Reps ask FG to declare emergency against ritual killings

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The House of Representatives has asked the executive arm of the Federal Government to declare a national emergency on the rising cases of ritual killings in Nigeria.

While also calling on the National Orientation Agency (NOA), parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to undertake a campaign towards changing the negative narrative that is bedeviling the society, the House on Tuesday equally asked  the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, to take urgent steps in increasing surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to apprehending and prosecuting all perpetrators of ritual killings in Nigeria.

It further called on the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearing house for all movies produced in the country, which promote ritual killings.

This followed a motion sponsored under matters of urgent public importance on the “need to curb the rising trend of ritual killings in Nigeria”, by Deputy Minority Leader, Hon.Toby Okechukwu who said incidents of ritual killings have assumed an alarming rate in the country in recent times.

The lawmaker lamented what he termed “the upsurge of reported ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country, which in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals”, noting that the Red Cross Society in 2017 reported that it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria.

“On January 22, 2022, three teenage suspects and a twenty year old reportedly killed one Sofiat Kehinde and had her head severed and burnt in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun State”, he recalled, citing the case that Ogun State Police Command on Monday, February 7, 2022 reported that one of the suspects confessed that he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook. 

According to him, the death of Sofiat has attracted national outrage and condemnation considering the ages of her killers, pointing out that merchants of such wicked acts often use the social media as a ready tool to advertise their evil behaviours. 

The lawmaker also recalled “the grievous killing of Iniobong Umoren, a young woman in her 20s; after being lured to a particular location in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State for a job interview, as widely reported in the national dailies.Also recalls the gruesome killings and heinous activities of Badoo Boys in Lagos State, which was also reported in the national dailies”, amongst several of such other reported cases.