Ritual killings in Nigeria on the rise

EPA/STR

Picture made available on 01 September 2007 shows Nigerian worshippers of the Osun sacred river attend the annual festival to honour the goddess 'Osun' in Osogbo, southwest Nigeria, 31 August 2007.

Ritual killings in Nigeria on the rise


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To crackdown on ritual killings in the Nigerian state of Osun, the local police commissioner has announced that his command has adopted intelligence gathering and due prosecution of culprits as a main approach.

As reported by the Nigerian Tribune, the residents of Osogbo, the state capital, have lived in constant fear over the growing cases of missing persons and ritual killings.

Since late last year, suspects have been arrested by the police virtually on a monthly basis for alleged involvement in killing people for ritual purposes.

“We are thoroughly exploring intelligence gathering approach, prosecution of arrested culprits to frontally tackle the increasing cases of ritual killings in the state. We believe that timely arrest and prosecution of arrested suspects would serve as deterrent to anybody contemplating to perpetrate ritual killing and we are also embarking on sensitisation of the people of Osun State on how to avoid falling prey to suspected ritual killers,” Police Commissioner Fimihan Adeoye told the Tribune in a telephone interview.

Desperation for quick riches is said to be driving some people to resort to the use of human parts for rituals in achieving this inordinate desire. And the usual suspects have been people believed to be clerics, popularly called alfa, and herbalists who carry out the rituals for their ‘clients’.

“I have mentioned it at various fora that the people should avoid staying in isolated areas where criminals can easily attack without being noticed and everybody should be conscious of their immediate environment,” said Adeoye.

On July 27, a group of angry Osogbo residents stormed the palace of the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, to protest the high incidence of ritual killings and kidnapping in the state capital and other parts of the state.

As reported by the Nigerian Tribune, the protesters, mostly women, called on the monarch to find a way to stop the killings. Brandishing leaf branches and chanting sorrowful songs, the aggrieved residents were not able to meet Oba Olanipekun as he was visiting Offa, Kwara State.

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