OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to declare a national emergency on ritual killings in the country.
It also called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA), parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to undertake a campaign to change the negative narrative that is bedeviling the society.
The resolution among others were necessitated by a motion entitled ‘Need to Curb the Rising Trend of Ritual Killings in Nigeria’ sponsored by the Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Aninri/Awgu/Oji River).
Raising the motion as a Matter of Urgent Public Importance at Wednesday’s plenary, Okechukwu noted that incidents of ritual killings in Nigeria have assumed an alarming rate in recent times.
He also noted the upsurge of reported ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country.
According to him, in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals. Citing instances, the lawmaker noted that the Red Cross Society in 2017 reported that it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria.
Among other cases he cited are 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. “Merchants of such wicked acts often use the social media as a ready tool to advertise their evil behaviours.“
The Enugu lawmaker listed possible enablers of the menace to include growing rate of unemployment, moral decadence, a trend that has promoted the get-rich-quick syndrome among our youths. He also noted that amid proliferation of churches and mosques, fake clerics, imams, herbalists and native doctors are often complicit in the heinous practices.
This is as he warned of ritual killing becoming a predominant theme in most home made movies. A development he says the younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm if not checked.
Sequel to this, the House 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.
It also mandated the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values to report back to the House within four (4) weeks.
In adopting the motion without debate, the House also called on the Inspector General of Police to take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to apprehend and prosecute all perpetrators of ritual killings in Nigeria; and mandate its Committee on Police Affairs to report back to the House within four (4) weeks.