The federal government has said would launch a national campaign against ritualists and murders in the coming days.
The Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this yesterday, in Abuja, during a media visit to Daily Trust Newspaper.
He said the federal government was alarmed by the escalating incidents of ritual murders across the country among young persons, driven by the urge to get rich at all cost.
He said the National Orientation Agency (NOA) was already collaborating with religious and traditional organisations as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to forge behavioural change, especially among the youth, some of whom are afflicted by the get-rich-quick syndrome.
The minister said he had also directed the National Film
and Video Censors Board to take the issue of regulation of Nollywood movies featuring money rituals in some of its movies into consideration while performing its role of censoring and classifying films and videos.
He said the mandate was because many have blamed Nollywood for depicting money rituals in some of its movies that have negatively influenced the vulnerable youth.
He also beckoned on the media to lend its voice to efforts to stamp out the scourge.
He said the ritual killings have assumed a worrisome dimension in recent years in many parts of the country. Citing an NGO, Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), the minister said 150 women and girls were killed for ritual purposes between January 2018 and December 2021.
“The NGO said the prevailing situation is driven by a growing demand for human body parts for money-making. It added that the trend endangers the safety and security of women and girls.
Recently, in Ogun State, four young men, one of whom is 18 years old, murdered their 20-year-old female friend for money rituals.
“One of them said they learnt about using human parts for money rituals from social media. Of course, you are also aware of a case involving a female student of the University of Jos who was allegedly killed by her boyfriend for ritual purposes. These killings have been widely reported by the media,” Mohammed said.
He stressed that the mere fact that some of the ritualists said they learnt the money-making tricks from some social media platforms had strengthened the need by government to embark on a campaign to rid social media of unwholesome content.