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Danger! Money ritual generation

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IMAGINE two 15-year-old boys caught with the body parts of a three-year-old girl they killed and dismembered her body. Quizzed, they disclosed that they were headed for the coven of a priest to use the human parts for money ritual.

  Can you believe the story of three teenage secondary school pupils caught by the driver of a taxi they boarded from the vicinity of their school after an odour from a bag they had with them in his cab became unbearable, the chauffer looked into their luggage and found a decomposing human skull and handed them over to police in Ogun State? Upon interrogation, the girls said they were on their way to a place where they were told to bring the head for a ritual.

  In Enugu a 16-year-old boy was caught after he killed a nursery school baby. His mission was money ritual.

  In Owerri, a young man of age between 19 and 21 invited his mother to his hostel room. Sadly, the unsuspecting mother who came visiting with bags of fruit and food for her boy, walked into a prepared slaughter slab for her. But for the woman’s frantic efforts and loud cries after her son descended on her repeatedly with knife and club which attracted passers-bye, she would not have escaped death narrowly as she did. Images of her, drenched in her blood and the blood splashes all over the room where she struggled with her killer son were too scary to behold in the graphic images of the development online.

  In another development, four boys, aged 14, 15, 15 and 16 travelled from their homes in Delta State to knock the door of an undisclosed man in Benin, capital of Edo State to request that the man teach them “how to do yahoo-yahoo” and how to make money.

  It is very difficult to understand how a teenager will be so in desire of money that he would be so desperate to get it to the extent of killing another human being for it. These days, boys slaughter their girlfriends for money. Call girls are killed week after week in hotel rooms. They call it ‘Yahoo-Plus’ – an organised crime trend mostly operated among boys and girls in tertiary schools.

  Babies are no longer safe even in the hands of their young mothers. Yet these are just some of the plethora of cases of crazy and bloody money quest by Nigerian youngsters. There are scores of them in the last couple of months. Worse about the matter is that the zany mission is most embarked upon by teenagers and early adults of both male and female genders.

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  The worrisome trend is of such a huge magnitude and national in scope that last week, the House of Representatives sat over it through a motion ‘Need to Curb the Rising Trend of Ritual Killings in Nigeria,’ presented during plenary session by the deputy minority leader, Toby Okechukwu under matters of urgent public importance and resolved that President Muhammadu Buhari should declare a national state-of-emergency on ritual killings.

  The House also urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA), parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to evolve campaigns to check the trend and save society.

  Okechukwu, in his motion observed that ritual killings have become rampant in Nigeria in recent times. Added to the reported ritual killings are 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.

  He stated thusly: “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.”

  According to Police, one of the girls said they wanted to use the head in the pot for money ritual. 

Pray, what is the meaning of ‘money ritual’?

  Does it refer to cultural rites or religious practices that venerate or attract money? Could it be a reference to practices that are exclusive to people or clandestine groups that control the distribution of money to those who want it? Is it an observance that ‘money’ requires before it gets into the hands of those who crave to have a lot of money?

  Sincerly, the expression, ‘money ritual’ leaves one in askance because it negates whatever has been known about money, over ages. If money can be made and hived through the performance of rituals, why then have factors like hardwork, saving, thrift, financial smartness and competitive enterprise been advocated over time as basic routes to wealth?  

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  A ritual is a practice that must be observed in a particular way with known steps, to achieve given result. Eighth edition of the Oxford Advanced Leaner’s Dictionary of Current English by A S Hornby    defines ritual “a series of actions that are always performed in the same way, especially as part of a religious ceremony” and “something that is done regularly and always in the same way.” Both Cambridge English Dictionary and Collins English Dictionary give similar definitions as Hornby’s lexicon.

  Given such meanings, if there are efficacious rituals for making and amassing money, there should not have been enterprising men and women in the list of rich people since the origin of mankind. What we would have been having would  are ritual priests, dibia, babalawo and sangomas filling the list of the world’s wealthy people from yore to date.

Names like King Solomon of Israel to Queen of Sheba to Mansa Musa, the Susu King,  to the Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Mark E. Zuckerberg, Aliyu Dangote, Mike Adenuga among others would have those of acolytes and adherents of one ritual altar or another. Yet these outstanding rich people, and millions more like them in history and current affairs of humanity, as we know have backgrounds in hard work and rise from challenging situations to affluence due to duty, strive and the crown of good fortune.  

  The story of successful and wealthy people make things clear: there is no short way to making money. But it appears that young Nigerians of the current generation do not believe that. They appear convinced that there is a cache of money somewhere. From there, anyone who performs a given ritual gets some wads, and he or she becomes rich forever.

  We have a terrible situation in our hand. Our young ones have lost the real kick for success. They now assume that success can come through quick fixes and short cuts. In some young people’s minds too, having wads of money to spend on fleet of cars and houses and celebrity functions is the same as success. Hence, they see money as the ultimate in life. The item of financial transaction has therefore become a deity that rules their lives and occupies all their minds to the level of loss of conscience, even disregard of the value of human life.

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  From the current trend, it is obvious that in the mentality of current Nigerian society ‘money, money, money’ rings like a subconscious incantation, the same way the same object hangs on their forehead like a talisman pendant. Money has so engrossed the Nigerian youth of today that every other matter, it appears, has taken back seat.

     However, despite the vanity in thinking that having money means success or in the belief that there is a juju man that can, through chanting abracadabra over a dead flesh, make a lazy person rich, there are vital questions to ask: If the youngsters are too uninformed and juvenile to reason wisely, what about the adults in the chain of operators in the money ritual advocacy?

Are the priests and their frontmen who brainwash the boys and girls to accept that there is an ‘effective’ avenue to wealth the said ‘money ritual’ not adults who deliberately deceive the lads and destabilise the land? Those priests who urge the youngsters to bring human parts for money rituals are not only accomplices in all the murders but social deviants whose operations must not be encouraged further.

     The fact that youngsters of this generation show lack of understanding that human lives are sacrosanct is a failure of parents, homes and religious organisations in inculcating lofty values on younger citizens. It is also a failure of the mass media. Nigeria should ensure that there is a better output in these vital parts of society. Else, all of us are doomed, sooner than we expect because the danger is nigh.

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