The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency on the incessant ritual killings across the country.
The lawmakers also called for a national campaign against the menace, saying the effort of parents, schools, religious leaders and the media is needed.
This is following a motion sponsored by Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Toby Okechukwu, during a plenary session in Abuja on Wednesday, who bemoaned the spike in ritual killings in recent times.
“The upsurge of reported ritual killings with 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.”
“Merchants of such wicked acts often use social media as a ready tool to advertise their evil behaviour. Ritual killing has become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view as an acceptable norm.
“There are several reports where law enforcement agents arrested and paraded suspects of ritual killings with gory pictures of human skulls and dismembered bodies.
“Fake clerics, imams, herbalists and native doctors are often complicit in the heinous practices. Although our communities are getting more religious with the proliferation of churches and mosques, the ugly trend of ritual killing is on the rise as the quest for wealth at all costs pervades our society.
“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.
“Such cruel and barbaric acts should no longer be promoted in our society given the demands of today’s world,” he said.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the House which called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba to “take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to apprehend and prosecute all perpetrators of ritual killings in Nigeria.”
To push this agenda forward, the lawmakers charged the National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearinghouse for all movies produced in the country, as the Nigerian movie industry and the media, according to them, play a big part in molding behavioural patterns in the society.