The House of Representatives on Wednesday said a state of emergency on ritual killings in the country should be declared by the Federal Government.
The lawmakers also called for a 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, who lamented that ritual killings have taken a new dimension in recent times.
He said, “There’s an 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.
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“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 while 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.”
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”.