MEMBERS of Nigeria’s House of Representatives have declared a national emergency on the increasing spate of ritual killings after a bill asking the inspector-general of police to take urgent action on the matter got passed today.
Adopting a motion of urgent public importance introduced by deputy minority leader Hon Toby Okechukwu, the House also asked the National Orientation Agency the media, school owners and parents to carry out enlightenment campaigns with a view to curbing the rising cases of ritual killings in the country. In addition, the House also asked the Nigeria Film and Video Censors Board to increase monitoring of videos produced with ritual killings and ensure that such contents are deleted.
Hon Okechukwu had raised concerns about the rising cases of kidnapping for ritual purposes and the increasing cases of missing persons, which he said has assumed an alarming rate. He also said that scenes containing killings for ritual purposes have become rampant in home videos, adding that if not checked, such movies have the capacity to impact negatively on the mind of young Nigerians.
Adopting his motion, the House of Representatives called on the federal government to declare a national emergency on ritual killings across the country. According to Hon Okechukwu, in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and cut out sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.
He said the Red Cross Society in 2017 said it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria. According to the lawmaker, merchants of such wicked acts often use social media as a tool to advertise their evil deeds.
Hon Okechukwu added: “On January 22, three teenage suspects and a 21-year-old reportedly killed one Sofiat Kehinde, severed her head and burnt it in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun. The police command in Ogun on February 7, reported that one of the suspects confessed that he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook.”
He also mentioned the grievous killing of Iniobong Umoren, a young woman in her 20s, who was lured to a particular location in Uyo, Akwa Ibom for a job interview before being murdered. Hon Okechukwu also cited the gruesome killings and heinous activities of Badoo Boys in Lagos State.