Vanguard (Lagos)

4 December 2003

Nigeria: Ritual Murderers Invade Enugu

Enugu — RESIDENTS of the Coal City of Enugu are now living in fear following the invasion of the Enugu State capital by suspected ritual murderers who have killed no fewer than eight persons within the last one-month. Investigations revealed that the ritual murderers who have been carrying out their activities unmolested, appeared to have concentrated on Ogui New Layout, the densely populated Uwani area, Achara Layout, Awkunanaw, Garriki and Abakpa areas where hardly a day passes without a report of missing persons.

Corpses of able-bodied men and women as well as children whose vital organs like the private part, breast and eyes were cut off are regular features on major streets, with the police having no explanation for such mysterious developments. One of such bodies was discovered in front of the Shopping Complex opposite Zik Avenue Primary School in Uwani yesterday morning to the shock of residents who have been living in fears over the unwholesome activities of the ritualists. The body of the unidentified middle-aged man was seen lying on the floor as if he was sleeping but a closer view showed that he was lifeless with his genital organs removed.

The discovery caused serious panic and traffic jam along the busy Zik Avenue as motorists and passersby stopped to catch a glimpse of the corpse. A trader whose shop is located near the scene told Vanguard that they reported for their normal business activities at about 7am only to see the mutilated corpse of the man whom they could not identify, saying they were shocked by the development which they attributed to ritualists.

"We have been battling with armed robbers who have been terrorizing the residents especially traders, but the most dangerous crime against humanity has been introduced in Enugu which used to be the most peaceful city in Igboland. How can one explain these ritual murders everywhere in this town? People are no longer safe to move around. People disappear everyday while children are kidnapped without molestation, yet the police are doing nothing about it. May God have mercy on us," the trader said.

When contacted yesterday, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Shehu Adam, expressed shock over the incident and said that investigations would commence immediately with a view to fishing out the perpetrators.

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