House of Reps asks government to declare national emergency on ritual killings
House of Representatives, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to declare a national emergency aimed at stemming the tide of ritual killings in the country.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, at the plenary presided by Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase.
The House asked Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to apprehending and prosecuting perpetrators.
The lawmakers called on the National Orientation Agency, parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to launch a campaign to change the negative trend.
They also urged the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board, to rise to the occasion, given that the Board is the clearinghouse for all movies produced in the country.
The House further mandated its Committees on Police Affairs, Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values to ensure implementation of the decisions within four weeks.
Okechukwu said it should be of grave concern that while youths in other climes are embracing science and technology, some of their Nigerian counterparts are stuck in the belief that sacrificing human blood is a route to wealth and protection.
The House “notes that incidents of ritual killings have assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria in recent times. It also notes 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,” Okechukwu said.
He recalled: “On January 22, three teenage suspects and a 21-year-old reportedly killed one Sofiat Kehinde and severed her head, burning in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun.
“The police command in Ogun on February 7, reported that one of the suspects confessed that he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook.”
The lawmaker said merchants of such wicked acts often use social media as a tool to advertise their evil acts.
He also mentioned the killing of Iniobong Umoren, a young woman in her 20s, who was lured to a location in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, for a job interview.
He cited figures from the Red Cross Society in 2017, which put the number of reported missing persons at 10,480, even as he recalled “gruesome killings and heinous activities of Badoo Boys in Lagos State.”