Of course, the following article could just report on an ‘ordinary’ murder case, not a ritualistic killing, as is feared. But with so many ritualistic murders being committed in Zimbabwe as has been reported – see my January 28 posting – it is easy to jump to conclusions or suspicions and think of ‘another ritual murder case’.
Hence it is imperative ‘to stay cool’ and remain objective and calm – but vigilant. (webmaster FVDK).
Ritual Murder Suspected In ECD Teacher’s Death
Published: January 30, 2023 By: Pindula, Zimbabwe
The husband of Budiriro 4 Primary School ECD teacher, Magdalene Mandiveyi, who was found dead on Friday after she had been reported missing, said his life will never be the same again following her mysterious death.
Mandiveyi (38) was found dead in a maize field in Aspindale on Friday.
Her husband, David Mupanganyemba (45), told H-Metro that on the day Magdalene went missing, she left home early for work while he and their three-month-old baby were still asleep. Said Mupanganyemba:
She left home on Monday for work and left me asleep since I was off duty.
Handitombozivi kuti musi wacho akabuda mumba akapfeka zvakaitasei. I expected her during lunchtime to breastfeed the baby, but she never came. I called her cellphone number, but it was unreachable.
I sent someone to look for her at the school and that is when we learned that she had not reported for duty and began to wonder what had happened to her.
One of the senior teachers told us that Magdalene had phoned earlier in the morning saying she would report late for work.
She told the senior teacher that she wanted to nurse the baby since our maid had not returned from her off.
After informing my in-laws about this, we joined the search party, only to be called to Marimba Police Station on Friday to identify a body they had found.
I went and identified the body as my wife. My life will never be the same without her.
Mupanganyemba, who described his wife as “a very quiet and supportive woman”, said she had not complained about anything nor showed any signs of distress in the days leading up to her disappearance and subsequent death.
A Budiriro 4 Primary student who boarded the same kombi with Magdalene in the morning she disappeared allegedly told a senior teacher at the school that the driver ignored their calls to be dropped off at their usual point.
The girl said the driver of the kombi later stopped and allowed her to alight while Magdalene remained seated.
Some mourners, including teachers from Budiriro 4 Primary, said they suspected Magdalene could have been killed for ritual purposes. Said a mourner:
It was raining the whole week, but her body had no mud whatsoever. She could have been killed elsewhere and dumped in the field.
Magdalene completed her teaching studies at Nyadire Teachers’ College in 2015 and joined the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education the following year.
She first taught at Stratford Primary School in Banket before moving to Royden Primary School near Whitehouse along the Harare-Bulawayo Road.
Magdalene then taught at David Livingstone Primary School before being transferred to Budiriro 4 Primary.
She is survived by her husband David and four children.
The following article was chosen because of what can be read between the lines. The author of the article dwells on the pros and cons of social media warning for the dangers which especially threaten children. Towards the end of the article we read a shocking acknowledgement:
Of course, such a statement is in legal terms no proof of a crime, but the well-informed reader and many Zimbabweans will know the truth behind these lines.
For this reason I have decided to share the article with you. After all, the newspaper publishing the article is well-known and respected, one of Zimbabwe’s leading newspapers, and the author, Elliott Ziwira a senior journalist. (webmaster FVDK)
Social media parenting leaves children exposed
Published: January 28, 2023 By: Elliott Ziwira, Senior writer – The Herald, Zimbabwe
The reader is invited to click the link below (‘Source’) to read the whole article.
In Nigeria a public discussion has started on banning a song allegedly inciting young people to commit ritual murders. If ever existed a reason to demonstrate the widespread occurrence of ritualistic murders in Africa’s most populated country then it’s no longer the case with the nation-wide debate on Yahoo Yahoo and ritual killings, locally called ‘money rituals’ – get-rich-quick’.
The despised song and related rage over the alleged incitement to commit murder once more demonstrates that the type of ritual murders which are being committed in Nigeria, presumably all over the country, is different form the ‘traditional’, may I call it the ‘classical’ human sacrifice which once was part of African culture, as it also was in Latin America (Incas, Mayas) and Asia (nowadays India, China) and Europe. Unfortunately, speaking of these ritualistic acts in the past tense is not correct as up till the present day ritual murders or Satanic murders are being reported from the regions mentioned including North America.
In ancient times human sacrifices were performed in various forms and for various reasons varying from sacrificing a member of one’s tribe for the benefit of the whole community, or for purposes of accompanying the soul of a departed chief or loved one to the ancestors (‘The Great Beyond’). The victim of the sacred ceremony was chosen by the priests or elders of the community and sometimes the parents of the victim would consider it a source of pride to contribute to the welfare of the community or the eternal rest of a chief by ‘sacrificing’ their son or daughter.
Nowadays, however, ritual murders are being committed for the well-being of an individual who desires to increase his wealth, power or reputation, and who believes in the supernatural power of specific body parts of the victim, whereas the victims are increasingly picked at random. This ‘criminalization’ of a hitherto cultural phenomenon is the main characteristic of most ritual murders being committed nowadays in African countries. What makes it sometimes even worse is that the perpetrators are protected by powerful people who at times are themselves involved in these barbaric acts. Th fact that in several countries ritual murders are on the increase during elections campaigns is a bitter illustration of this reality. (Webmaster FVDK).
It’ll encourage ritual killing – MURIC begs NBC, others to ban Portable’s new album
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned sensational musician, Portable’s new album titled, ‘Kuku Do Ritual’, urging authorities to ban it.
According to the Islamic human rights organisation, the album is a brazen assault on Nigerian and African values and has the potential to encourage ritual killing and mislead Nigerian youth.
MURIC made this known in a Monday statement signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The organisation called on the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and the Performing Musicians’ Association of Nigeria (PMAN) to take necessary action with military dispatch to stop the circulation of the album.
The statement reads, “Popular pop singer, Habeeb Okikiola (Portable) has released a new album under the title ‘Kuku Do Ritual’ in which part of the lyrics say, ‘Kuku do ritual. If you do ritual you go die. If you no do ritual you go die. Kuku do ritual’.
“We find this song disgusting, detestable and egregious. It is a brazen assault on Nigerian and African values. Portable’s latest song has reduced human life to the level of ordinary ants that can be stamped out under human feet without qualms and without consequences. It is an open invitation to criminality. It makes mockery of law and order. It is an open disrespect for human life.
“This song has the capacity to influence our young ones in a negative manner. It is also capable of destroying the future of the youth. Something must be done urgently. Already, there are several reports of young ones engaging in the shameful act for the purpose of getting rich in their tender ages.
“Three teenagers were caughtattempting to kill a 13-year-old girl for money ritual in Bayelsa State in January 2022.
“Four teenagers living in Abeokuta, Ogun State, killed the girlfriend of one of them for money ritual. In fact, there is a plethora of ritual killings among young Yahoo practitioners in the country.
“MURIC calls on all men of goodwill, all mothers in Nigeria, Muslim and Christian leaders to rise against the madness called Yahoo Yahoo and ritual killings among young ones whose ambassador has just released this horrendous song in their praise. ‘Kuku Do Ritual’ is nothing but a eulogy to glorify and elevate the names of ritual killers to high heaven.
“This album calls for immediate action from Nigeria’s traditional rulers. They are the custodians of our tradition. We therefore take our cry for help to these royal fathers to speak up on this sacrilegious song released by ‘Portable’. They must put pressure on the authorities to stop the circulation and broadcast of this album on any radio or television station and through any medium whatsoever.
“We invite the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and the Performing Musicians’ Association of Nigeria (PMAN) to take necessary action with military dispatch.
“We see no reason why the security agencies should not investigate the author of this most embarrassing and irrational song to explain the number of rituals in which he has indulged. A scape goat must be made of this album and its artist before the trend escalates.
“Nobody should hide behind artistic priviledge, poetic licence or freedom of expression to launch such barbaric offensive on our culture, our norms and our values. This is beyond free speech. It is criminal speech. It is incitement to commit murder. It is instigation to criminality. It is a bestial invasion on decency and good manners. It is Bohemian.”
“This song has the capacity to influence our young ones in a negative manner. It is also capable of destroying the future of the youth. Something must be done urgently. Already, there are several reports of young ones engaging in the shameful act for the purpose of getting rich in their tender ages.
On Wednesday, January 11, the people of Arondizuogu in Imo State, In Nigeria’s delta region, took to the streets to protest over a number of unexplained killings in their communities. The killings were described as ‘strange happenings’ and linked to politics. One does not need much imagination to associate these killings with ritualistic murders.
Imo State is located in the country’s south-east, is the third smallest in area of Nigeria’s 36 states and has a population of about 6 – 7 million people. It is not the first time the people in Imo State are confronted with deadly ritualistic activities in their communities. In 2009, a large group of women from Ndiakunwata and Arondizuogu, Ideato North, a Local Government Area of Imo State, stormed the state capital Owerri to stage a peaceful protest over a wave of ritual killings in their area. See the second article presented below for more details.
The third article below describes another horrible ritual murder which occurred in 2009. The mentioning of Otokoto in the 2009 article refers to the 1996 Otokoto riots which happened in the aftermath of another ritual murder in Imo State in that year (of an 11-year-old schoolboy boy, Anthony Ikechukwu Okoronkwo, though the uprising was also caused by the rampant corruption in the state). Readers are warned that the described murder cases contain graphic details.
Finally, for shortness sake I refer to my previous postings for more ritual murder cases in Imo State. To access these postings, click on ‘African countries’ in the dropdown menu and select: Nigeria (webmaster FVDK).
Villagers protest ritual killings, burning of vehicles in Imo State
Published: January 11, 2023 By: Chinonso Alozie – Vanguard, Nigeria
Elderly men, women and Youths of Arondizugo, Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo state, on Wednesday continued to protest over the alleged killings and burning of vehicles by suspected hoodlums in their communities.
The youths were seen on a video that went viral on social media, they marched around the Ideato North communities demanding no further delay for government to intervene in their situation.
At the time of filing this report, some of the villagers who could not give reasons for the attacks described some of the killings as “strange happenings” and linked to politics.
The latest was the alleged killing of a young man and a tricycle rider whose names were withheld. It happened Tuesday night at Ndiejezie Izuogu in Ideato’s local government area of Imo State.
They lamented the burning of about three vehicles one of the vehicle’s plate numbers was given as a YAB-225DY Range rover vehicle.
One of the villagers who preferred not to mention his name said: “My brother these killings have been happening for some time. We have cried for help nothing is happening. Even sometime last year, our royal fathers from Arondizugo came out and protested. I saw you were among the journalists that they addressed and pleaded for government intervention because this is too much.
“We want the government to come and save us. We don’t need much delay again. We are in pain now. We want an end to these killings and burning of vehicles.
“Many of roads are not safe now. this is bad we want help. let us end this killings. We are tired. Why the killings? why these troubles. We want government to end it.”
However, at the time of filing this report, the elders in the various villages were still having strategic meetings to see how to end the reported killings and burning of vehicles.
When the Imo state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Micheal Abattam, was contacted he was yet to respond.
Published: November 12, 2009 By: Chidi Nkwopara – Vanguard, Nigeria
OWERRI – Scores of women from Ndiakunwata, Arondizuogu, Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State, stormed Owerri to stage a peaceful protest over recent ritual killings in their area.
Vanguard gathered that unidentified ritualists killed an octogenarian, Mrs. Beatrice Asoanya, and her granddaughter, Miss Chinaza Okereke, while they were sleeping in their home.
The women displayed placards with varying inscriptions, which included “Our lives are in serious danger”, “We are no longer safe in our community”, “We need government’s intervention” and “Ohakim save us”.
Speaking to newsmen amidst sobs, Lady Patricia Okereke, the mother of the slain Chinaza, said the suspected ritualists cut off the breast of her mother, Mrs. Asoanya, and drained her blood.
Lady Okereke said the women were angered that the suspected killer of the two citizens have been released, adding that the released suspects had since been moved to Abuja by his masters.
Okereke wondered why her daughter and mother would be murdered in such a gruesome manner, while the alleged culprits were left off the hook because of alleged influence of those backing him.
I demand that the perpetrators be brought to face the full weight of the law with a view to serving as a deterrence to others, she pleaded.
Otokoto again in Imo! Girl, 18, beheaded for rituals
Published: November 5, 2009 (headlines: August 19, 2009) By: Chidi Nkwopara – Nairaland, Nigeria
Residents of Owerri were Wednesday morning treated to a morbid spectacle as the police command paraded four suspects and the decomposing head of an 18-year old Chinwe Doris Perpetua Obieri, who was murdered for ritual purposes.
The bizarre scene, which was a replica of the infamous Otokoto saga of September 1996, had the prime suspect, 24-year old Emeka Uwakwe, from Ndiakunwata, Arondizuogu, Ideato North local government area of the state, clutching the decapitated head of his girl friend, Chinwe.
Speaking to newsmen, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aloy Okorie, gave the names of the other suspects as Chigamezu Anyaoha from Orodo, Mbaitoli local council area, Anthony Obioha from Lude, Ahiazu Mbaise local government area, and the medicine man, Damian Joseph from Obot Akara, Akwa Ibom State.
Mr. Okorie gave a graphic account of how the sordid crime was committed and the efforts made by the state police command to apprehend the suspects in far away Lagos State.
“You can see we have a case of murder for ritual murder. What happened was that on Sunday, July 26, 2009, the young lady whose head you are seeing (pointing at the decapitated head of Chinwe) left her Akokwa home, Ideato North local government area of Imo State. You can see the head without the body.
Late Chinwe before her death “The young man, Emeka Uwakwe, is the boy friend of this girl and he came all the way from Lagos and lured her to his house in the village. He murdered the girl, cut off her head for ritual purpose and dumped the headless body in a bush. Apparently, the girl had told her parents that she was going to visit her maternal uncle in another village.
“As at 7.04pm on that same Sunday, she called her parents and informed them she was already in her maternal uncle’s compound and they believed her. Later, her parents made a call to her and the call was not pulling through up till the next morning and by Monday when it was obvious that she was not coming back, they made a report to the police that their daughter was missing.
“The names of the parents are Mr. Nicholas and Mrs. Theresa Obieri from Umuezeala, Umueziama Kindred in Akokwa. It was after they made the report to the police that some vigilante people on the same date, came around and said they saw a headless body in the bush. The police invited the girl’s parents and they identified the headless body to be that of their daughter.
“It was at that point that the police swung into action and started making investigations. From information, we got to know that she had a boy friend who is resident in Lagos and who was seen around home within that period. So, we went to Lagos and we were able to arrest Emeka Uwakwe. You can see him now with the head of the slain girl (pointing at Emeka).
“When we now got him, he made a confession that Mr. Damian Joseph of Obot Akara in Akwa Ibom State, though he is based in Lagos also, was the one who made the charm with which, if he got the head of this girl, mix it with the charm and bury it, money will start flowing, he will start plucking money as if he was plucking fruits from the tree. That was exactly what the man did. He (Emeka) got the concoction, mixed it with the head and buried it in his room.
“We also went for the Native Doctor and got him. Meanwhile, Emeka made a confession too that it was his friends, Chigaemezu Anyaoha and Anthony Obioha, that introduced him to the Native Doctor and that he was capable of making medicine for money. They also confirmed that they had done such a medicine before with human scrotum. We do not know whether it their own scrotum or other people’s scrotum. We will surely find out in due.
“You can see the pretty 18-year old girl (displaying her photograph). I am sure if you had seen this girl when she was alive, you will weep. You will certainly weep because I have never seen a thing like that in my life. I just imagine my own daughter of that age being slaughtered for ritual purposes.
“Well, in an era where we talking about people going to live in the moon, that is the age we are in, 21st century, and people are still being fooled that they can use human head to make money. It is very unfortunate.
“Emeka Uwakwe was arrested on Wednesday last week (August 12, 2009) and when he gave us the information on how he got about the whole show, our men left for Lagos on Sunday and we were able to arrest both the Native Doctor and the other two boys. The next line of action is that they will pay the price prescribed by the laws of the land. We all know the price for somebody who has committed murder. He will pay with his own life. There is no duplicate for life. If he had the courage to kill somebody, he should also be prepared to face the consequence. He should be in a position to say if he killed her with a knife or first strangulated her before he cut off the neck.
“It is very clear that the girl deceived her parents. My advice is simple. I have a daughter of that age. I know how we monitor her. Most times, especially in this era, if she has to go out, we must let go with somebody because you never can tell. That age is a critical period in the training of children. Parents should monitor their daughters closely. It is easy to make contacts in this GSM era. I am sure that if the parents had raised alarm that very night they did not see her, may be things would have come out differently.
I’ve repeatedly drawn attention to the many ritual murders, or killings for ritual purposes, in Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country with a population exceeding 200 million souls. These ritualistic crimes are locally known as ‘money rituals‘. (Warning: the preceding link leads to a video with graphic details of ritual killings).
The following post is about the published worries of an individual, Safiyanu Ladan. He was so emotional about the spate of ritual murders in his country that when the new year 2023 was approaching he decided to write an open article which was first published by a leading Nigerian newspaper, the Daily Trust.
Safiyanu Ladan writes from Zaria, Kaduna State, and openly associates ritualistic murders to prominent businessmen and politicians. In the article he dwells on a ritual murder committed by a prominent businessman in Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State, in the north of the country.
It’s a well-known fact that in Nigeria and other countries ritual murders and elections are linked, with the number of alleged and confirmed cases of ritual murder increasing during election campaigns. Nigeria faces national elections in February this year (next month) when the people of Nigeria go to the polls to elect a new president and National Assembly. (webmaster FVDK).
I feel compelled to register my concern on the rising spate of killings across the country supposedly by ritualists as the 2023 elections draw closer. Some politicians who are desperate to win the election have always resorted to these uncanny acts in a bid to attain power at all costs. Unfortunately, the perpetrators of these […]
The post On the rising incidents of ritual killings appeared first on Daily Trust
I feel compelled to register my concern on the rising spate of killings across the country supposedly by ritualists as the 2023 elections draw closer. Some politicians who are desperate to win the election have always resorted to these uncanny acts in a bid to attain power at all costs.
Unfortunately, the perpetrators of these devilish acts have always gone free. It’s only on rare occasions that some arrests are made and after the suspects are ceremoniously paraded by the police one will never hear about the case again.
In January last year, Aminu Baba, a prominent businessman selling vehicles at Aminchi Motors, Gusau Zamfara State, after his arrest by the police, confessed to have eaten and sold human parts to some unknown persons.
In a video footage, the visibly unapologetic Aminu’s accomplice who was arrested alongside him had admitted the gruesome killing of a 9-year-old boy whose body parts were removed and sold to Aminu for N500,000.
It has been one year since such an unfortunate incident occurred, and the suspects and the police have promised to take them to court at the end of their investigation. The outcome of the court’s judgment on this heinous act is not yet available in the public domain.
Incidents such as this are being reported by the media and after initial reactions, the matter will just die off.
The unrelenting act of ritualists inflicting harm on unsuspecting members of society is of great concern, hence the need for security agencies to double their efforts in order to restore people’s confidence.
It is pertinent to note that the life of a human being is sacred, and as such, nobody should feel threatened that their life might be taken away in whatever form except according to laid down processes.
Safiyanu Ladan wrote from Zaria via email@example.com
The post On the rising incidents of ritual killings appeared first on Daily Trust
In Ghana, on average at least 16 ritual murders occur each year. Every fortnight, a family mourns the death of a loved one who lost his or her life because of the wickedness, unscrupulousness and the belief in witchcraft of the perpetrator(s) who search power, prestige, wealth or good health by committing a ritual murder.
The National Head Pastor of the 7th Day Pentecostal Church, Elder Enoch Ofori Jr., addressed a large crowd at the end of December (2022), condemning ritualistic practices and calling on the government to apply the rule of law. The meeting was organized by the 7th Day Pentecostal Assemblies and was held in the Ashanti Region (Central Region). In particular, the reverend minister cited the notorious Mankessim ritual murder case which occurred in the Central Region last year. I’ve reported on this ritual murder case on various occasions (see my postings dated September 27, September 30, and October 1, October 2 and October 3).
Elder Enoch Oforu is to be commended for raising his voice against the ugly practice of ritualistic killings in the country. His condemnation is even more important as he spoke at a meeting which was attended by the entire 25 branch churches across the country. (webmaster FVDK).
Rev Minister calls for effective enforcement of laws on ritual murders
Published: January 3, 2023 By: King Amoah – Modern Ghana
The new year couldn’t start worse. Another suspected ritual murder in Uganda. This time the victim is an 8-year old boy who was kidnapped from his family’s courtyard – in Luweero District – on Saturday, January 7. The reader is reminded that in August 2022, the body of a 3-year old child was discovered in the same region, hanging in a banana plantation, murdered. Also in the latter case, the circumstances warrant the suspicion of a ritual sacrifice. (webmaster FVDK).
Body of boy found without head, toes
Published: January 9, 2023 By: Dan Wandera – Daily Monitor, Uganda
What you need to know:
Residents say the incident has reawakened fears of kidnappers involved in ritual sacrifice.
Residents of Butanza-Kisule Village in Katikamu Sub-county, Luweero District, yesterday woke up to shocking news after they discovered the body of an eight-year-old boy, earlier reported missing in a garden.
The body did not have a head, fingers and toes.
While the residents associate the gruesome murder to child sacrifice, the police said they await the postmortem report to guide the investigations as they hunt for those who committed the crime.
“We have taken the body for postmortem but we call upon anybody with information that can guide the investigation to pass it to the police. Avoid rumours and unfounded talks but cooperate with the police,” Ms Sarah Kataike, the district criminal investigations officer, told the residents gathered near the home where the child went missing from the parents.
Ms Prossy Nabatanzi, the mother of the deceased, revealed that her son, Yasin Sseruga, was last seen on Saturday at around 3pm as he played with her younger sister in the family compound.
“As they played, somebody approached them and convinced the girl to go and get something from the house. When she returned, her brother and the unidentified man had disappeared from the compound,” she revealed.
“We reported the case to our village chairperson and we were also advised to go to Wobulenzi Police Station to report the case of the missing boy. The village mounted a search in the nearby areas but we did not get the missing boy,” she added.
Mr Godfrey Kafeero, the village chairperson, revealed that when the village tried to search the surrounding areas, they got stuck because there was no clue about the direction that the suspected kidnappers could have taken.
“They took advantage of the young girl and sister of the kidnapped boy who could not give any details. The young girl could not even describe the person who convinced her to go into the house,” he said.
Mr Kafeero explained that one of the residents only identified as Med discovered the lifeless body of a child tied between two tree trunks with a missing head as he approached his garden about 500 meters from the home where the child had been reported missing. “He quickly raised an alarm, alerting the residents. We are confused as residents because the intentions of the suspected assailants are not known. They manage to bring back the body in a place where we can easily locate it,” he says.
Ms Regina Nabachwa, another resident, said the incident has reawakened the fears of suspected child kidnappers involved in ritual sacrifice.
“This is a painful experience as a parent. They did not bother to call the parents for possible ransom. The suspects must have targeted the human body parts,” Ms Nabachwa claimed in an interview.
On August 31, police recovered the body of a three-year-old child hanging in a banana plantation in Kanyogoga Village, Luweero Sub-county. The deceased identified as Innocent Adriko had been left under the care of a 15-year-old by their mother, who had travelled.
The arrest of six men in Nimba County, Liberia, for allegedly killing two children on June 9 warrants three comments.
Handsome-boy Mahn, 9 years old, and 4-year old Zayzay David mysteriously went missing in Boe Bonlay Town, Boe-Quillah Administrative District, which is also part of District #6, Nimba County. Later the kids were found dead, murdered, although the police ruled out any foul play. Subsequently, the villagers asked traditional devils for help, to search for the perpetrators. This led to a ‘citizen arrest’ when six men were arrested on July 16 and turned over to police in Sanniquellie, Nimba County for interrogation. Among the suspects was an uncle of the two children.
Reportedly, the arrested men confessed and admitted to killing the two kids. The suspects accused a former Deputy Defense Minister of involvement ands ordering the ritualistic murder. Allegedly, the named former deputy minister wanted to contest for a representative seat in 2023 in Nimba District #6.
The reader is warned that the article below contains graphic details.
The incident leads me to three comments, based on the facts as reported by the source, the Liberian newspaper Daily Observer, one of Liberia’s leading newspapers, known and respected for its trusted news and interesting analyses.
First, the ‘election season’ is approaching in Liberia with planned presidential and general elections in 2023. It is not uncommon in Liberia that during election campaigns people disappear mysteriously, to be found later dead, mutilated, with ‘parts missing’, a local expression indicating the removal of organs or body parts for ritualistic purposes. Already Liberia has experienced several cases of unexplained disappearances, suspected deaths, and obvious ritual murders in the past few years.
Secondly, if true that initially the police had reported that it had found no foul play whereas the bodies of the victims were found to be not intact, this raises questions about police competence and the rule of law in Liberia. The latter has been subject to increasing criticism during the current administration of President George Weah who faces elections in 2023, the outcome of which will decide whether he will be a ‘one-term-President’ or will seize a second presidential term. It is interesting to note that apparently the people of Boe Bonlay Town showed more confidence in their traditional devils than in the local police.
Lastly, the Daily Observer article presented below contains the full name of the former Deputy Minister of Defense who is allegedly involved in this crime. Although this may be in conformity with Liberian rules and practice, I personally disapprove of such public naming and shaming. Moreover, we should always bear in mind that a suspect or accused person is not guilty unless found guilty by a competent, independent judge in a public, non-partisan trial.
In view of the in my opinion hectic period which Liberia will be facing the next two years it is important to realize this. (webmaster FVDFK)
Liberia: ‘Traditional devils’ arrest six men suspected of two ritual killings
Traditional devils in the Nimba County District #6, specifically Boe Bonlay Town, have arrested six men for allegedly killing two children on June 9. The two children, identified as Handsome-boy Mahn, 9, and Zayzay David, 4, mysteriously went missing in the Boe Bonlay Town, Boe-Quillah Administrative District, which is also part of District #6, Nimba County.
The kids had returned from the farm before the unfortunate accident. According to the kids’ parents, Mahn and David went missing while playing. The community then launched a search immediately but unfortunately, the kids were found dead with their bodies dumped in two separate wells about 20 minutes apart. The death of the two children then raised concern and fears among the citizens and the district at large, especially when the police or the 15-person coroner jury explained that there was no foul play found.
Despite the jury or the police ruling out any foul-play, the citizens this time brought out traditional devils to search for the perpetrators. During this exercise, several men were arrested on July 16 and turned over to police in Sanniquellie, Nimba County for interrogation.
Following their arrest, the six suspects reportedly admitted to killing the children, with one of the accused suspects, Prince Karney, age 41, explaining that they were given the amount of US$1,200 for the operation.
According to information, the main suspect, Zayee Winpea, 43, was hired by Karney to kill the two children for the amount of US$300, while Nenkerwon Mahn, 18, was given US$150 to serve as a watchman while the killing was ongoing. Nenkerwon Mahn is said to be the uncle of the two kids and he also confessed to serving as gate man, while the killing was going on.
The oldest among the suspects, Morris Gonwon, age 45, was also promised US$150 for his part, but his role in the killing was not spelled out. Two of the suspects, George Sumah, 42, and Lawrence Freeman, 45, were accused of transporting the blood to Monrovia, while Harrison Sumah, 29, grabbed the two children by luring them with lollipops and took them to the house where they were killed, according to Radio Nimba.
Karney was said to be the ‘youth leader’ of Boe Bonlay in Nimba County, and the district coordinator for the Friends of former Deputy Defense Minister Jackson Paye, who had expressed his desire to contest for a representative seat in 2023 in Nimba District #6.
Former Minister Paye was accused by the suspects of facilitating the killing by giving them US$1,200. But Paye on Truth FM on June 23 denied any link to the killing, describing the killing as barbaric, inhumane, and uncivilized.
He explained that the Friends of Paye want the law to take its course, ensuring the alleged perpetrators face the full weight of the law.
The President of Ogboni Agbaye (worldwide), Oba Akanji Adetoyese Abudu Olakisan, is not the only traditional leader to raise his voice against the wave of ritualistic activities including murder which terrorize the Nigerian population. He is to be commended for his brave position and being outspoken against these cruel practices which have no place in the 21st century. (webmaster FVDK)
Published: May 7, 2022 By: Sam Nwaoko – Nigerian Tribune
Oba Akanji Adetoyese Abudu Olakisan, is the President of Ogboni Agbaye (worldwide). He speaks with SAM NWAOKO on the widespread report of ritual killings in Nigeria and on how this affects the image of traditional worshippers in the society among other issues.
How does it make you feel when you hear the rampant reports of people killing others for money rituals?
I feel sad whenever I hear how people are being killed or slaughtered for money rituals in our country. I’ve always said that the major cause of all these is unemployment, most especially among our youths and government is to be blamed for this. That’s why entrepreneurship skill acquisition must be made compulsory right from the secondary schools so that youths could be engaged and become self-employed at the end of their education. Secondly, as the adage says ‘charity begins at home’, parents must teach their children morals and let them know the evil effects of engaging in criminalities because our creator frowns at every form of immoral act. Since the greatest sin that a man can commit in life that may attract the wrath of God is killing fellow human being, why can’t we run away from such sin and come back to God? So, the government should wake up to their responsibility by creating jobs for all our teeming youths either by encouraging them to be self-employed and give them a take-off grant or provide them with white collar jobs.
Do the reports affect what you do or how you are viewed in the society?
Of course, it has effect on what I do and want to believe it’s not only me but to every other law-abiding citizen of Nigeria. If you observe vividly, killings and other forms of insecurity have generally made our country unsafe for foreign investors. So this is to tell you that apart from me, every other Nigerian has equally been affected one way or the other. For example, people are no longer safe to even travel from one state to the other. Our economy has generally gone bad as a result of this insecurity and killing problems. Today, people are no longer safe in their houses, on the street, in the religion institutions, in the farms, in their places of work as well as while travelling from one place to another. So, since part of our government’s promise is to secure life and property of the citizenry, it is now time for them to have a rethink and wake up to their responsibilities
How would you advice a person who wants to do rituals for wealth?
My major advice for whoever that is planning it is to desist from such a dastardly act and never to go to it. Naturally if someone is very hard-working, focused, have trust and belief in God for the blessing of his handwork definitely, such a person will make it in life without making money rituals. Success in life is just a matter of obeying the principles of work and pray. Instead of money rituals, we should all wait for the time of God. It is only God that gives man wealth without adding stress to it. Though, it is good for someone to be wealthy because there is nothing we can do on this earth in the absence of money but one must not be too desperate for it. The love of money and desire to have it at all cost is responsible for all the criminalities and insecurity problem that we found ourselves in Nigeria today.
Sir, politicians are jostling for positions as preparations for the general election in Nigeria is heightening. What would be your message to the politicians and the electorate?
Our politicians must rule with the fear of God. Electioneering campaign should be centred on issues instead of personality. All elected representatives must not be self-centered but rather, the interest of Nigerians and the electorates must always be at their heart and they must make sure they fulfill all their electioneering campaign promises. Political violence and killings must be totally avoided in Nigeria if we really want Nigeria to continue to remain as one entity. Honestly speaking, God has even revealed to me that except we pray very well, and eschew crisis and violence, many of our political leaders may die before the 2023 general elections. God also told me in a dream that all the kidnappers, ritualist and human killers in Nigeria will meet their waterloo soun. and Nigeria will be a better place to live. You see, the major killer of our economy in this country is corruption. Therefore, our elected representative must eschew corruption for our economy to pick up again because corruption has now become a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of our society.
What solutions would you suggest to the government on the way out of the present bad economic and security situation we are facing in Nigeria?
I think the first step President Muhammadu Buhari’s government should take is to genuinely create jobs. Our government must make sure that all our teeming youths are usefully engaged. Though the government can’t provide all the needed white-coller jobs for everyone but they can encourage entrepreneurship skill acquisition among the youths by making it a compulsory course in our higher institutions of learning so that after their graduation, the government can make it a point of duty to provide them with materials/instruments as well as take off grant to start work.
If this can be done, our youths will not only be self employed but they will also become employers of labour and they will be able to utilize their God given talents positively for the socio/economic growth of the nation rather than using it in a negative way. So, all the nation’s money that our politicians are embezzling can be use positively to build and develop these youths. So therefore, all we just need to do now is to make sure that corruption is being totally eradicated so that this money can be utilize for the creation of job opportunity for our youths as well as provision of social amenities for the people.
In the area of economy that you talk about the other time, the solution is also very simple and that is diversification away from oil economy to agriculture and other sectors of economy. You see, our government has relied too much on the petroleum resources for our economic sustenance in Nigeria. Agriculture alone can create job opportunity for about one hundred millions of our youths in the country if our government can encourage agriculture. Secondly, it could help in boosting our economy by the time we are having excess of foodstuff and become exporters of agricultural produce rather importing them. Again through farming products, many industries can spring up where agricultural produce can be branded and packages into another thing.
I also want to use this medium to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to as matter of urgency find lasting solution to the high rate of fuel price in the country. You see, instead of importing our petroleum products, the government should try and repair all our refineries in Nigeria so that we won’t be taking our crude-oil to the outside Nigeria again to be refined and import back to us at the exorbitant price. So, I want to believe that if this can be done by the federal government, the current price of almost N200.00 per liter of petrol will be naturally drop to N50.00 per liter.
Talking security-wise again, Nigerians too should not leave the security issue to the governments hand alone but instead, we should all be security conscious by reporting whatever strange things we notice in our societies to the security agencies or any appropriate authorities as quickly as possible. Moral teachings and preaching’s should be encourage among us so that everybody can know the evil effects of engaging in criminalities and the consequence of it before our creator after we might have died. As the Yoruba adage use to say ‘charity begins at home’ every parents must try and educate their children on the importance of moral and the evil effect of engaging in criminalities. Again children should be taught on what will come out of whoever engage in criminal act and is caught by the security agencies, they should let the younger ones also know that killing of fellow human being for whatever reasons is a very great sin before our creator which could attract very serious punishment.
Parents should also train their children in the line of creativity and handwork as tools towards attaining success and greatness in life.
The social unrest in Liberia continues. Reports of mysterious murders, unexplained disappearances and ritualistic activities continue unabated. Recently, I’ve reported multiple times on this site on the daily fear of ordinary Liberian citizens following the discovery of bodies ‘with some vital parts missing’ – an obvious reference to ritualistic activities – and after the discovery of victims of some of the gruesome murders which shocked Monrovia’s residents. See my posts of September 30, October 1, October 4, October 5, October 7, October 9, October 22 and October 23.
In the article below Joe Teh reflects on the possible causes of the current wave of mystery murders, disappearances and ritual killings which terrorizes Liberians. Interestingly, the first possible explanation he gives focuses on the general and presidential elections slated for 2023. This is not surprising. Liberia has a bad reputation in this respect. Secondly, he mentions Liberia’s open borders and the country’s fragile if not outright failing security system as another possible cause. In this respect, it is illustrative that the National Police Director, Patrick Sudue, has been denying that ritualistic murders are being committed in Liberia – in spite of the overwhelming evidence.
So far, President Weah has remained silent on this sensitive subject. The reasons for his silence are unknown but this only causes the persistence and spread of rumors and speculations. This is not how to rule a country. The government must act.
This is also the plea worded by Joe Teh in the article below. His article is recommended reading (webmaster FVDK).
Police Must Step Up To Stop the Wave of Killings and Disappearances in Liberia
Published: November 9, 2021 By: Guest contributor Joe Teh – Daily Observer, Liberia
For those who are quite older as I’m, I presume memories of sudden disappearances of people and secret killings have been flashing across the psyche of Monrovia residents in the past several weeks or months. The series of secret killings allegedly going on in and around the city are scenes very hard to process.
For impoverished people for whom there is no public policy response to address their poverty and other social woes, living from day to day, going out and hustling to survive is marked by fear and terror. Yet, the ongoing mysterious disappearances of some residents in the city and the unsolved murders in the communities are a brutal reminder of the “boyo” era in the southeastern region of Liberia, especially Maryland County in the 1960s and ‘70s.
In those days, individuals seeking higher positions of influence in government, or wanting to maintain power, were alleged to have paid middlemen to kidnap and murder people for ritualistic purposes. Vital parts and organs were extracted from victims to satisfy “juju” or voodoo doctors’ requirements for a “powerful” desirous outcome.
The wave of ritualistic killings inflicted terror on the people who, for most part, must walk distances by foot to their farms or villages. You never know when a car will stop by you in a quiet alley or highway, especially when you are a lone traveler or two. “Heart men”, as the heartless killers were paradoxically called, would either offer you a ride or simply jump on you and subdue you to whisk you away to where they can murder you and take your heart and other organs.
The local and central governments remained silent and paid deaf ears to the horrific pains and despair impacting the general population. The simple fact is that some of the key government officials were instigators and participants in such barbaric behavior. They had personal connections in high places, which made it impossible for them to be exposed to the public. Those were the heydays of the now decadent True Whig Party.
And the lesson from history is the biblical precept: Make sure your sin will find you out. And like we say in Liberia, “99 days for rogue, one day for master.”
So came the time when heart men could not get protection from high places. The killing of a poor fisherman—Moses Tweh–in Harper, Maryland, exposed the likes of James D. Anderson, Superintendent of Maryland; Allen Yancy, member of the House of Representatives from Maryland County and son of disgraced Vice President Allen Yancy; Moses Seton, Wleh Taryonnoh and all other middlemen involved in the disappearance and murder of Moses Tweh. After they were tried and found guilty, they were put to death by hanging.
At the end of the 1980s, disappearances again resurfaced. This time, the victims were professional men. Each victim murdered was suspected of being either a political opponent of the government or perceived to be a supporter of opposition. No ritual purpose was suspected here.
Fast forward to the war and beyond. People were killed either because of their ethnicity or because they had been government employees.
During the time of the Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU), rebels’ killing of civilians and dissenting fighters became common in the streets and neighborhoods of IGNU controlled areas.
The police, under the command of Brownie Samukai, set up a special unit called Rapid Response UNIT. This was an elite unit which helped crack down criminals and stopped the wave of killings and burglaries in the town.
Few other mysterious deaths plagued the nation during the Ellen Johnson and the current George Weah administrations. The suspicious deaths of Michael Allison and Harry Greaves during the Ellen era as well as those of the four auditors from the Liberia Revenue Authority stand out. Why and how those well-meaning compatriots died remain mindboggling. Their killers have not been identified, or are efforts actually being made to apprehend the perpetrators of those dastardly acts?
But the trauma of such murders lives in the minds of the public. Added to that are the sightings of corpses in different communities in and around Monrovia in recent weeks with parts allegedly missing. A girl peddling a small market was found with feet and hands tied in an unfinished building in Monrovia. Her mouth also choked with clothes. Another man allegedly said he escaped from his captors and that he witnessed the murder of a boy who was in captivity with him.
To the contrary, the senior brass of the Liberia National Police have characteristically downplayed these reports and blamed the opposition political parties of instilling fears in the public to besmear the image of the government.
Really? It’s scary. If nothing else, the police authority’s response is further undermining the peoples’ trust in the security apparatus for protection. It is a flagrant disregard for history.
The police further said the corpses found around the city were dumped by relatives who could not afford to bury their dead family members. Isn’t that an insane assertion? The police’s continuous denial of ritual killings may encourage more deaths, because those murderous knuckleheads might perceive such irrational denials as a license to further kill. It may only exacerbate public panic as to where their country is headed.
There are two interesting facts why ritual killing is possible currently in Liberia. The first is the looming elections in 2023. Government positions are the most lucrative in terms of pay and perks, both official and unofficial. Most offices, without initiating programs in their sectors, bring zero balance forward at the end of the fiscal year. What have they done? There is no accountability.
The second is the unrestricted borders and weak security system. You can pass with anything, good or bad at the ports of entry/exit without problem. Just have your bribes in U.S. dollars ready and then literally anything is possible. With demand for human parts such as kidneys, surging in different parts of the world, including some neighboring countries, human parts marketers could be paying people to kidnap, kill and harvest parts for the buyers.
Like the man who escaped from his kidnappers at night, he said he overheard captors receiving US$12,000 as pay from the person who ordered them to seek and kill humans for their parts, like buying old, scrapped materials.
The third simply makes no sense. For example, why would people kill an immigration officer? Why would a man who is peacefully living pursuing happiness and serving God be murder; such as William R. Tolbert,III, son of assassinated President of Liberia? What has the son of former Liberian President Tubman be killed in cold blood? And the government is silent.
Our security system is fragile. Anything is possible.
This is why the police need to step up to investigate every piece of information about missing person and suspicious death. To merely brush aside reports of mysterious deaths does not help to boost confidence in the integrity of the security sector. Its net effect is to drive potential investors away. People planning to attend the bi-centennial celebrations in Monrovia, will also be scared away by these sad events.
In times like these, as in the late seventies, police need to act on every lead to find perpetrators of ritual killing in order to stamp out this evil act, so that people are safe to live in peace and go about their normal business. On the contrary, Police Director Patrick Sudue, sitting stone-faced in denial and then threatening a few law-abiding citizens, who are currently mustering the courage to divulge pieces of information about such heinous crimes, instead of encouraging people to convey more tips to the police, reeks of the obnoxious ineptitude and do-nothing syndrome that are spiraling Liberia into developmental doldrums.
Joe Teh, author of this article is Chief Content Officer of a U.S.-based online Magazine “lib-variety.org. He was also former News editor of the New Democrat, and Chief News editor of Star radio up to its closure by the Charles Taylor government on March 15, 2001. He now lives in Springfield, Mass. Joe Teh, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.