By Ononye VC
The House of Representatives has resolved to declare a national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria.

It asked the National Orientation Agency (NOA), stakeholders and the media to initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.

It also asked the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali, to take urgent steps towards tackling ritual killings in the country.

This followed a motion by the Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Toby Okechukwu (Enugu, PDP), who raised alarm over the surge in ritual related killings across the country.

Mr Okechukwu, in the motion of urgent public importance he moved on Wednesday, blamed Nigerian movies, popularly known as Nollywood, for the rising cases of ritual killings.

According to Mr Okechuckwu, while citizens of other countries are embracing science and technology, Nigerian youths are turning to ritual killings.

“While youths in other climes are embracing science and technology as a way of maintaining pace with our dynamic world, some of our youths seem stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety and protection,” he said

Mr Okechukwu added that “ritual killing has become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm.

The killing of Sofiat Kehinde
He drew the attention of the House to the gruesome killing of me Sofiat Kehinde in Ogun State by some three teenagers in January for ritual related act sparked conversation on ritual.

The three teenagers were arrested by local vigilantes while attempting to burn the severed head of the late Sofia.

Mr Okechukwu also condemned the use of social media “as a ready tool to advertise their evil behaviours.”

He also accused fake clerics, imams, herbalists and native doctors of being involved in promoting the get-rich-quick syndrome.

Following the presentation of the motion, the House resolved to declare a national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria and called on National Orientation Agency, parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to undertake a campaign to change the negative narrative that is bedevilling the society.

Also, it 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, therefore, mandated the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values to ensure the agency complies with the directive and report back to the House within four weeks.

Furthermore, the House called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Akali, to take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to apprehending and prosecuting all perpetrators of ritual killings in Nigeria.

It asked the House Committee on Police Affairs to ensure the compliance of the force and report back to the House within four weeks.


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