Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part II)

I am flabbergasted after reading this investigative report of a courageous reporter who posed as a desperate internet fraudster who wants to ‘get-rich-quick’ by contacting herbalists tracked online. Her experiences are recommended reading!

It is hard to believe this happens in real life. Judge for yourself.
(webmaster FVDK)

Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part II)

Collage of Promise Oyewole’s (Ifa Tunde) BVN image and image obtained during WhatsApp callM

The craze for getting stupendously rich through the senseless killing of humans for rituals has reached an alarming crescendo in Nigeria. The phenomenon has thrown families of victims into untold anguish. For two months, posing as a desperate internet fraudster searching for mystical means to acquire wealth, our correspondent using the pseudonym, SEGUN ADESINA, met with herbalists tracked online for help

Published: May 14, 2022
By: Special reporters – Punch, Nigeria

Ifatunde’s identity unveiled

That same day, our correspondent set out for the agreed meeting point after receiving several calls from someone that claimed to be Promise, Ifatunde’s son.

At Ipeba, for safety reasons, our correspondent waited for Promise inside the commercial bus that conveyed him there, as he had yet to arrive. This move was pre-arranged with the bus driver before leaving the park.

After a while, a young man descended from a bike and moved toward the bus after scanning his surroundings suspiciously.

After locating our correspondent through repeated calls, he introduced himself as a 19-year-old Promise and demanded N20,000.

With his facial expression changing from that of shock to confusion when our correspondent refused to give him the money, he quickly hopped on the bike that brought him, which all the while was parked at a relatively safe distance and disappeared into a bush track. A frustrated Ifatunde would later call to ask why the money was not given to his son. He was told that the money would only be sent if the herbalist revealed his face via a WhatsApp video call.

Desperate to collect the last tranche of payment, Ifatunde agreed but insisted that our correspondent’s camera must be switched off.

At the agreed time, as soon as our correspondent initiated the video call and Ifatunde’s face became visible, a screenshot was quickly obtained.

When PUNCH Investigations compared the face captured with the one obtained from a source that carried out an independent background check on the Bank Verification Number of the account provided for the transaction, it was a match.

The 19-year-old Promise Oyewole, whom the old herbalist claimed was his son, was the manipulative voice behind the scene all the while.

When confronted with PUNCH Investigation’s findings, Ifatunde, still pretending to be an old man, vehemently denied being the same person and curiously asked, “How did you get the picture of my son?”

When he was told to refund the N30,000 paid for the money ritual or risk being arrested by the police, he went into an angry tirade and said, “I didn’t force you to bring the money. Even when we got to the police station, they would ask if I came to your house to collect it. They will also ask what you paid for. I am sure you can’t tell them you wanted to do money rituals.

“If you want to collect your money, I will send it, but you will have to be patient until I get another customer that needs the same ingredients.”

As of the time this report was published, Ifatunde had yet to make any refund and refused to pick up our correspondent’s calls.

Yet another

Still wanting to explore the murky waters of money rituals, PUNCH Investigations approached Fayemi Fafunke, another Facebook user posing as a herbalist.

Like others, he advertised his skilled ability at money-making rituals and was deft at using proverbs. He also sounded like an old man when a call was sent to him with a number found on his post. After our correspondent told him about his experiences with the two other herbalists, he was quick to condemn their actions.

However, PUNCH Investigations would later discover that he was no different.

When asked how much it would cost to prepare the ‘Osole Gbigbona’ money ritual, Fafunke said, “We have different types, and they range from N20,000 to N100,000. It depends on you.

“The one that would be prepared with human parts will cost you N100, 000. You will get a good result within a week. You can ask for a refund if nothing happens.”

When told that the amount available for the money ritual was N30, 000, Fafunke grudgingly accepted the amount.

It was agreed that an initial deposit of N10,000 would be paid to procure the items needed for the charm. At the same time, the balance of N20,000 would be brought by our correspondent to Ilaka, an area in Oyo State, to collect the charm.

Surprisingly, not long after N10,000 was transferred into a bank account provided by Fafunke, he called the next day to demand another N10,000.

Items bought by Ifatunde for the money-making ritual

“Things are now very expensive,” he claimed, adding, “In fact, when I got to where I would get the human parts, I was charged N18,000. You have to send N10, 000.”

When reminded of his earlier promise not to demand any additional money, Fafunke became furious and told our correspondent to send his account details for a refund.

An hour after the account details were forwarded, the herbalist called back and, in a calm tone, requested N5,000.

Fafunke said, “I want to help, and it’s for your own good. You can send N5,000. I am still in the market,” he said.

When our correspondent insisted on a refund, Fafunke claimed he had purchased some items already.

“So, what do you want me to do with what I have bought,” he asked and disconnected the call.

Since then, every attempt to reach the herbalist has proved abortive, and no refund has been made.

Human lives and sanctity violated

These encounters are just a glimpse into how individuals violate the sanctity and sacredness of human lives to carry out money rituals for an alarmingly increasing number of people (majorly young) possessed by a get-rich-quick syndrome.

Based on widespread reports, such adventures always have sad endings.

Despite dire consequences known to be associated with such actions, which include sudden loss of senses, loss of lives, including that of loved ones, loss of limbs, blindness, sleeplessness, and loss of properties, among other things, they are undeterred.

No week passes without the media reeling out graphic, horrifying activities of those caught with fresh or decomposing human parts or of mutilated bodies discovered in hotels or dismembered, with most victims being declared missing earlier.

While there has been glaring evidence and confessional statements from those arrested in possession of human parts or involved in the actual killing, linking their intent to ritual purposes, some victims have been suspected of being killed due to circumstances surrounding their demise for such purpose.

Distressing statistics

The menace, going by reports, is not peculiar to any region of the country, even though some have gained notoriety lately.

A report by the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta revealed that an estimated150 women and girls were killed for ritual purposes between January 2018 and December 2021 in the Niger Delta region of the country.

“Recent incidents also indicate an upsurge in targeted killings of women and girls for ritual purposes in the region, particularly in Cross River, Delta, and Imo States. In January 2022, for example, more than 10 girls were reportedly killed for rituals in Ogoja town, Cross River State. Some vital organs of the victims were allegedly harvested,” it stated.

The report, among other cases highlighted, revealed an attempt by a young man to kill his mother for ritual purposes in Owerri, the Imo State capital, and the killing of an 80-year old woman who had her body parts harvested for ritual purposes in Olomoro town, Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State on February 7, 2022.

Hotbeds for ritual killings

Although the data only captured states in the Niger Delta, media reports indicated that the phenomenon had become endemic in states such as Oyo, Ogun, and Lagos.

Recall that several drainage tunnels were discovered to be used by ritualists in Lagos, while in Oyo State, the activities of ritual killers became known in March 2014, when a slaughter slab was uncovered in Soka, a few metres from the popular Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The abandoned building was initially a traditional treatment centre for mentally ill people.

A raid on the den by the Oyo State Police Command led to the rescue of malnourished victims meant for the slaughter slab and uncovered mutilated body parts of victims and decaying corpses.

Eight years after the sordid discovery, the business of abducting, killing, harvesting, and selling human parts for ritual purposes still thrives in Ibadan, PUNCH Investigations revealed.

This claim was mainly validated with the conversation and aborted transaction with Oladipupo, the Ibadan-based herbalist.

Money-making charms strange

While speaking with PUNCH Investigations, Dr Ajibola Olosun, a traditionalist, decried the alarming trend. The sexagenarian, who said he succeeded his father, Baba Olosun of Osogbo, in 1977, revealed that young internet fraudsters usually approach him with mouth-watering offers for money rituals but that he always declines.

“These Yahoo boys are not ashamed and don’t hide what they do. I am surprised because these recent developments are strange. Our forefathers don’t bequeath charms to just anybody. My father, the late Olosun of Osogbo, warned us against preparing charms for fraudsters and robbers,” he said.

On the rising use of human parts for money rituals, Ajibola, who is also a law student, told our correspondent at the Ifetedo campus of the Osun State University, where he is studying, that those killing for money rituals were not traditionalists.

“Those killing for money rituals are not traditionalists because the tradition has ethics and taboos. Ifa asks us to pray every day, how then do you do evil and keep praying? Yoruba tradition does not support such evil,” he said.

He, however, said, “Sometimes, we can use bones of the dead for rituals, but it’s not fresh ones. Maybe when you see a human bone after erosion must have washed it to the surface, you can pick it up and keep it for use. In fact, we are not allowed to exhume dead bodies.”

In the background of claims by Ifatunde, the Ibadan-based herbalist who said that traditionalists preparing money charms are not meant to meet with a client, Ajibola said in Yoruba tradition, transactions must be transparent.

“Why would he not meet with his client? I have not heard it in my life. You have to know the person you are dealing with when it involves money.

“Some taboos associated with such charm might be that a woman should not touch it or that the charm must not touch the ground. Others might require a naira note to be placed underneath,” he clarified.

All money rituals have dire consequences

The traditionalist warned that money rituals have rebounding consequences.

“My fear is that some of these things have repercussions. Some of these Yahoo boys run mad because Osole Gbigbona, requires sacrifices, and it has an expiry date. When it expires, no one can predict the repercussions. It’s like a give and take arrangement,” he warned.

Ajibola said it might be difficult to curb the excesses of individuals like Oladipupo because they are not under any recognised body.

He then advocated education as a viable tool to curb ritual killings and money rituals.

A country’s weak fight against money ritual

Embarrassed by the global outcry over the rising trend in Nigeria, especially with enthusiasts, mostly teenagers, claiming to have carried out ritual murder or taken an interest in money rituals after watching a series of trending videos online, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said steps would be taken to ensure the responsible use of social media. He also said national awareness would be raised against the scourge.

He said, “For those who may still be in doubt, ritual killings have assumed a worrisome dimension in recent years. Recently, in Ogun State, four young men, one of whom is 18 years old, murdered their 20-year-old female friend for money rituals.

“One of them said they learnt about using human parts for money rituals from social media. Of course, you are also aware of a case involving a female student of the University of Jos, allegedly killed by her boyfriend for ritual purposes. These killings have been widely reported by the media.”

However, based on PUNCH Investigation’s findings, nothing beyond the categorical statement had been done by the Federal Government.

Five ritual cases reported in six months —Police

The spokesperson for the Nigerian Police Force, Muyiwa Adejobi, while speaking with PUNCH Investigations, revealed that cases of money rituals were rampant in the South West.

He said, “In other parts of the county, we just have some isolated cases. In the South West, the state that has recorded the highest number is Ogun. Within six months, we recorded almost five cases in the region. Fifteen suspects were arrested, and almost all of them confessed to the crime. They have been charged to court.”

Adejobi advised parents not to entrust their children to strangers or estranged friends, adding that the police had embarked on enlightenment programmes, especially in schools to curb the menace.

“Be careful. Don’t just keep your children in neighbours’ hands,” he warned.

How ritual killers operate —Amotekun

The Oyo State Commandant, Western Nigeria Security Network, code named Amotekun, Col. Olayinka Olayanju (retd), revealed that three groups involved in human parts sales were arrested within two years of its operation.

He revealed that those into money rituals had targets and could trail their victims for some time.

“They know the identity of their victims and sometimes can trace the body of a dead victim to the burial site and have it exhumed to remove the part needed or take the whole body.

“Some will kill physically and extract the part they want for ritual purposes. As for those that sell, some people patronise them, but I don’t know much about that. They will only tell you they have lots of clients.”

PUNCH Investigations gathered from the retired military chief that most of those patronising body parts merchants are affluent.

“People now call it Yahoo Plus, no longer Yahoo Yahoo. It’s purely money rituals and what they use are human parts,” he added.

Slow justice system

On the challenges faced by the outfit in arresting and prosecuting suspected ritual killers, Olayinka complained about the slow justice system and the friction with the police.

The Amotekun boss said that while some were being tried by the police, others were prosecuted by the Oyo State Directorate of Public Prosecution.

“We arrested a suspect and handed him over to the police, but he was returned to us. The police claimed that we didn’t follow proper procedure. We approached the DPP and threatened to release the suspect.

“He (suspect) actually killed a 73-year-old man. The DPP took it up, and he has been remanded in Abolongo prison pending when the case would be charged to court,” he said.

Olayinka called for better synergy between the police and Amotekun corps to succeed in the fight against ritual killings.

Oyo State upholds prosecution –Oyo AG

The Oyo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, said the state upholds the law when it comes to prosecuting ritual killers, adding that the DPP has not failed to wield prosecutorial powers when necessary.

“Investigations and prosecution are not the sole prerogatives of the Ministry of Justice. It is the police that will arrest, and we will write a legal opinion on whether there is enough evidence,” he added.

Our members not ritualists —OPC reacts

When contacted, the Chairman, Oodua People’s Congress, Oyo State chapter, Rotimi Olumo, denied the alleged involvement of its members in ritual killings or human body parts sales.

“The OPC, led by Iba Gani Adams, is only concerned about the security of the people,” he told our correspondent.

Psychologist harps on empowerment

A clinical psychologist, Olawumi Oluwatosin, attributed the trend to unpleasant childhood or life experiences, peer pressure, and mid-life expectations.

She recommended that empowerment programmes should be part of incentives through which the government can curb the menace.

Oluwatosin stated, “It might be difficult to convince a person already exposed to large amounts of money, rituals, and other bad things, except to replace the pleasure, which is money, with something else. But it can be done by probably providing an alternative source of livelihood like empowerment programmes.”

Source: Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part II)

Liberia: man found dead “with body parts missing” in Grand Kru County

Warning: graphic image

Under construction (webmaster FVDK)

Liberia: Gruesome Murder in Grand Kru County

Published: May 3, 2022
By: Leroy M. Sonpon, III – Daily Observer

A man in his late 20s, named Worteh Koffa, has been found dead “with body parts missing” in Grand Kru County. 

The deceased, according to a 15-man coroner jury in Grand Kru County died as a result of ritualistic killing.  The coroner jury reported that the late Worteh’s eyes, tongue, fingers and toenails, and other body parts were missing upon discovery of his body in early April  2022 on the beach in Grandcess City, Grand Kru County District #1.

Worteh’s death comes just a year after a 23-years old motorcyclist named Mordecail Nyemah for ritualistic purposes in Maryland County, which is a southeastern county like Grand Kru. The deceased was discovered dead with his right eye plugged, and right fingers cut off in Pleebo during the morning hours of March 25, 2021, and it triggered a wave of violent riot both in Pleebo and the Maryland County’s capital, Harper.

Suspect Moses Mlamah said in a video interview that he was sent by a man identified as Daniel Wesseh to get blood for reasons and was paid to do so. He added that he enlisted the help of two others to carry out the act. The issue about ritualistic killings in the southeast is not anything strange with Maryland County seeing a  series of ritualistic murders that occurred around Harper, in the 1970s.

Between 1965 and 1977 over 100 murders occurred in Maryland County, many of which were considered ritualistic due to the mutilation and removal of body parts. During the 1970s, Liberians in Maryland County were constantly under the threat of ritual murders. Between November 1976 and July 1977, 14 people had disappeared in the county prompting Liberian president William Tolbert to fire Superintendent of Maryland County, James Daniel Anderson, who failed to report the missing people. Tolbert publicly declared “Anyone who kills deliberately: The law will kill that person.”

These murders went unreported and uninvestigated until the murder of a local fisherman and popular singer, Moses Tweh. Tweh was abducted on June 26, 1977. His body was discovered on July 4, 1977, heavily mutilated with his eyes, ears, nose, tongue and penis removed. Prior to the discovery of Tweh’s body, Wreh Taryonnoh, the girlfriend of Assistant Supervisor of Schools, Francis Nyepan, was allegedly heard by a group searching for Tweh saying that “if they would be so lucky to find him, only his bones they might see”. This sparked the arrest of 12 people, a majority of whom were government officials.

During the first Harper Trial, Joshua Brown and Teah Toby were released and later became state witnesses. The other ten defendants were found guilty and sentenced to public execution by hanging. Tagbedi Wisseh appealed his conviction and was pardoned by Tolbert before execution. Wonplu Boye and Koti Weah both died before execution, it was rumored their own family members poisoned them to avoid shame.

On 16 February 1979, the seven remaining people convicted of Moses Tweh’s murder were publicly hanged at dawn in Harper. The media dubbed them the “Harper Seven” The crimes back then were regarded as “Liberia’s most notorious ritual killing case” due to the number of murders, the involvement of high ranking government officials and their subsequent public executions.

Meanwhile, up to press time, the Liberian National Police Detachment in Grand Kru County is still tightlipped on the investigation of Worteh’s death.

Worteh’s mother has therefore called on the government to probe the mysterious death of her son as “her family remains peaceful and awaits the outcome of any investigation.   His death has caused fear among youths in the county and there appears to be a self-imposed curfew among residents of the area, fearing for their own safety.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker and Acting Chairman of the Grand Kru County Legislative Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa, on has condemned the gruesome and ritualistic murder of Worteh Koffa and called on the Minister of Justice to put more resources into the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators.

On his Facebook page, the Grand Kru County District #2 lawmaker noted that: “We condemn in the strongest terms the gruesome and ritualistic murder of young Worteh Koffa. I have placed a call to the Minister of Justice to put more resources in the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators.”

Cllr. Koffa added: “The age-old practice of ritualistic killings, for whatever purpose, must end. I call on the peaceful citizens of Grandcess to remain calm and law-abiding and assist in the investigation. No young person should have his promising life taken away by nefarious and heartless creatures. I call for a swift and speedy investigation.”

Source: Liberia: Gruesome Murder in Grand Kru County

Liberia, Two Op-Eds: ‘Enough is enough – too many murders going with impunity’ and ‘Silence is not an option, Mr. President!’

Yesterday’s post included an article published in one of Liberia’s main newspapers, the Daily Observer, on the current wave of killings and disappearances in Liberia and the urgent need for the police te act. Today, I wish to draw your attention to an editorial in another, equally important newspaper, Front Page Africa, founded, owned and edited by the famous Rodney Sieh.

The title of the Op-Ed speaks for itself, ‘Enough enough’. The editorial starts with an impressive list of nearly 20 victims: murdered, disappeared, mutilated, the victims have in common a cruel and premature end of their life. The author, Milton Nathaniel Barnes, criticizes the inaction of the government, the absence of the rule of law, and the persistence of impunity. 

Mr.Barnes’ cry is echoed by an article in the Daily Observer of today, November10: ‘Silence Is Not An Option, Mr. President!’

Already in mid-September, the Daily Observer had published an editorial entitled “The People of Liberia Are Under Siege – Break That Siege Now”, pointing out that rising insecurity had become an issue affecting all Liberians. The newspaper editor criticizes President George Weah and concludes with a pertinent statement: ‘(….) President Weah must break his silence, speak to the Liberian people and reassure them. For, anything short of this would suggest complicity. Silence is not an option Mr. President!‘ 

Will President Weah understand the message and act accordingly?
We’ll see the coming days.
I will report on subsequent developments (webmaster FVDK).

Liberia: Enough Is Enough – Too Many Murders Going With Impunity

Published: November 8, 2021
By: Milton Nathaniel Barnes – Front Page Africa, Liberia

Follows a list of recent victims: 

Rev. Dr. William R. Tolbert III (November 1, 2021)

Maude Elliot (October 31, 2021)

John H. Tubman (September 22, 2021)

Unidentified Woman on 17th Street Beach (September 14, 2021)

Matthew J. Innis (August 2019)

Mordecai Nyemah (May 2021)

Melvin Earley (February 19, 2021)

Florence Massaquoi (February 2021)

Robert M. Blamo, Jr. (2021)

Bobby S. Gbeanquoi (2021)

Siafa G. Boimah (2021)

Albert Peters (October 2020)

Gifty Lama (October 2020)

Elijah Polumah (2020)

Abraham Tumay (2020)

George B. Fanbutu (2020)

Possibly, others unknown 

WHAT’S GOING ON, MY PEOPLE? In every instance above, innocent lives have been taken; and, we are not sure what is being done about it.  Liberians are dying mysteriously or being brutally murdered.  Murderers are getting away with impunity.  The usual lip service is paid; the family greaves; and, we carry on our lives disillusioned and frightened.

WHAT IS EXASPERATING about this is that Liberians are fearing for their lives in the midst of dire poverty and economic straits.  They barely eke out a living encountering the huge cost of feeding themselves, educating their children, paying their rent, transporting themselves, only to be faced with the threat of someone murdering them in cold blood.

WHY ARE LIBERIANS continuing to face these nearly insurmountable challenges? Simply stated, this is due to the absence of Law and Order, which should, at the very least, investigate and inform the public so as to reassure them that authorities are responding with urgency.  In this particular environment, when criminals believe that they can get away with heinous acts including brutal murders, they take that as a “license to kill” in view of the fact that there appear to be no consequences.

IN MY OPINION, this comes down to the matter of leadership.  For quite a while now, Liberia has been led by politicians as opposed to authentic leaders.  Basically, what I’m saying is that there is a distinct difference between a leader and a politician.  An authentic and effective leader will address numerous challenges, be they economic (fiscal-monetary management, unemployment, etc.) or social (justice, education, healthcare etc.), using a wide array of tools.  A leader knows how to corral the appropriate experts who can provide effective solutions to whatever challenges may arise within his or her sphere of influence. 

A POLITICIAN, on the other hand, possesses a singular tool that is used to address any and every issue: politics.  From the politician’s perspective, every problem, regardless of its nature, requires the solution of political rhetoric.  The politician says whatever he or she believes will assuage the people.  The goal is to persuade the people that things will be fine. Saying so, as we all know, does not make things so. Yet, the only tool of the politician is politics (i.e. the power of persuasion).

IN THE FACE OF MURDERS with impunity, leaders, at all levels of society, cannot afford to sit aside with indifference.  We must stand up against these outrageous acts.  We know that God is the ultimate judge; yet, every true religion teaches us that there are laws by which we must govern ourselves.  In Liberia, our entire social fabric is at risk of disintegrating.  No society, without a modicum of justice in the face of serious crime, can continue to function.  It will inevitably tumble into utter chaos. 

IN VIEW OF WHAT IS UNFOLDING, I am poised to ask the following questions:

Can we, as a country and people, take decisive steps to address these concerns?

Can we source international support to investigate these deaths many of which seem mysterious; if, and only if, we lack the resources and technical ability to do so?

Can the public be kept abreast as to the progress Government is making in investigating these deaths?

CAN WE ALSO ENDEAVOR to investigate the drivers of these mysterious killings?

Lest we forget, regardless of the circumstances of these deaths, whether politically motivated and or based on hatred, they do have ripple effects that transcend the actual victims. We may have to deal with how family members are affected and what interpretation others connected to the victims may conceive.

REMEMBER, the fruit of peace and freedom is priceless; and living in the spirit of fear breeds distress.

THIS IS A CLARION call to all people of Liberia to stand up and put an end to brutal murders and other serious crimes.  Our first step is to unilaterally and publicly condemn these atrocious acts; and, then, demand that our justice system fully and completely investigates each unexplained death. Culprits must be prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law.

IN TIMES OF TROUBLE, when good people sit aside supinely and do nothing, they are no better than the perpetrators of evil; for there is an adage that says, “we give acquiescence by our silence.”

Source: Liberia: Enough Is Enough – Too Many Murders Going With Impunity

Silence Is Not An Option, Mr. President!

Published: November 10, 2021
By: Editorial Board – Daily Observer, Liberia

Barely two months ago in its September 16, 2021 editorial headlined – “The People of Liberia Are Under Siege – Break That Siege Now”,  the Daily Observer pointed out that rising insecurity had become an issue of grave concern to Liberians across the board.
Note of the webmaster: This article by the Daily Observer’s Editorial Board has been included below – italics are mine, FVDK).

There have been persistent media reports of unexplained disappearances as in the case of the Blamo brothers who were reportedly hired by the proprietor of the St. Moses Funeral Parlors and extrajudicial killings including ritualistic killings carried out by individuals with alleged links to this government.

We recall the deaths last year of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) government auditors under mysterious circumstances. President Weah’s comments, suggesting that Gifty Lama and her colleague who were found dead in a vehicle on Broad Street were both lovers making out in their car, sent a wave of shock through the public.

Another LRA official, while driving along the SKD Boulevard, was attacked by machete wielding motorcyclists, causing him to run off the road and crash into a nearby house.

In yet another instance, the head of the Internal Audit Agency was killed after allegedly falling from the balcony of his house on SKD Boulevard. 

President Weah’s response to that development was to urge citizens to install close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras around their homes. That was well before the spike in reports of ritualistic killings around the country, which has served to create a climate of fear and uncertainty amongst the citizenry.

It is safe to say that Police response to such reports of extrajudicial killings have been at best ineffectual. Police Inspector-General Patrick Sudue, responding to expressed public concerns about the rise in ritualistic killings, dismissed such reports, adding that Liberians are freely disposing of their dead in the streets because of their inability to give their relatives a decent burial.

He further declared that it was against such a backdrop that reports of bodies being discovered with parts missing were all fake news, intended to discredit the Weah administration.

But as events have shown, the fears of the people appear justified, given the spate of recent brutal murders of John Hilary Tubman, son of the late President William V.S. Tubman; William Richard Tolbert III, son of the late President William Richard Tolbert, Jr; and former immigration officer, Maude Elliot, in their respective homes.

Those tragic events, all unfolding within a very short period, have again raised public concerns about what they see as no end to the growing wave of insecurity under this government. 

Not a single perpetrator has been apprehended in all of the cases cited earlier. This is giving rise to a heightened sense of insecurity. After dark, the streets of Monrovia become virtually deserted. 

By 10pm latest, all stores, shops and supermarkets are shut and business comes to a grinding halt, except for a few night clubs which remain open until midnight.   

Only recently, in broad daylight, a group of armed thugs invaded a restaurant and bar located on 19th Street near the beach, shaking down bartenders and customers alike, taking away their valuables and money.

To the best of public knowledge, no suspects have, as yet, been apprehended by the Police. The Police, as is well known, is hamstrung in the effective discharge of its duties and responsibilities by the critical lack of logistics including communications.

However, concerns about corruption remain an abiding concern. Salaries are low, discipline poor, and effective leadership is lacking. Under the leadership of current Police Inspector-General Patrick Sudue, public confidence in the Police has waned significantly to the point where the Police is now being seen as partisan.

This negative public impression of the Police persists despite pronouncements by a local civil society group, National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (NAYMOTE) declaring that public confidence in the Police is increasing.

Given the current outlook, it appears that the restoration of public confidence in the Police is still a long way off. The disconnect between the Police and the public appears to be widening instead.  

Official government support to the Police rather than being directed at countering public dissent and clamping down on freedom of speech and assembly should instead be increased to aid its effectiveness and ability to provide protection to the people of Liberia.

This newspaper once again reminds President Weah that there is a climate of fear being created by such gruesome and mysterious killings as well as unexplained disappearances. The Daily Observer has consistently reminded this government that the creation of a climate of fear is in no one’s interest. 

This is because of the recognized fact that a climate of fear also induces feelings of hate and ill-will towards the government. Such feelings can be suppressed but only for a time. They simmer and without warning can explode like a volcano with dastardly implications for social cohesion, national stability and security.

Accordingly, it behooves all — the public and government alike — to work in tandem to curb the rise in violent crime and politically motivated murders such as ritualistic killings.

Above all, it bespeaks the urgent need to end the culture of impunity. And lest we forget, the TRC report provides a proper starting point — that is implementation of its recommendations, especially those recommendations on criminal accountability.

Quite clearly, the rule of law can never thrive in a situation where mass murders and war criminals parade the corridors of power lording over the victims of their crimes. 

Equally so, can it be said that unscrupulous individuals, driven by greed and feeling emboldened by the fact that warlords have since enjoyed impunity, could also attempt to follow their example.

As leader, President Weah should ensure that matters concerning the safety, security and wellbeing of the Liberian people be treated with foremost and not benign concern. 

This means President Weah must break his silence, speak to the Liberian people and reassure them. For, anything short of this would suggest complicity. Silence is not an option Mr. President!

Source: Silence Is Not An Option, Mr. President!

The People of Liberia Are Under Siege! Break That Siege Now, Mr. President!

Published: September 16, 2021
By: Editorial Board – Daily Observer, Liberia

Rising insecurity is/has become an issue of grave concern to Liberians across the board. Report of a rise in ritual killings, unexplained disappearances, extrajudicial killings carried out by individuals with alleged links to this government have all been major topics of concern on virtually all local radio talk-shows recently.

Barely a week ago, a driver of the National Transit Authority (NTA) assigned to ferry to and from the Roberts International Airport (RIA) supporters of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) who turned out to welcome returning CDC chairman Mulbah Morlu was seriously wounded under unexplained circumstances.

The incident, according to eyewitness accounts, occurred in the environs of the CDC Congo Town headquarters. According to a family spokesman, they believe their relative was shot and seriously wounded. Further, according to the spokesman, they have appealed to authorities of the MTA to fly their relative out of the country for advanced treatment in view of his critical condition resulting from the alleged shooting by an unidentified individual.

But the Police see things differently. According to Police spokesperson Moses Carter, the NTA driver’s injury was caused by a stone thrown by an unidentified individual. Some eyewitness accounts, however, say the driver was shot. As to whether it was an accidental discharge or not remains unclear. But family members maintain that a stone would not cause extreme injury to their relative that would place his life in such grave danger.

Just who is telling the truth remains unclear in the absence of a medical report stating the kind of injury sustained and its causal agent.  The Police are urged to go further in the provision of adequate and accurate information to the public.

Another recent development is the unexplained killing of a female whose lifeless body was discovered on 17 Street near the beach. According to the Police, she was sexually assaulted. Further, the Police maintain that she was mentally challenged and was reported to have often left home for unknown destinations.

But according to eyewitness accounts, the crime scene appeared as though there had been a tussle between the lady and her assailants. Further, according to them, her head appeared to have been bashed by a blunt object, and that parts of her body were extracted. However, these accounts have not been confirmed by the Police. It would however do the Police well to conduct an autopsy and make public the findings.  

This is necessary because of the general negative public perception of the Liberia National Police (LNP). Several unexplained deaths/killings have occurred recently that have left the public with rising feelings of insecurity and a growing lack of trust in the ability of this government to protect them.

Recalling from history, rising insecurity and general perceptions of government’s inability to protect the people always serve to undermine the legitimacy of that government. Such was the case with the Doe administration, in which the abuse of human rights was commonplace. Eventually, it led to violent resistance that took away his life.

Similarly placed was the government of President Charles Taylor, who came to power on the heels of a prolonged civil war. At a sovereign national conference convened during his administration, the greatest and unanimous concern of delegates at that conference was insecurity.

But President Charles Taylor, it appeared, remained impervious to those expressed concerns as he did virtually nothing to curtail the excesses of his security forces. The rest is history. According to a retired diplomat, Liberians have had enough, more than their fair share of disruptions to their lives caused by the insane greed of their leaders. Some according to him were known to have indulged in ritual murder and practices.

A former National Patriotic Front (NPFL) rebel, Joseph Zigzag Marzah testified before the Sierra Leone Special Court sitting in The Hague that he and others, along with former Liberian President Charles Taylor, partook in ritual feasts that involved human body parts.   Ritualistic killing has been practiced in Liberia for a long time. Those who indulge in it believe that drinking human blood and consuming potions containing human body parts impart them with magical prowess to overcome their enemies politically or otherwise.

In 1977, during the reign of President Tolbert, several prominent individuals and commoners were tried in Maryland County on charges of ritual murder. They were found guilty and sentenced to death and were publicly hanged.  For a prolonged period thereafter, ritualistic killing subsided. It has since however reared its head. During the Doe and Taylor administrations, ritualistic killing was a known fact. Cannibalism, especially the eating of human hearts, was practiced by all the warring factions during the civil war

But of late, ritualistic killing and extrajudicial killings have become matters of rising public concern. Indications so far suggest that this government is doing virtually little or nothing to stop it.  Additionally, crime, especially violent crime is on the increase. Abductions, handbag and phone snatching by individuals mounted on motorcycles have also increased. Although the public is raising concern, the LNP response appears ineffectual.

This may more likely than not lead to situations where people generally begin to take matters into their hands. Such would not augur well for general public safety, security, and national stability.  This is why the public expects that President Weah should become seized of the matter and do something concrete to address concerns about the alleged involvement of his officials in a ritualistic murder.

He is currently on a mission to Accra, Ghana, intended to resolve the situation in neighboring Guinea arising from the overthrow of President Alpha Conde. ECOWAS and the AU have since imposed sanctions. As a leader, President Weah should remember that cardinal among his duties is the duty to defend the people against threats to their safety and security and ensure the protection of their rights.  For your information, the people of Liberia are under siege Mr. President. You have to break that siege now!

Source: The People of Liberia Are Under Siege! Break That Siege Now, Mr. President!

Liberia: growing anxiety over ritual killings and the political fallout from the recent surge in ritualistic murders

Liberia is again in the grip of ritualistic murders. An alarming wave of insecurity terrorizes the population. Reportedly, secret and ritualistic murders are being committed. The Liberia National Police is pressed by the public to do more. President Weah is being asked to address the nation and speak out against these heinous crimes, which are far from uncommon in Liberia.

In the past, ambitious politicians have been found involved in ritualistic activities including murder. The presidential elections of 2023 are still far away but politicians and their supporters are already preparing for a fierce election campaign. Moreover, on November 16 of this year, by-elections will be held in Bomi, Bong, Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties to fill the vacancies in the House of Representatives following the election of Representatives in the Senate in December 2020.  

The combined opposition – the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) including the ANC, ALP, UP and the LP – has to come to grips with the internal battle for a unique, common presidential candidate for the 2023 elections if it wants to defat the incumbent president.  However, its political leaders: ANC leader Alexander Cummings, the UP candidate and former Vice President Joseph Boakai, ALP’s Benoni Urey and Grand Bassa County Senator and political leader of Liberty Party, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, are not on the same line when it comes to a common candidate.

The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change is also far from homogeneous. The coalition is composed of Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change plus the National Patriotic Party of warlord-turned-into-president Charles Taylor, now led by one of his ex-wives, Jewel Howard Taylor, currently Vice President in the Weah Administration, and the Liberian People Democratic Party of the corrupt and for this reason disgraced former House Speaker Alex Tyler. It is a public secret that relations between the Present and his Vice President are far from harmonious.

The foregoing does not pretend to provide an answer to the question why there’s currently a surge in ritualistic killings in Liberia – assuming that reports of a surge in ritual murders are not unfounded. Moreover, as one newspaper commented, ‘There is speculation that the majority of those who disappear perpetually without a trace are often victims of ritual killings.’ 

The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police, Colonel Patrick Sudue, has labelled the reports on ritualistic murders as fake news, accusing the opposition of tarnishing the good reputation of the Weah Administration. In sharp contrast, however, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor publicly disagreed with him, pleading for an end to the many mysterious deaths that are linked to ritualistic killings.

Be that as it may, Liberia’s human rights reputation, which wasn’t that good anyway, is being further damaged by these reports of ritualistic and secret killings whereas critics  of president Weah who accuse him of inaction will be more convinced than ever that he is not the right man in the right place. 

As an observer of Liberian politics since the 1970s I’m afraid that this is not the end of the story…

To be continued (webmaster FVDK).

Public anxiety over ritual killings increases; President Weah must address the nation and speak out on the scourge of ritualistic killings in Liberia

Published: September 30, 2021
By: Editorial Board, Front Page Africa, Liberia 

THE SPATE OF KILLINGS for ritual purposes is gradually assuming an alarming rate in Liberia with little or no effort by government of President George Weah to checkmate the trend.

OFFICIAL STATISTICS indicate that there has been an increase in the number of missing persons all over the country in recent times. Some are found, while others are not. 

THERE IS SPECULATION that the majority of those who disappear perpetually without a trace are often victims of ritual killings.

ONE WOULD HAVE expected such acts to be a thing of the past following decades of civil war in Liberia which claimed the lives of over 150, 000 people, and made hundreds of thousands became refugees throughout the region. 

BUT SADLY murdering people to appease the deities appears to be on the increase in Liberia.

THESE RITUALISTS hide under different covers to get their victims. For some, they kidnap their victims from various points, while others who pretend to be commercial drivers, pick unsuspecting commuters at bus-stop only to take them to their slaughter slabs to carry out what they know how to do best.

RECENTLY, the lifeless body of a girl believed to be in her 30s was discovered in Caldwell with body parts extracted.Till date perpetrators of the dastardly act are yet to be found.

A DAY EARLIER, another lifeless body of a man believed to be in his 40s was found in the Soul Clinic community. As at the time his body was recovered, some parts had been removed. They included his penis, eyes and tongue. Still, the perpetrators have not been arrested.

GIVEN THE RATE of increase of ritual killings in Liberia, no one is immune from becoming a victim. But some people are at greater risk. People with mental illnesses and virgins are unique targets as the ritualists allegedly believe that their eccentrics and purity make for a more viable sacrifice. 

ALSO, PEOPLE living with albinism have equally become victims of ritual killings, fuelled by the belief that their ‘body parts’ could allegedly make one wealthy or prolong one’s life.

IT IS DISHEARTENING to point out that as developed countries invest in science and technology to keep abreast with a dynamic world, Liberia is still stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety, and protection.

IT’S TIME the government of President Weah play a more active role in ameliorating the negative impact of these dastardly acts?

POVERTY AND ECONOMIC hardship in the country are reasons for ritual killings. However, these are not justifiable reasons to commit ritual murder. Impunity encourages ritualists to commit murders because they believe they will not be apprehended or punished.

ANOTHER REASON for ritual murders is the collapse in our moral values, ignorance and superstition, and lack of an adequate punishment system. 

WE SHOULD also consider poverty and unemployment as significant risk factors. If Liberians have equal opportunities to earn income legitimately, there will be a reduction in horrific crimes such as banditry and human killings for ritual.

THE HIGH INCIDENCE of serial ritual killings in Liberia demands an urgent action at the level of the government of President Weah.

TO CURB THE INCREASE in ritual killings, government should thoroughly explore the intelligence-gathering approach. Timely arrest and prosecution of arrested suspects would serve as a deterrent to anybody contemplating perpetrating ritual killing.

RECORD OF SUCCESSFUL prosecution of ritualists is not in the public domain. When there are no consequences for deviant behavior, it is incentivized.

THE CONSCIENCE of Liberians are being troubled by reports of recent ritual murders including that of  those whose body parts were ripped out for ritual purposes.

LIBERIANS SEEM to be rapidly losing faith in the ability of President Weah and his government to detect and punish ritual killers, and it’s time President Weah act to address the scourge in ritualistic activities in Liberia.

THE SOONER, the better..

Source: President Weah Must Address the Scourge of Ritualistic Killings in Liberia

and:

A heartbreaking plea to political parties, religious and civil society leaders

Just where is our President and why has he maintained such a conspicuous silence in the face of mounting cries of the people craving the intervention of the state to protect their lives?

Published: September 30, 2021
By: Staff Editor – The Daily Observer, Liberia

This is a plea to Civil Society, Religious Leaders and political parties, especially the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), to act in concert and speak with one voice on the deteriorating security situation in the country. Every God-sent day is replete with accounts of mysterious and brutal killing of peaceful citizens apparently for ritualistic purposes.

This is also a plea to civil society and their respective organizations to become seized of the current situation and also speak with one voice on the current situation. From all indications, this government is failing to protect the people and this does not augur well for peace and national security.

We say this because there is an inherent danger in allowing things to deteriorate to the point where ordinary citizens begin to take action to protect themselves from harm. Judging from reports, it appears that females are being particularly targeted but in the face of such assaults against our women, especially, not a word has been heard from the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) and the same goes for other women groups.

Religious leaders, Muslim as well as Christian, etc., have also failed to take up the issue as a matter of priority concern. Innocent children of God are being slaughtered like animals, but the voices of our religious leaders have either been silent or at best feeble. Just where are our so-called men of God in the face of such brutal onslaught against the children of God, one is tempted to ask.

More importantly, just where is our President and why has he maintained such a conspicuous silence in the face of mounting cries of the people craving the intervention of the state to protect their lives? The Police have not proved very helpful in the eyes of the public. 

Such displayed ineptitude by the Liberia National Police (LNP) in addressing urgent security concerns of the people is leaving most people with the impression that the rise in ritualistic killings and other forms of violence is linked to top officials of this government. In their view, this is why such killings continue to happen despite massive public outcry.

In such situations, opposition political parties, religious leaders and civil society organizations are usually looked up to for help and guidance. But to the disappointment of the public, they also seem to appear helpless to deal with the situation. Whether their inaction is borne out of fear and trepidation, or out of a desire to ingratiate themselves into the good favors of the President, remains unclear.

For now, it is basically the media which has inadvertently found itself thrust into the fore to speak out on behalf of a seemingly helpless people. Their efforts are indeed commendable but grossly insufficient without the active support of civil society, including political parties and religious organizations. They cannot afford to wait until things run out of hand before they can muster the courage to step up to the plate.

For the past few weeks, the media has been awash with reports of the ongoing feud within the CPP, which has been touted as the last bastion capable of restoring hope of Liberians for sustainable peace and giving the people some respite from the suffering and hardships being experienced under the leadership of the Coalition for Democratic Change.

This coalition composed of the National Patriotic Party of disgraced and imprisoned war convict Charles Taylor, and the Liberian People Democratic Party of disgraced former House Speaker Alex Tyler, was hailed by its supporters as the answer to Liberia’s problems, following President Weah’s selection of Charles Taylor’s ex-wife Jewel Howard Taylor as Vice President. 

Under the rule of her ex-husband Taylor, Liberia became a pariah state largely as a result of runaway corruption and the massive and egregious human rights abuses committed under his watch by his security forces.

But those very vices that eventually led to Taylor’s disgraceful exit from power and subsequent trial and conviction on war crimes, appear to have now taken center-stage under the current ruling Coalition. In the face of this, civil society, including political parties especially the CPP, appear to have their attention fixed elsewhere. The CPP, for example, finds itself locked in a bitter and seemingly unending internecine feud.

Whether ANC leader Alexander Cummings and UP leader and former Vice President Joseph Boakai will find common ground on the question of who has the popularity and political strength to lead the Collaboration to elections in 2023 is anyone’s guess.

While Joseph Boakai appears to enjoy overwhelming support in vote-rich Lofa County, the same cannot be said of Alexander Cummings in any county including his home country Maryland. It may therefore be suicidal were he to quit the CPP to go it alone. And apparently he realizes this and such could be reasons why he has declared that leaving the CPP is a non-option.

Similarly, it can be said that it would be suicidal for Joseph Boakai to leave the CPP to go it alone. Both individuals appear hopelessly stuck together with each wanting out, but too timid to make the break for fear of the consequences. But the Liberian people cannot forever wait for justice, neither can they forever wait on the government to bring ritualistic killings to an end.

This can perhaps explain why there are increasing calls from the public for the reintroduction of the Death Penalty to serve as deterrent to would be ritual killers. They point to the United States of America, the foremost global champion of Human Rights, which still maintains the Death Penalty without censure from international human rights institutions. Then, why not Liberia, they ask.     

And their point of reference is the 1977 trial, conviction and public hanging, in Harper, Maryland County of several individuals including a former Superintendent involved in the ritual murder of Moses Tweh, a popular folk singer, which put a stop to ritual killings in that country for a long period.

Source: A Plea to Political Parties, Religious Leaders and Leaders of Civil Society

PS Note of the webmaster: For a detailed overview of the arrest and trial of the defendants accused of the ritual killing of Moses Tweh, see: ‘The Maryland Ritual Murders – Liberia’s most notorious ritual killing case‘. Warning: some readers may find the graphic contents, description of the ritual murder and the accompanying pictures disturbing (FVDK). 

The 7 convicted ritual killers who were sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of Moses Tweh: Allen Yancy, James Anderson, Francis Nyepan, Philip Seton, Wreh Taryonnoh, Putu Dweh and Thomas Barclay.
For more information click here 
The public execution took place in Harper, Maryland County, on February 16, 1979

More recent articles:

Liberia National Police Inspector General says reports of ritualistic killings, disappearances are fake news and intended to malign government’s image

Published: September 30, 2021
By: Willie N. Tokpah – Front Page Africa, Liberia

Monrovia — In recent months, reported cases of ritual killings have surged in Liberia, but the country’s Police Inspector General, Patrick Sudue and his deputy Prince Mulbah say such reports are untrue and being fueled by opposition politicians to tarnish the image of the government.

Sudue and Mulbah, at a news conference Wednesday, disclosed that the police are only aware of a single ritualistic incident, which occurred in MaryLand County recently, adding the perpetrators are facing justice.

“People are being paid to tarnish the image of the country and to raise false national security alert. There are inconsistencies in their statements,” Sudue says.

Meanwhile, Mulbah, Deputy Police Inspector General for Administration, described information about ritualistic killings in the country as a ploy designed by the opposition to create fear for diaspora Liberians who want to return home.

“As far our investigations are concerned, we haven’t established anything called ritualistic killing apart from what happened in Maryland County,” Mulbah says.

“We have heard a lot of people talking on social media of people being kidnapped and taken away, these are paid agents.”  

A rising number of mutilated bodies on streets in Monrovia and other parts of the country this year has sown fear in Liberians.

Recently, the lifeless body of a girl believed to be in her 30s was discovered in Caldwell with body parts extracted.Till date perpetrators of the dastardly act are yet to be found.

A day earlier, another lifeless body of a man believed to be in his 40s was found in the Soul Clinic community. As at the time his body was recovered, some parts had been removed. They included his penis, eyes and tongue. Still, perpetrators have not been arrested.

Liberians have taken to social media to raise alarm about the rise in ritual activities, urging commuters to always write down the identification markings of public conveyance vehicles as they enter and make phone calls to loved ones to pass on the information. 

But Sudue said most of these social media pictorials and videos about ritualistic incidents are not a representation of what is unfolding in the country.

He warned those involved in orchestrating a negative image about the country to desist, or face the full weight of the law.

The rise in ritualistic killings has claimed the attention of opposition political leaders, who are calling on President George Weah to redirect every penny he intends to spend on his 55th birthday celebrations on Friday, October 1.

Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Wednesday said the country is fast becoming a cesspool of crime ranging from these mysterious killings, armed robbery, drug dealing, and money laundering.

“This is in addition to the numerous past mysterious deaths of the auditors, the missing boys and other violent crimes that are yet to be investigated or the perpetrators found,” he says.

“It is clear that our security sector is under-staffed, under-paid and overwhelmed. This can not continue. I am calling on the President to redirect every penny he intends to spend on his elaborate and glamorous birthday celebration, into the security sector. We need to empower our community policing and night patrol and strengthen community vigilante groups to work with the Police in each community. This should include the distribution of basic materials and basic training. We need to also investigate these crimes with a sense of urgency and bring perpetrators to justice. The government needs to get to work.”

Grand Bassa County Senator and political leader of Liberty Party, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, who’s in the United States of America, said she would start a women movement against the ritualistic killings of children, mothers and sisters, brothers and  husbands upon her return to Liberia.

Sen. Karnga-Lawrence called on all women to rise up and ensure that the serial killings are brought to an end. “The voices of women must be heard at every level, from the vice president down. This must stop, our survival is at stake and Liberia must be safe for all of us,” Sen. Karnga-Lawrence says.

Dr. Daniel E. Cassel of the People’s Liberation Party (PLP), whose secretary general, David Beyan, was reportedly shot by unknown gunmen, called on the government of President George Weah to address the issue of ritualistic killings in the country. 

“This is the time for President Weah to act quickly and bring an end to the end to the rise in ritualistic killings,” Dr. Cassel says.

Reacting to the reported shooting incident of Beyan, Sudue rejected claims that the PLP secretary general was shot by unknown gunmen.

He claimed Beyan lied about being shot infront of his fence when medical records showed that he (Beyan) told doctors that he shot by himself.

“I think if this young man would have killed himself, the whole country would say it is the government that killed him. He lied about being shot,” Sudue says.

Sudue claimed a shell from a firearm was seen in Beyan’s vehicle, which confirmed medical records that he shot himself.

After being thoroughly quizzed about the situation, coupled with medical proof, Beyan couldn’t lie, Sudue said.

“He told us that he criminally and knowingly took the weapon from residence as far as 20 Street and then to Soul Clinic community to hide the weapon,” Sudue claimed.

However, he said the police are in possession of a weapon by Beyan as he undergoes investigation at the Police headquarters in Monrovia.

“We will prosecute him for illegal possession of firearm and raising false alarm to security apparatus.”

At the same time, Inspector General Sudue has disclosed that the LNP has increased its patrols in major streets and communities, and has begun vigorous search and inspection operations to combat crimes in the country.

He said the LNP will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the country is stable and peaceful and that citizens are protected.

Source: Liberia: Inspector General of Police Says Multiple Reports of Ritualistic Killings, Disappearances Are Fake News Intended to Malign Government’s Image

And:

Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor disagrees with Liberia National Police Inspector General  that opposition is responsible for reports of ritualistic killings

Published: September 29, 2021
By: Henry Karmo – Front Page Africa, Liberia 

MONROVIA – Vice president Jewel Howard has joined the many voices of Liberians calling for an end to the mysterious killings of Liberians and wants those in authority of the security to take action that would end the many mysterious deaths that are linked to ritualistic killings.

In an interview with reporters, Liberia’s Vice President said, women in Liberia are feeling more insecure   than ever before in the history of Liberia. She placed more emphasis on the mysterious deaths of women for ritualistic purposes.

“I like to call upon our security sector to please put in place a regime that will enable our people to remain safe. The situation involves instances where women’s private parts are being cutoff, stories of young people being taken in specific location where others allegedly were being used for ritualistic purposes are very alarming.”

The VP also expressed hopes that in this 21st century, it will be easy for security apparatus to discover and arrest people involved in such killings of Liberians for the purpose of ritualistic killings because these acts have far reaching negative implication for the peace and security of Liberia and the investment climate.

Madam Taylor: “As far as I know, Government’s responsibility is to provide the peace and security of its people, that is why we have the different security apparatus of our country. If this was just one case people will want to wait but it is alarming; every single morning there is a report of a dead body somewhere.

“In a country like Liberia, such a thing that is happening should not be happening, so I believe we should call on all of our security forces to do more.”

 The VP also told reporters that complaints from the police and other security entities about the lack of logistic should not be an excuse, because that is a responsibility they have taken.  “The police should be more vigilant if it requires bringing in the army, we should do that because it is alarming,” she said.

She also seems to have a different belief to that of many, especially those in government, who think the alarming rate of mysterious deaths is a strategy implored by the opposition to make the state ungovernable for the ruling CDC.

According to her, such portrayal of what is happening is hard to believe because nobody will want to kill innocent Liberians because they want to make Liberia ungovernable.   

“If an opposition or politicians do that, it will be ungovernable for everyone. If we are the sitting government we must now do more to make sure that whatever is happening will be brought to an end. This is a planned act carried out by some group of people.”

Source: Liberia: VP Taylor Differs Calls on Police to Take Charge; Disagrees that Opposition is Responsible for Reports of Ritualistic Killings

Finally:

Federation of Liberian Youth condemns series of secret & ritualistic killings

Published: September 29, 2021
By: Press Release – Front Page Africa, Liberia

MONROVIA – The Federation of Liberian Youth said it is troubling the alarming wave of insecurity currently existing in Liberia.

The group through its President Amos Williams said the terrifying decline in national security is worrisome and needs to be addressed.

Mr. Williams said the growing waves of recent ritualistic and series of secret killings have the propensity to undermine the current and uninterrupted peace which the general population has enjoyed for over fifteen years now.

As a means of addressing the issue, FLY has therefore called on the attention of President George Weah including the Ministry of Justice and the Liberian National Police (LNP) to promptly act in addressing decisively the current state of insecurity by providing safety and security to all citizens and foreign residents alike in the borders of Liberia. 

Mr. Williams at the same time encouraged all citizens to be supportive and attentive in providing any important information which can be used by national security apparatus in accordance with the growing waves of insecurities in the country.

In a move to practically address the issue, FLY wants the Government to acknowledge the issue of insecurity in the Land and address it hands down.

Source: FLY Condemns Series Of Secret & Ritualistic Killings

Liberia – political map