The Osun ritualists’ den

THE police command in Osun State recently uncovered a ritualists’ den in the Yemoja area of Iwo town. As is well known, practitioners of dark and demonic practices aimed at making money through the use of human parts are called ritualists in the country. The ritualists’ den in question was allegedly run by two siblings. According to media reports, it was discovered in the aftermath of the disappearance of a woman, one Mutiat Alani. After receiving a report that the woman had gone missing, the police had launched a manhunt which led them to the vulcanizer who had her phone and eventually to the siblings, the prime suspects in her abduction. To their horror, the police found corpses in various stages of decay at the den. The suspects have since been making useful statements regarding the discovery.

The incident in question once again throws light on the mushrooming of ungoverned spaces in the country. Part of the duties of the security agencies in the country is to ensure that these spaces are brought under surveillance, and that they no longer serve as venues for audacious crimes. Truth be told, the discovery of corpses in various stages of decay speaks volumes about the cumulative consequences of security failure in the Nigerian state. To say the very least, state security requires proactive measures. A proactive security arrangement would have saved many citizens from death at the hands of unscrupulous and criminally minded people.

It is really disconcerting that moneymaking rituals have continued to proliferate in the country despite the onset of the scientific age and the advances in education, together with the attendant public enlightenment. This may be due to the fact that people are wont to circumvent and even denounce hard work as a means to achieving prosperity and happiness. They seem content to explore the criminal shortcuts that have become the bane of the Nigerian society. The society has gone astray: value orientations and preferences are now so terribly warped as to beggar description.

There is, we believe, a desperate need to give the country’s youth a completely new orientation on the proper acquisition of wealth. They need to realise the value of obtaining wealth without losing touch with humanity. Pray, how many of the world’s billionaires ever made any fortune from ritualists’ dens? And how many of the ritualists who dot the Nigerian landscape are on the Forbes List of the world’s richest persons? These are some of the questions which the national orientation agencies should be posing to misguided Nigerians, especially the youth.

Whatever their shortcomings, the police still remain the only civil authority to refer the job of security of life and property to and it is such a relief that in this instance, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) demonstrated reliability and competence. We ask for more of this kind of action. We equally urge the NPF to undertake a more detailed surveillance to ensure that people are protected from the dangers  perpetrated by merchants of death like the brains behind the ritualists’ den in question and their ilk in the society. On their part, state and local authorities need to carry out enlightenment campaigns on the dangers of such practices and ensure a reward system for citizens  who come up with valuable information leading to the arrest of culprits. Needless to say, if the guilt of the suspects is eventually established through a comprehensive investigation, they should be hauled before the court of law to receive their just deserts.


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