The cases of ritualistic activities, attacks and murders in Nigeria are too many to include here on a daily basis. I have stated this more than once. The article below not only confirms this. Some of the ritual murder cases referred to in the article have been previously reported on this site, some not. More importantly, the author of the article, Otuya Daniel, explains the reasons for this, seemingly, surge in what is popularly called ‘money rituals’. One of the contributing factors, he argues, is the example set by Nollywood movies idealizing the importance of a social status based on material wealth and the way one can ‘get rich quickly’: through a ‘money ritual’ which implies the use of someone’s organs and other body parts in a ‘juju’ ritual performed by local ‘herbalists’ who often are nothing else but criminals conniving in the act of murder.
For the interested readers: the article also explains the difference between Yahoo boys (internet fraudsters) and Yahoo Plus boys (ritual killers).
Warning: certain descriptions of ritual murders contain shocking, graphic details (FVDK).
The prevalence of ritual killings amongst Nigerian youths
Published: January 28, 2022
By: Otuya Daniel – The Street Journal, Nigeria
Never before have the quest to get riches by all means been so magnified among Nigerian youths than as it is now.
To satisfy the need for getting money, youths today have fully invested their time in learning and practising internet fraud popularly called Yahoo Yahoo.
They have created various ingenious ways to rip unsuspecting victims of hard-earned income.
As if that is not enough, the new wave amongst these fraudsters is to add killing of human beings for money rituals or as it is popularly called, Yahoo Plus.
While families and friends came together to celebrate this past Yuletide, it was not the case for two families who were thrown into grief as in two separate incidents, young girls were killed by their boyfriends in suspected cases of money rituals.
In one of the incidents, it was reported that a Yahoo boy simply identified as Osas who had recently returned to Nigeria from Ghana killed his girlfriend, Elohor Oniorosa for ritual purposes.
It was reported that the deceased and the suspect had gone out only for the young girl to be found dead with her throat slit and the fraudster went on the run.
A few days on, A 300-level student of the University of Jos (UNIJOS), identified as Jennifer Anthony, was found dead in a hotel room with her body mutilated and some body parts missing.
Jennifer was reportedly lured to the hotel by her 20-year-old boyfriend, Moses Okoh who drugged, killed her and proceeded to pluck off her eyes and other body organs before running off.
Such stories are not really new. In fact, in 2018, there was a public outcry in reaction to the gruesome way a student of Delta State University, Abraka, Elozino Ogege was murdered by some group of ritualists and internet fraudsters.
Not only was the poor girl killed, her organs were reportedly harvested while she was still alive.
The frequency of how these incidents has got many wondering, how did moral decadence in the Nigerian society get to the point where someone will unilaterally decide to kill, butcher and harvest another’s organs just for the sake of making quick riches.
Nigerian youths now consider the amount of money they have as the only accepted measure of success as such, they are ready to do any and all things possible to get it.
The ‘glorification’ of internet fraud in Nigeria is the root cause of this trend of ritual killings.
As a matter of fact, that it is called ‘Yahoo Plus’ depicts that many of these youths consider these killings as a necessity in the advancement of their ‘fraud business.’
Some days back, one of such fraudsters was arrested and his confession shocked many.
The 32-year-old, Afeez Olalere who was arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Police Command narrated how his mother encouraged him to kill his younger brother for money rituals.
His words, “My mother took me to a herbalist who told me if I want to be successful in the yahoo business, I will have to sacrifice one life and that person must be a sibling to me.”
Shockingly, the mother and son proceeded to kill a younger sibling for the stipulated rituals and were about to dump the body before they were apprehended.
It is not just parents of fraudsters who ‘support’ them, young girls are also now encouraged by their parents to date these Yahoo boys despite the attendant risks just for the financial ‘gains’.
A lady in Edo State recently said “In Benin city, at least 90% of parents are aware that their daughters are dating Yahoo/ G- boys and they are 100% in support of it.”
She also revealed that parents will gladly give out in marriage their daughters to such Yahoo boys and will even shout the catchphrase “them get money?” when these fraudsters shower them with money.
Worse still, social media has been vehemently used to convey the misleading message of ‘get rich or die trying’ to the youths.
Pictures and videos of flamboyant lifestyles displayed over Facebook, Instagram, TikTok etc deceive these youths and sometimes serve as motivation or the final push to some who were having doubts about going into such business.
Celebrities and/or social media personalities who should know better are not even helping matters. Sometimes even, they themselves display these luxuries lifestyles.
Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh recently revealed the extent some of these social media personalities go to display fake lifestyles when she said some people would rent money from bureau de change operators just to show off.
Although many of these displays are fake and only done for social media engagements, it does not register as such to the gullible youths.
Earlier in the month, two 15-year-old boys were caught in the act trying to use a 14-year-old for money rituals in Bayelsa.
According to reports, they lured the girl with charms, cut off her finger and had already begun the ritual process when a passerby saw them, raised alarm and the boys were arrested. It begs the question, where do these kids learn such?
Nigeria music producer, Samklef has said that Nollywood movies are a contributing factor to the rising cases of ritual killings among young people.
The musician argued that by constantly promoting fetish-themed content, Nollywood movies have influenced a lot of young Nigerians negatively.
His words, “Igbo Nollywood, English and Yoruba movie are the reason why a lot of young boys are doing rituals. They keep promoting fetish stuff in all their movies.”
Considered, there is some element of truism in the words of Samklef. For a long time, making money through rituals has been the predominant theme of Nigerian movies.
In fact, just by seeing the cast of a movie gives away the plot as some actors it may seem are only cast to play such ritual roles.
The plot of the movies have always revolved around a struggling young man, who meets a rich friend who introduces the poor man to a group of ritualists and after someone is sacrificed, the poor man instantly becomes extremely rich.
Having been fed with this content for a long time, it comes across to youths that a sure way out of poverty is money rituals and so, it is a route a desperate youth is willing to take.
Peer pressure and the company of friends a youth keep are also contributing factors.
As the saying goes, birds of a feather, flock together. Constant exposure and association with fraudsters will actually have a knock-off effect on many youths considering the fact that at this stage of their life, they make many outlandish decisions.
James McCue of Edith Cowan University, Australia advocates for parents to help guild their teenagers as “A teen’s developing brain places them at greater risk of being reactive in their decision-making, and less able to consider the consequences of their choices.”
In the same vein, Nollywood actor, Ime Bishop Umoh, popularly known as Okon Lagos has said that boy child needs urgent attention to stem the tide of ritual killings.
His words, “Let’s fix the boy child and do it ASAP. It’s a shorter route to decriminalising and putting an end to most societal vices in our fast decaying society.
“Let’s put a central and foundational end to all these killings of young girls by these Benz driving wannabe boys.”
Generally, society has to step up and the paradigm should shift towards appreciating good and honest labour than just money or riches.
Just as a commentator said we need to digress and abandon the mindset that making money by any means establishes fulfilment in life and until we get this right, this generation of youths and the ones to come will continue to do things that are inhumane without any remorse.
More (the following murder case has been referred to in the preceding article):
Police arrest suspected killer of 300L UNIJOS student
Published: January 12, 2022
By: Otuya Daniel – The street Journal, Nigeria
The Police in Plateau State have arrested and paraded Moses Oko, a 20-year-old suspected Yahoo boy who allegedly killed his girlfriend, Jennifer Anthony.
Jennifer, a 300L UNIJOS Student was found on January, 1st, 2022 with her eyes plucked out and other parts of her body mutilated.
According to Vanguard, the suspect was paraded alongside personal effects of the deceased and exhibits from the crime scene which included a blood-soaked bedsheet and a blood-stained fork allegedly used to pluck the deceased’s eyes
The State Commissioner of Police, CP Bartholomew Onyeka who paraded Moses Oko, stated Oko was arrested on Tuesday, January 11 in Benue State.
The CP said, “The Command through my leadership has put together a lot of strategies to prevent crimes in Plateau State. But whenever crime occurs, we put in all efforts to arrest the perpetrators for them to face the consequences of their criminal actions.
“Sequel to the gruesome murder of Miss Jennifer Anthony, a 300 level student of the University of Jos whose lifeless body was found mutilated on 01/01/2022 at Domus Pacis Guest House, Jos by a man named Moses Oko ‘m’, aged 20 years, suspected to be her boyfriend who fled after committing the crime, the Command in a bid to arrest the perpetrator launched an aggressive manhunt on the suspect and tactically trailed him to Benue State where he was arrested by hawked-eye police operatives of the Command.
“The suspect will be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is completed.”
And – referring to the same ritual murder case:
Suspected yahoo boy kills girlfriend for rituals in Edo
Published: December 27, 2021
By: Otyua Daniel – The Street Journal, Nigeria
A suspected internet fraudster popular called Yahoo boy who was simply identified as Osa has allegedly killed his girlfriend identified as Elohor Oniorosa, for ritual purposes.
It was reported that the incident happened in the Egor Local Government Area of Edo State near Benin on December 24, 2021.
It was gathered that the suspect, who recently returned to Nigeria from Ghana, allegedly killed the girl for ritual.
According to the report by Daily Trust, the deceased went out with the suspect but was found dead with her throat slit with a knife even as the suspect absconded.
The details of how it happened are however still sketchy at the moment.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Kongtons Bello, who confirmed the incident, said the suspect is on the run.
He said that the father of the deceased, William Oniorosa, reported the case to the police and investigation is on to arrest the suspect.
The PPRO said, “The suspect’s name is Osas and his surname is unknown, who is a boyfriend of Elohor Oniorosa, daughter of one William Oniorosa, who also reported the incident to the police.
“Investigation is on while the suspect is on the run. The Incident happened on the 24th of December 2021,” the PPRO added.The Street Journal earlier reported how a sex worker developed a strange sickness and started vomiting blood after an encounter with clients suspected to be yahoo boys in Ondo.