History, poverty, and ritual killings

Human sacrifice including ritual killings constitutes a component of culture with a considerable degree of antiquity.

Sacrificing humans to local deities was particularly prevalent among such Central American ethnicities as the Aztecs, Toltecs, and Maya between 1200 and 400 B.C.

Thus, for example, in 2020 some archaeologists and physical anthropologists discovered up to 603 human skulls during some excavations of a number of temples and pyramids in the locality.

Animals were also sacrificed in the shrines of gods and goddesses.

It was the belief during this period, that humans were greatly indebted to the dead (deities).

The Aztecs practised animal husbandry to produce eagles, dogs, and jaguars among others.

These animals were mainly to appease their gods especially during an outbreak of pandemic diseases.

It was a thing of pride to die for the gods.

Consequently, human victims were usually semi-deified.

Cannibalism was also practised.

Some anthropologists are of the opinion, that cannibalism (the act of eating human flesh) was an attempt to correct the imbalance arising from changing ecological conditions, and the consequent reduction in the amount of animal protein.

Other notorious places for human sacrifices and cannibalism included New Zealand (particularly among the Maori ethnic group), Papua New Guinea, and West/ Central Africa.

However, it is misleading to conclude that relics of this barbaric behaviour stopped completely around the world.

Up to now, cannibalism or drinking of human blood goes on in Rotenburg (located in Germany), India, Liberia, Nigeria, Florida (in the US), and Fiji.

Despite the fact that most parts of the US have laws against cannibalism, this practice still goes on up to now (although minimally).

If truth be told, the Nigerian case is alarming as it threatens the foundations of our humanity.

Several factors are responsible for this endemic situation in the country.

It is difficult to neatly separate this menace from bad governance.

High rate of unemployment, ever rising prices of basic food stuffs, unprecedented insecurity, dilapidated roads, comatose healthcare systems, and general hopelessness are symptomatic of the appalling state of the Nigerian economy.

The Nigerian Army, police, and Department of State Services (DSS) arrested many people consuming human flesh in Imo State last year.

This is a country-wide form of beastliness that brings into question, the whole purpose of our humanity in the 21st century.

Over 54 percent of the Nigerian youth are unemployed.

Hopelessness in the face of recklessness of the opulent elite is one of the major reasons why many youths today, are engaging in cybercrimes, ritual killings for money making, and armed robberies.

These are vestiges of savagery foisted on the Nigerian youth by the current harsh socio-economic environment.

However, this is not an attempt to justify crimes and criminality.

All criminals must be punished accordingly in order to promote peace and progress.

While many parts of the global village are trying hard to get their youths profitably engaged through the lens of scientific and technological innovations, the Nigerian rulership class appears not to care a hoot.

For instance, Algeria – a gas and petroleum economy with 15 percent youth unemployment rate, is about to start giving an equivalent of N45,000 monthly (as from next month) to every youth.

This is in addition, to free medical care until each person gets a job.

The policy is capable of reducing tensions and strains to the barest minimum in this North African country.

Where is the Nigerian political rulership in this connection?

Other classes of leadership are also bastardising our societal values due to their selfishness.

Thus, for example, the everyday sermons of most pastors and Muslim clerics are often rooted in gross materialism.

This attitude leads to the strangulation of the human spirit.

Similarly, scientific explorations of the human mind, a pre-condition for societal development remain a wild goose chase.

Miracles and pseudo-miracles have replaced science and technology at our own peril.

As members of Homo sapiens, Nigerians have intellectual capacity but they refuse to use it to the full.

Approximately 133 million Nigerians are now facing unprecedented starvation.

These food shortages are closely linked with insecurity.

Farming activities (at the individual and corporate levels) have been substantially paralysed.

A big bag of rice that was N8,000 as of 2015, is now between N30,000 and N33,000 in Ibadan, Oyo State.

All these are symptoms of failed leadership.

Nigeria –a hotbed of violent/barbaric crimes, is almost on a par with a wildlife park.

Thus, for example, in 2019 one Gracious David-West, a ritual killer was arrested in Port-Harcourt in Rivers State.

According to newspaper reports, this criminal confessed that he had killed at least 15 ladies for ritual purposes inside hotels.

In April last year, a serial killer mowed down one of his neighbours in Kwara State.

This ritualist removed certain parts of the body of the victim and poured acid on the remains in order to engender quick decomposition.

Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State was also in the news recently for ritual killings.

Four young men between 17 and 20 years of age killed one Rofiat Kehinde at Oke-Aregba community in December, 2021 for money making.

About 10 days ago, an 84-year old woman was beheaded in Ikun-Ekiti for ritual purposes.

Many Nigerians are now deeply engulfed in villainy.

Even some members of the socio-political elite are also involved as they pursue more power, protection, and wealth.

In other words, both members of the lower and upper classes are engaging in these barbaric/stone age activities.

In January 2022, Moses Oko was arrested for allegedly killing for ritual purposes, Jennifer Anthony, a 300-level student of University of Jos, Jos.

As the widespread condemnation of this evil act was going on, the lifeless, mutilated body of another lady was found around the Plateau Radio/TV Corporation in Rayfield, Jos.

We cannot also forget in a hurry, the murder of Timothy Adegoke, a post-graduate student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

This was on November 7, 2021 inside a room in Hilton Hotel and Resort in Ile-Ife, Osun State.

The government has to address the root cause of these savagery which make a complete nonsense of our humanity.

It is a false economy to be talking of local and foreign investment including tourism development, in an unprecedentedly hostile, insecure environment like today’s Nigeria.

Indeed, Mother Nigeria is bleeding very profusely.

This is not the Nigeria of our dreams!

Usable aspects of our indigenous values and value systems embedded in noble character and communalism have to be critically assimilated into the modern ways of life.

In my opinion, the current ugliness is redeemable in the face of charismatic leadership defined and operated by high ideals including respect for the sanctity of human life.

In other words, the current brazen materialism has to “die” on the altar of personal and corporate integrity.


The Nigerian masses this time around, must prove to the entirety of the global community, that they are not a bunch of unthinking/docile humans who cannot fight for their rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution.

The current agonies and sacrifices should not be in vain.

Source: The Nation Newspaper.



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