How Nollywood, desperation, greed fuel ritual murders, others

Killing for ritual purposes is on the increase as the media is awash with news of boyfriends killing their girlfriends and vice versa, as a result of greed, desperation to make it in life, especially with the yuletide around the corner; PAUL OKAH reports.

Killing for ritual purposes appears to be on the increase as news of boyfriends killing and dismembering their girlfriends filter in every now and then from different parts of the country.

While reports abound of girlfriends killing their boyfriends at the heat of arguments over infidelity and money for upkeep, greed and desperation have taken the centre stage in the lives of men hoping to make money to escape poverty.

Often times, arrested culprits claim they were misled into killing for ritual purposes as a result of greed or desperation to impress their girlfriends or even to ‘oppress’ members of the society.

With the yuletide around the corner, desperation to make money by young Nigerians, especially internet fraudsters (Yahoo boys), has assumed dangerous dimensions as killing for ritual purposes now happen almost on a daily basis.

Recent cases

On October 26, social media was awash with news of the Rivers State Police Command arresting a 24-year-old, 400-level student of Petrochemical Engineering at the University of Port Harcourt, Demain Okoligwe, for allegedly killing his girlfriend and harvesting her organs at his residence along NTA Road, Ozuoba, near Port Harcourt.

While parading the suspect before newsmen in Port Harcourt, the state Commissioner of Police, Emeka Nwonyi, disclosed that the victim, Justina Otuene, a 20-year-old 300-level undergraduate also in UniPort, was studying Biochemistry.

Nwonyi said the suspect, after butchering his girlfriend, harvested some parts of her body allegedly for ritual purposes, concealed her decomposing corpse in his apartment for days until one of the suspect’s neighbours, who became suspicious after perceiving a strong smell oozing from his apartment, reported to the police.

Also, a man, Ifeanyi Njoku, was recently arrested for killing his 24-year-old girlfriend and live-in lover, Precious Okeke, in an estate at Badore, in the Ajah area of Lagos state, for ritual purposes as he confessed that a native doctor, who was assisting the suspect, instructed him to have sex with Okeke’s corpse for seven days.

Njoku was said to have engaged in the illicit act with the corpse for six days, but the stench emanating from his apartment prompted his neighbours to inform the management of the estate, which searched Njoku’s apartment only to discover Okeke’s decomposing body.

Youth should learn skills

Speaking with this reporter, a civil servant, Ralph Okon, said ladies ignore hardworking men with honest sources of income and have been killed for ritual purposes for preferring to befriend ritualists out of greed. He advised parents to train their children to be hardworking and not greedy or desperate for money.

He said: “Ladies don’t care about the source of income of their boyfriends and will ignore you even if you advise them. Many will still come online to justify fraud. No girl in this generation wants to date a working class guy like us. They will rather choose a Yahoo boy who will spend money recklessly and live a reckless life. Their excuse has always been that a working class guy cannot provide their reckless needs, but a Yahoo boy will provide them immediately.

“Ladies should learn skills and stop being dependent on their boyfriends. Parents should equally help to develop and train their male and female children on the right skills and businesses to make money. It is not only men that know how to make money and be rich; your daughter can also be rich. So, parents should train and build their daughters to be hardworking and rich to avoid depending on men to give them money for upkeep.”

Similarly, an ICT consultant, Mr. Jerrie Bernard, said some mothers push their daughters to have value for material things, adding that women no longer run background checks on the men they want to date because of greed and desperation.

He said: “The truth is that relationships aren’t taken serious the way they used to. Two people will meet today then go into a serious relationship immediately without background checks. They’re all blinded by the things they see and forget the most important questions to ask. Yahoo boys want to make money quick. Ladies should stay away from any guy that is living luxury lifestyle without a well-paid job or business.

“It’s okay to love, but it’s also okay to know the kind of person you’re in love with. December is next month and everyone is desperate. Men are particularly desperate because they want to ball. Girls should be extremely careful and most especially commit your day in God’s hands to guide your going out and coming in. Whenever you are going out, always tell your family or friends.”

Also, speaking with Blueprint Weekend, a student, Deborah Abayomi, advised women to leave their relationships once the man shows desperation of making quick money, adding that killing for ritual purposes is getting out of hand.

“It’s not about saying ladies love money. It’s just so absolutely disgusting and insane for one to think the only option for he/she to get rich is through ritual killing of your fellow human being. My pain is that some ignorant ladies will still not learn after reading of what happened to others. As a lady, once there is any red flag or desperation of making quick money, leave the relationship,” she said.

On her part, a caterer, Ifeoma Cherish Onyemaobi, said relationships have become sources of income and job opportunities for many ladies; hence they are being killed out of greed and desperation by ritualists.

She said: “The way girls love rich men and material things these days is alarming. Nobody wants to work now. Relationship is now a job opportunity and a way of escaping life’s struggle. What baffles me the most is that they will never learn from what happened to others. This generation is a failed generation. They normalise evil/sin and brag about it. Girls, be contented with what your father, brother and boyfriend provide for you. Don’t date a guy just because he has money.

“Every girl should work for their money by getting a job or handwork and fend for themselves. We are in a generation where a young lady will boldly tell you that she is looking for a Yahoo boy to date while others will tell you they are looking for men to take care of them. Materialism has replaced real friendship and love.

“Peer pressure, societal influence and quest for quick money syndrome have dealt badly on this generation to the extent that people have no regards for human life. Young people are eager to make money within the shortest period of time, without knowing that nothing good comes so easily. The time to ask ourselves necessary questions is now if we must save this generation from impending doom.”

‘Nollywood has damaged young people’

In his opinion, a university lecturer, Mr. Abubakar Bello, lamented that Nollywood has done a lot of damage in the minds of young Nigerians, even as he advised young girls to focus on their education and be contented with whatever their parents give them for upkeep instead of dating ritualists and allowing desperation for money to lead them to regrettable ends.

He said: “This generation of young girls and young boys is very scary. Everybody wants to be rich and date a rich guy by all means. The killing of Justina in Rivers state and others should serve as a lesson to other desperate ones. In addition, our young girls should focus on their education. Be contented with whatever your parents give you and work hard for a better future and stop dating yahoo boys. Contentment is a virtue, while covetousness and desperation for money can lead to a regrettable end.

“More importantly, I think the older generation needs to teach the younger generation that ritual killing is a scam that does not work. Dangote did not become Africa’s richest man through organ harvesting. As a generation, we really need to know there is no ritualist in Forbes list. I think Nollywood did a lot of damage in the minds of young Nigerians into believing rituals. It is only in Nollywood movies where you find a young girl vomiting money inside wardrobe.

“Who told our young people that they can get rich through these things they are getting into? There are only two ways to make money: it’s either you are selling a product or you are offering a service in exchange for money. Everything else is self-deceit, even these native doctors they are going to will ask for payment for their services. Why can’t this generation learn from the mistakes of those before us? Things are really getting out of hand.”

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