THE House of Representatives has asked the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on ritual killings in the country.
This followed a motion moved by the House Deputy Minority Leader Toby Okechukwu during Wednesday’s plenary.
Okechukwu, who noted that ritual killings have assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria in recent times, lamented the increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country.
He said in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.
The lawmaker also decried the roles of various social groups, especially the entertainment industry, in reinforcing ritual killings among young people.
Okechukwu said, “Ritual killing has become a predominant theme in most home made movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm.
“There are several reports where law enforcement agents arrested and paraded suspects of ritual killings with gory pictures of human skulls and dismembered bodies.
“Fake clerics, imams, herbalists and native doctors are often complicit in the heinous practices.
“Although our communities are getting more religious with the proliferation of churches and mosques, the ugly trend of ritual killing is on the rise as the quest for wealth at all cost pervades our society.”
The lawmaker expressed worry that while youths in other climes were embracing science and technology as a way of maintaining pace with the world, some Nigerian youths were enmeshed in the belief that human sacrifice would bring them wealth, protection and security.
Adopting the motion, the House of Representatives asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba Alkali to take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to fishing out, arresting and prosecuting the perpetrators of the ritual killings.
The House called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA), parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to undertake a campaign to change the negative narrative that is bedeviling the society.
Subsequently, the House mandated its Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values to ensure compliance of the resolution and report back within weeks.
Last month, a 20-year-old lady, Sofiat Kehinde was gruesomely murdered in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital by four teenage boys aged 17, 18, 19 and 20.
Sofiat’s head was severed by the boys and they were burning it in a pot for money ritual before they were apprehended.
The four teenage suspects arrested by the police are Soliu Majekodunmi, Wariz Oladehinde, Abdulgafar Lukman, and Balogun Mustaqeem.
They confessed to have conspired to kill Sofiat and played different roles in her murder.
One of the suspects, Mustaqeem, confessed that he was motivated by a post he saw on Facebook to murder Kehinde for money ritual.
He said, “I saw a post on Facebook that explained how to get rich quickly. I downloaded the video because I had interest in getting wealthy at an early stage. I wanted to get rich and lead a luxurious life.
“The video was what prompted me to tell Soliu about getting rich quickly at our early age. He was interested after I showed him the video on my phone and asked where we would get the materials we needed.”