberately murdered.

Pastor Gideon Boakye who is currently in the custody of Nkoranza Police Command in the Bono East Region upon his arrest on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, confessed that he killed his daughter and secretly buried her at Nkoranza cemetery. (NB The original article stated erroneously January 13, 2020 – italics FVDK)

He later led the police and the family members to Nkoranza cemetery where he showed them where he buried his daughter after the dastardly act.

Nyarfo Samuel, Uncle of the deceased speaking in an interview with an investigative team comprising Pure FM’s Osei Kwadwo and MyNewsGh.com’s reporters said, Boakye Queenster known popularly among relations as Maame Ama has been staying with her mother’s family in Nkoranza since she was born until recently when the man came for her.

Source: UPDATE: Pastor killed daughter to fulfill ‘ritual obligations’ for power – Report

The Bono East Region was recently created (2019). Its capital is Techiman.

South Africa: staggering number of children murdered each year

The story presented below is not about ritual killing, or muti murders, as these crimes based on superstition and witchcraft are called in Southern Africa. It’s about the violent death of children including muti murder, however. 

As stated in the article below, “According to official figures, around 1,000 children are murdered every year in South Africa, nearly three a day. But that statistic, horrific as it may be, may be an undercount.”.

The same applies for muti murders. The muti cases known are just the top of the iceberg.

For this reason I have decided to include the following article which was originally published by Associated Press (webmaster FVDK).

In South Africa, child homicides show violence ‘entrenched’

Mourners look at the body of 5-year-old Wandi Zitho at his funeral in Orange Farm, South Africa, on April 28, 2020. The boy was murdered in a suspected witchcraft ritual and his body was found in his neighbor’s tavern. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

Published: December 22, 2020
By: KSAT.com / Associated Press – Gerald Imray And Bram Janssen

CAPE TOWN – At night, Amanda Zitho worries her little boy is shivering and cold in his coffin and yearns to take him a blanket. She knows Wandi’s dead and gone and it’s senseless, but that doesn’t stop the ache. 

Wandi was 5 when he was killed in April, allegedly strangled with a rope by a Johannesburg neighbor — another dead child in a land where there are too many. 

According to official figures, around 1,000 children are murdered every year in South Africa, nearly three a day. But that statistic, horrific as it is, may be an undercount.

Shanaaz Mathews thinks many more children are victims of homicides that are not investigated properly, not prosecuted or completely missed by authorities. The official figures are “just the tip of the iceberg,” said Mathews, the director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town and probably the country’s leading expert on child homicides. 

In a country where more than 50 people are murdered every day, children are not special and are not spared.

“Violence has become entrenched” in the psyche of South Africa, Mathews said.

“How do we break that cycle?” she asked.

In 2014, she embarked on a research project to uncover the real extent of those child deaths. She did it by getting forensic pathologists to put the dead bodies of hundreds of newborn babies, infants, toddlers and teenagers on examination tables to determine exactly how they died.

Child death reviews are common in developed countries but had never been done in South Africa before Mathews’ project. As she feared, the findings were grim. 

Over a year, the pathologists examined the corpses of 711 children at two mortuaries in Cape Town and Durban and concluded that more than 15% of them died as a result of homicides. For context, Britain’s official child death review last year found 1% of its child deaths were homicides. Mathews’ research showed homicide was the second most common cause of death for children in those two precincts.

“And the numbers are not going down,” she said. “If anything, they are going up.”

There are two patterns in South Africa. Teenagers are being swallowed up in the country’s desperately high rate of violent street crime. But also, large numbers of young children aged 5 and under are victims of deadly violence meted out not by an offender with a gun or a knife on a street corner, but by mothers and fathers, relatives and friends, in kitchens and living rooms, around dinner tables and in front of TVs.

Fatal child abuse is where the justice system often fails and cases are “falling through the cracks,” Mathews said.

There was, she says, the case of a 9-month-old child who had seizures after being dropped off at day care. Though rushed to the hospital, the child died. 

Doctors found severe head injuries and told the mother to go to the police, but no one followed up. The mother never reported the death. When investigators tried to revive the case nearly two years later, the baby had long been buried and the evidence was cold.

Joan van Niekerk, a child protection expert, recounts numerous cases tainted by police ineptitude and corruption.

“I sometimes go through stages when I am more angry with the system than I am with the perpetrators and that’s not good,” she said. She said justice for children in South Africa is unacceptably “hard to achieve.”

And failures of justice sometimes lead to more deaths.

The neighbor originally charged with killing Wandi Zitho was released and the case provisionally dropped because the police didn’t deliver enough evidence, possibly because of a backlog in analyzing forensic evidence, according to one policeman working the case. Months later, the woman was arrested again and charged with murdering two other children.

Then there was the case of Tazne van Wyk.

Tazne was 8 when her body was found in February dumped in a drain near a highway nearly two weeks after she disappeared. She had been abducted, raped and murdered, police said.

Tazne’s parents blame the correctional system for paroling the man charged with their daughter’s murder despite a history of violent offenses against children. He’d already violated his parole once. They also fault police for failing to act on a tip that might have saved Tazne in the hours after her disappearance. 

The case was high profile. The Minister of Police spoke at Tazne’s funeral and admitted errors. “We have failed this child,” he conceded, pointing at Tazne’s small white coffin, trimmed in gold. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the van Wyk home and promised meaningful action. 

Nine months later, Tazne’s parents feel it was all lip service.

“How many children after Tazne have already passed away? Have been kidnapped? Have been murdered? Still nothing is happening,” said her mother, Carmen van Wyk.

She sheds no tears. Instead, anger bubbles inside her and her community. Houses connected with the suspect and members of his family were set on fire in the wake of Tazne’s killing.

It’s not just on the police to stop the abuse, said Marc Hardwick, who was a policeman for 15 years, 10 of them as a detective in a child protection unit.

He recalls one case, from 20 years ago. A 6-year-old girl was beaten to death by her father because she was watching cartoons and, distracted as any 6-year-old would be, wasn’t listening to him.

When they arrested the father and took him away — he was later sentenced to life in prison — the victim’s 9-year-old cousin approached Hardwick and said: “I think you stopped my bad dreams today.” 

Clearly, children in that household had been living a nightmare, and the other adults had remained silent, said Hardwick: “The reality is that child abuse is not a topic people want to talk about.” 

Source: In South Africa, child homicides show violence ‘entrenched’

Nigeria: ritual victim’s head, hand sold to native doctor for N130,000

News about ritualistic activities in Nigeria abound. Nigeria is, as we all know, Africa’s most populated country. Hence, for that reason it is not surprising that the country ranks Number One in ritual murders, commonly referred to as ‘money rituals’ in this West African country.

The next few days I will present more articles on these crimes, because that is what these activities are. Cruel murders, claiming the lives of innocent people, young girls, boys, children, elder people, terrorizing the local communities. And why? – Just for superstition reasons, the belief that these practices will enhance one’s wealth, health, prestige or power. 
(webmaster FVDK)

Ritual victim’s head, hand sold to native doctor for N130,000

As distraught family demands justice

Published: December 19, 2020
By: Vanguard, Nigeria – Ozioruva Aliu

THE family of 35-year-old Eneshero Sunday Daudu from Igarra, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo state who was declared missing about a month ago and later found dead and buried in a shallow grave by persons who have confessed to have used parts of his body for ritual has demanded thorough investigation and prosecution of all those involved. After weeks of uncertainty when Eneshero was declared missing in Koko, Delta state where he had visited his sister for a burial event, the family had hoped that he would soon find his way back believing he must have missed his way especially as he was said to have called a friend in Igarra that he was on his way back home but it was never to be.

The family therefore lodged a complaint with the police about his disappearance and also assisted the police in the investigation. Last week, their efforts paid off as a 25-year old Peace Onoshakpokaye who was arrested in connection with the alleged killing and dismembering of Eneshero was said to have made confession. been stranded.

According to a police source, the arrested suspect confessed that: “the deceased became stranded around 7 p.m. around Koko junction axis of the Benin – Sapele Highway in Delta state when the vehicle he boarded to Benin City developed a fault. In the course of waiting for another vehicle by the roadside, some persons approached him and asked him to follow them. We learnt that the deceased put up some resistance, but he was dragged to a large trench at the roadside and was murdered on the spot by four persons. His head and hands were severed and later taken to a native doctor in the locality for alleged money rituals.”

The said principal suspect later took the police team and health officials to recover the body that was already decomposing and he was said to have confessed that the body parts were requested by a man in Koko, Delta state who paid them N130,000.

The Edo state commissioner of police, Johnson Babatunde Kokumo who confirmed the incident said the young man was abducted and murdered in Delta state but the police in Edo state command intervened because he was declared missing in Edo and promised that a dragnet had been extended to all parts of the country in order to arrest the fleeing gang members.

A family member told Saturday Vanguard: “It has been a traumatic one month for the family since he went missing. He had attended a burial ceremony in Koko where his sister also stayed. He left his sister’s house in the morning of the fateful day and his sister thought he would be back home but that was the last seen of him. They waited patiently and they concluded that he may have gone back to Igarra but calls to his phone were no longer going through and he did not arrive at Igarra. The last conversation was when he called a friend in Igarra that he would soon arrive but he never came. We first reported the case in Igarra police station and later at the state command in Benin City where investigation began by the police which led to the situation we are in now.

This incident was carried out by a gang but only one person has been arrested, so we are calling on the police to ensure that all the other persons involved are arrested and brought to justice.

“Eneshero was a hard working young man whose elder brother stays abroad. Eneshero has been helping him to take care of the home. The news devastated all of us in the family, particularly his elder brother who had to vowed a financial reward for anybody who was able to his missing brother until we got to this sad point. The dead cannot be brought back to life but the only solace we will have is for the authorities to ensure justice for our late brother”.

Source: Ritual victim’s head, hand sold to native doctor for N130,000

Uganda: the country where sacrificing children is a thriving business (2017 article)

Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga plays a leading role in the fight against child sacrifice in Uganda. He runs Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, a Christian organization focusing on education, health, economic empowerment and protection of children. 

KCM was founded in the community of Kyampisi in 2009. At the time, there were several cases of child sacrifice; many homesteads had shrines and practiced witchcraft. 

Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga says the mostly gruesome murdering of innocent children happens almost each month. Child sacrifice in Uganda is a widespread phenomenon and crime. In the past I have posted various articles on these cruel practices which are based on superstition and the unscrupulous pursuing of more wealth, prestige or power. E.g. on October 6 and February 28 of the current year and on August 3,  (two posts) and February 6, 2019. The postings partly overlap the article below.

The following article presents various murder cases and interviews with bereaved parents. Fortunately, some children managed to escape from their agressors, like e.g. Allan Ssembatya. His horrifying experience is told below. 

Warning: the following article contains graphic illustrations including a video and description of gruesome ritualistic practices (webmaster FVDK).

Still from video shown below. Two men attacked Allan Ssembatya on his way home from school. The attackers attempted to slice his head with a machete but Allan survived miraculously. The scar is clearly visible.

Uganda: the country where sacrificing children is a thriving business

KAMPALA, Uganda – Each year hundreds of Ugandan children are kidnapped and murdered as part of a thriving human sacrifice business.

A Christian pastor is now teaming up with police and politicians to stop this brutal practice.

Screenshot – the video does not play. The original article shows the video (see ‘Source’).
WARNING: Some of the content in this report is disturbing and will be unsuitable for younger viewers.

Published: March 23, 2017
By: CBN News, The Christian Perspective – George Thomas

It’s a little after 2 in the morning. About an hour’s drive south of Kampala.  

CBN News has joined undercover detectives, armed police and a pastor hunting for a witch doctor accused of kidnapping and killing children.

“Witch doctors believe that when you kidnap a child you get wealth, you get protection.”

Brutal Ritual of Child Sacrifice

Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga leads the search. He runs Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, a Christian effort to stamp out child sacrifice in Uganda.  He describes the witch doctors’ brutal ritual.

“When they get the child, most times they cut the neck, they take the blood out, they take the tissue, they cut the genitals or any other body organs that they wish that the spirits want.”

A few hours in, the trail for the killer goes cold.

Pastor Peter says these gruesome crimes happen almost each month.

“The problem is increasing and many children are killed, and there are very few actually that survive, most of them die.”

Rachel Kaseggu knows the heartbreak of losing a child.

“I had high hopes and dreams for Clive,” Kaseggu told CBN News as she sobbed uncontrollably.

Kaseggu’s 3-year-old son Clive disappeared June 2, 2015 while playing in the backyard of their home.

“It was around 10 in the morning when we noticed he was nowhere to be found,” Kaseggu said.

CBN News met Kaseggu the day police told her what happened to her son.

“I’ve never even heard of child sacrifice, I didn’t even know what that phrase meant.”

Superstition and Desire to Get Rich Drive Child Sacrifice

Detective Emmanuel Mafundo took us to the spot, not too far from his home, where they found Clive’s remains in this pit toilet filled with human feces.

Mafundo said the key suspect turned out to be Kaseggu’s neighbor, a wealthy businessman who allegedly hired two men to kidnap and mutilate Clive’s body, believing the act would bring “good luck” to his new hotel project.

Detective Mafundo said the suspect paid the equivalent of $1,400 for Clive’s life.

“I found it so queer how someone, because of superstition, can be able to sacrifice a three-year-old kid,” Mafundo, a Uganda police superintendent told CBN News.

Child sacrifice in Uganda is such a serious and widespread problem that the government has even set up an anti-child sacrifice and human trafficking task force.

Chief investigator Moses Binoga heads up the agency.

He says that in addition to decapitation and genital mutilation, witch doctors often slice the child’s tongue and mix it with herbs for special powers.

“The tongue is used, they believe, to silence enemies,” Binoga described.

Mike Chibita is Uganda’s top law enforcement official, the equivalent of America’s Attorney General. He says superstition and the desire to get rich quick contribute to high child sacrifice rates in his country.

“The connection is that these witch doctors come and tell people who want to get rich that in order to get rich you need to sacrifice human blood,” said Chibita, who serves as Uganda’s director of public prosecutions.

Three Boys Who Survived

Best friends Kanani Nankunda, George Mukisa and Allan Ssembatya are fortunate to be alive, but bear the physical and emotional scars of their past. The three are child sacrifice survivors.

A few years back, Kanani and his seven-year-old sister were attacked in the bush.

He has a ten-inch scar on the back of his neck where the witch doctor tried to drain his blood.

“I fainted and when I regained consciousness, I found my sister dead with her head missing,” Nankunda described to us in a low voice.

Two men attacked Allan Ssembatya on his way home from school.

“I tried to scream for my parents but my voice was not strong enough for them to hear me,” Ssembatya said.

They stabbed his neck, sliced his head with a machete then castrated him. Allan remained in a coma for two months after his miraculous rescue.

George Mukisa’s mother found him lying in a pool of blood after a man castrated his privates with a blunt knife.

Doctors had to reconstruct his genitals with skin grafted from his forearm.  

The boys say they encourage each other to look past their physical challenges.

“God is helping us in many different ways,” Ssembatya said. “When we think about what happened to us, we just pray and ask God that this would never happen to anybody else.”

The three boys are now under Pastor Peter’s care.

Long-Term Care for Survivors

Kyampisi Childcare Ministries is the only organization in the country providing long-term financial and medical care for survivors of child sacrifice.

“We want to see that the life of a child who has survived is supported, that they are socially able to stand and heal from the injuries, and that they can have a life after that,” said Pastor Sewakiryanga.

Screenshot – the video does not play. The original article shows the video (see ‘Source’).

He also works with Ugandan lawmakers like Komuhangi Margaret to help draft specific laws targeting perpetrators of child sacrifice.
 
“Every Ugandan must wake and and say, ‘No to sacrificing our children’,” said Margaret, a member of Uganda’s parliament. “Our children are the future of this country.”

Rachel Kaseggu says life without Clive will never be the same. Still, she has a message for the men who brutally murdered her 3-year-old son:

“Because of my faith in Jesus, I believe in second chances, and I would give it to them because there’s nothing I can do to bring Clive back. My message to them is: confess your sins and come to the Lord. Because when you come to the Lord, he will forgive your sins!”

Source: EXCLUSIVE: The Country Where Sacrificing Children Is a Thriving Business