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Nigerian Youths: The frantic rise in ritualistic killings- Gloria Thomas

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By Gloria Thomas

Over the years, Science and logic has fought relentlessly to dissuade beliefs by religious bodies which they deem bogus; the believe in spiritualism, the belief in God: the existence of an ultimate supernatural being and the believe that faith in this being can translate into the creation or conjuration of substance from nothingness.

It is this faith since time immemorial that has led people from all works of life to rely on spiritual sources for wealth as an alternative when logical sources fail.

This belief in mythical means of wealth as baseless as it might seem to the world of Science and Logic holds water in the world of Spiritualism.

Trying to dissuade this belief,  as Abimbola Adelakun Did in her article “ The logic of what Nigerians’ call ‘money ritual’ is trying to deny that there is a supernatural sphere to life and trying to deny that there is a supernatural sphere to life, is ultimately trying to deny the existence of God. And such denial is as bogus as it is blasphemous.

When I read this I allowed myself to wonder if at all she believes in God and I wallowed briefly in the thought of how easy and quickly we humans jump into denial of the existence of what we have not witnessed or experienced.

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Abimbola Adelakun wrote and I quote “there is nothing like money ritual, by that I mean there is nowhere in history of human kind where anybody has made cash appear through magic means” to diffuse this claim of hers you will forgive me, as I will quote Matthew 17:24-27 where it gives a clear account of Christ conjuring a four drachma coin into the mouth of the first fish Peter caught to settle their taxes. If Abimbola feels that this account from the Bible is outdated and maybe too distant from present reality, I will also ask what about Ezego of the Famous Okija Shrine…. The pages of this article will not accommodate further dissection into proving the existence of supernatural sources of wealth. But I am sure I have done justice to this point.

The holy books that is the Qur’an and the Bible promised that belief in God is sufficient for provision, I will quote Surat Al-Talaq 63:3 “. And he will provide for him from where he does not imagine. And whoever places his trust in Allah, he is sufficient for him” the thing with faith in God and his promises of wealth in the holy books is that it comes with a clause “at the appointed time” and it is this TIME that people, that our today’s youths can no longer wait for. And it is in this crack of impatience in the wall of faith and hope that Occultism, witchcraft and Juju and the fakes of their kinds take footing. And so it is that whatever God promises mankind, the Devil also promises and is quicker in making due but with a price tag; life, blood, peace etc., Worse more the fakes will take all these from you and give you nothing but jail time and death.

In my opinion, the solution to ritual killing is not in the denial of the existence of it’s efficacy but in probing the causal factors;

Let’s take a look at the economic situation of the nation at present. The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has seen us into a period of incredulous rise in the cost of living with millions of poor masses being pushed further below the poverty margin; in Kano State a mudu of beans used to be sold for between 700 to 800 naira but now same quantity sells for 1500 naira, same loaves of bread that sold for 300 is now sold for 600 naira and these poor masses living in Nigeria at this time can be likened to a person who initially cannot swim  thrown into tumultuous water making frantic splashes to survive: these frantic splashes are the desperate acts of these people with the intent of miraculously rising above the poverty margin.

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This followed by unemployment which helped the Nigerian Youths sink deeper into the depths. As it’s fondly said, the idle mind is the devil’s workshop. When a graduate scouts the streets for months and sometimes years for a job to no avail and goes home on a daily basis to sleep on an empty stomach, wakes up the next morning to an empty stomach, then surfs through the Social Media and stumbles on the picture of a formal classmates whom he probably excelled better than academically now gainfully employed, owns a car or cars and houses etc then depression suddenly kicks in.  The desperation to prove him/herself worthy…….

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Beyond poverty and unemployment, let’s take a look at the shift in family values and parental upbringing. If we look back just 10 to 20 years ago, we would see a kaleidoscopic metamorphosis in family values, there has been a shift from the value of ‘morality over materiality’ to ‘ materially over virtue’. We live in a time when a parent now boldly encourages his/ her child to engage in fraudulent and immoral activities while they back them up through spiritual activities all in the name of wanting to “reap the fruit of their labour” infact parents now openly value their financially well to do child more than the rest, even when the source of the child’s wealth is questionable..

Peer pressure has become cancerous. Slangs such as “poverty nah disease” “ if you no get money hide your face”  have been used by youths to intimidate their fellows into heinous crimes such as internet fraud, robbery and the now loud ritual killings.

The entertainment sector is rife with movies that glorify money ritual in the beginning and presents the committer with a horrible end. Without the realization that the desperation of the viewer  which in most cases are youngsters  to get wealthy makes them more  intrigued with how quick the characters in these movies get wealthy and the affluence they enjoy, than they are educated by their waterloos at the end.

Our religious leaders for personal reasons treat wealthy youth members with favouritism and more respect than the less well to do ones, regardless of the source of their wealth, they are praised before the congregation for their contribution to “the work of God” to the shame  of the lesser ones who can’t contribute as much.

None of the above factors can be completely isolated from the rest and trashed separately. Sometimes all of them are at play at once.

There are ramifications to these and this ramifications come with the individual differences of these youths. Sometimes, there’s really no visible reason why a young person would sniff the life out of his fellow human being in the name of “money ritual” except greed!

Now the Federal Government had tried in the past with Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) to curb fraud amongst the youth and it resulted in the brutal killing of countless  innocent youngsters. So to say that once anyone is caught in the act of ritual killing, they should be killed without trial, is to give another ground for some ruthless law enforcement officers to kill innocent youths and nail it on the fact that they were suspected ritualists it should rather be pass into law that anyone caught or suspected of ritual killing should be tried and proven guilty with PROOF before being killed.

Lastly, the law enforcement agencies should be sensitive enough to sort out what is ritual killing and what is not through investigation. Vengeful cold blooded murder, psychopathic killings, criminal killings for sales of body paths should not be categorized as ritual killings. The hyping of these kinds of killings as ritual killings only goes further to validate more of it.

Thomas, an inspiration and motivational speaker, writes from Kano.

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