By Emmanuel Unah
CALABAR—IT was a spectacle to behold at the Ikot Ishie crossroads, popularly known as Calabar roundabout, Zone Six, Ikot Omin, Effigy and other traffic circles at Calabar, Cross River State, on New Year eve, as traditional worshipers flooded the intersections with all sorts of sacrifices, while Christians prayed at the same time in their churches for divine intervention and blessings in 2017.
When NDV visited some of the intersections, January 1, 2017, animals, including cats, dogs, and chicks were among sacrificial items deposited by juju worshippers with plates of rice meal, bottles of drinks put inside a basket woven with fresh palm leaves and other strange objects littering the places.
Stray dogs had a field day feasting on some of the meals and edible items, except for the can and bottle drinks, which the lunatics took away to cool their thirst, leaving behind the baskets and plates for street sweepers to clean up the next day.
A juju priest in Ikot Ishie, Ekpabom Ekanem, told our reporter: “Many people do sacrifices to different gods and spirits, so do not think that everybody you see go to church or who spent the 31st night singing and dancing in the church truly had faith in what they were doing,”
“Many still come here to carry out sacrifices and rituals to juju or spirit, some even offer human beings just to make sure they achieve success in the New Year,” Akpabom said
He said some people were possessed by one demon or ancestral spirit and until they offer what they are required to every year, they would die or not achieve what they target in the course of the year.
“Look, some of the pastors do come to us, so do not think that because they talk about Satan, they really believe in God, no, they do it just to make ends meet, we see all these things every day”.
My oath – Pastor Ekwot
A senior clergy with Christ for the World Mission and Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Calabar Chapter, Pastor Lawrence Ekwok, said: “We are yet to win everybody to Christ, so some people still undertake the worship of juju and other things, that is the more reason we as Christians need to do more in our evangelism to win such people to Christ.”
He, however, said he does not know if such fetish sacrifice works for those that do it, but could only vouch for the word of God and the name of Jesus Christ, which can save and also provide blessings and salvation to those that believe.
We see sacrifices every time – Street sweepers
A street sweeper, Ann Ekaette Okon, told NDV: “It is not only during 31st of December nights that we see such sacrifices, but every time. Some are covered with a lot of blood making us wonder if it is human blood or animal, although we have to carry them away to the refuse dump. If not for God, many of us would have since died.
“Some women send their children to sweep their portion and they do come across things like that from time to time, so we fear that some of them could be affected in later years.”
NDV gathered that some of the roundabouts are conducive for such rituals because they are decorated with traditional items and artefacts like pots, monoliths, gongs, masquerade heads and the like, which are in tandem with juju and ritual practices.