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‘Blood Money’: Nigerians Worried as Ritualists Take Over Major Cities

‘Blood Money’: Nigerians Worried as Ritualists Take Over Major Cities 

Fikayo Olowolagba and Nsikak Nseyen

The get-rich-quick syndrome among youths, through the new trend of money rituals in Nigeria, has become a major concern in the society today.

Recently three teenagers confessed to the killing and burning of a young girl’s head for money ritual.

The lady identified as Rofiat was strangled by her boyfriend with the aid of three friends at Oke Aregba area of Abeokuta in Ogun State last weekend.

Not long ago, a mother also confessed to the killing of her child for a money ritual.

Some Nigerians blamed the dwindling value system in the country for the increasing rate of blood rituals. Some others also believe that the lack of job opportunities for the teaming youths, the display of wealth and lavish lifestyle on social media by celebrities, have chased the young ones into these heinous activities.

Some Nigerians also blamed parents for failing in their responsibilities to bring up their children and wards uprightly. According to them, some parents receive money from children who have no source of income and fail to question them. Churches, mosques, and religious leaders also share the blame for receiving monies, tithes, and donations from individuals they do not know their source of wealth, thereby encouraging such acts.

However, many blamed the ‘corrupt’ government for failing to provide good leadership and governance. This is why youths resort to internet fraud ‘Yahoo’ and ritual killings to get rich quickly. Pastor Joseph Ebule of the Holy Ghost Power Ministries, who spoke to one of our reporters on this matter said, “With the way things are happening in this country, I will advise Nigerians to be prayerful.

“These are signs of end time. I honestly blame the parents of those kids for not giving them adequate teachings from the Holy Book. Even the Bible says, ‘train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it’, that same Bible also advised against bad counsels. “If the parents had done their jobs correctly, those children would not have thought of such regardless of the hardship in this country. Do you know some parents support their children’s illegal means of making money?”

A trader, who simply identified herself as Mama Boma, wondered why the government is not fishing out ‘herbalists’ directing the youths to bring body parts to make money.

“Why is it that when people doing rituals are arrested, there is no follow up to also arrest the ‘herbalists’ or ‘babalawo’ who prepared the potions and charms for them or do they take portions to forget who the ‘herbalists’ are once they’re caught?”

For Lizzy Oku, “There are a lot of factors to be blamed for this development in our society. First, let us look at the entertainment industry and the songs they release for youths to listen to. These songs glorify making money illegally and mock ‘humble earnings.’ “Back in the days, we listened and danced to Yahooze by Olu Maintain when he was singing about fraud. Songs like ‘Cash app’, and many others clearly alluded to fraud.

“Let’s not forget Nollywood, instead of releasing movies that do not support money rituals, some producers outline fictional details of how to make money quickly through rituals and you expect the youth not to take note?

“My only advice to Nigerian youths is to be prayerful and be careful of the kind of friends they keep. Treat everyone like a suspect and don’t feel bad about it. If the government will not do something about this, every Nigerian should promote humble earning.” Also speaking with our reporter, an Abuja-based lawyer, Barr Abiola Kolawole pointed out that the trend of ritual killing in Nigeria was as a result of negligence from the family, the society and the government.

“Let’s take the aforementioned institutions one after the other,” he said, explaining that “The family is the foundation of every human being, which automatically makes it the first institution the child is exposed to; the fact is a child is the product of his parent, consequently a child will learn from the parents. “If You don’t program your mind, society will program your mind for you.

“The society plays a vital role in the lives of people, the society unconsciously controls its members, that is why big brands pay a lot of money to influencers in certain areas to influence the members of that society. “In this instance, the society has gone beyond the immediate community, social media is now part of the society. The society is the biggest culprit in relation to this man-made disaster of ritual killings.

“The pressure from the society has caused this. I give you a case we all know, Kim Kardashian influenced women of this generation into appreciating or exaggerating the idea of having big buttocks. “Nollywood first introduced the idea of money rituals to Nigerians with movies such as: ‘Blood Money, Living In Bondage, Billionaires Club’ and others. But the same Nollywood also made everyone understand the consequences of making money through those heinous ways.

“The lackadaisical prosecution of these ritualists and fraudsters has encouraged the new generation to join in. “To make matters worse, some of these ritualists work hand-in-hand with some persons in the government, helping them launder money which makes it impossible for some of the fraudsters to be prosecuted,” he lamented.

Meanwhile, the Traditional Religion Worshippers Association has kicked against the use of human lives for riches.

Calling on the Federal Government to clamp down on the people that claim to have the power to enrich others to become wealthy through the use of human parts for rituals, the group explained that no Yoruba deity was recorded to have used human beings or parts of their bodies for wealth. In a statement via its Oyo State chapter, the body stressed that the progenitors of Ifa oracle never claimed to have used human parts to seek prosperity.

The body further explained that Ifa adherents would rather call on ‘Eledumare’ to bless whoever that sought wealth through them and whenever appeasements were to be done, simple items like sugarcane, salt, banana among others were used.

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