By Prisca Sam-Duru

About five years ago in Oshodi, Lagos, a young man- very fair in complexion and handsome, was seen walking stark naked. It was a normal busy day and so, as he walked, people bumped into him and you could imagine the embarrassment on their faces each time that happened. 

The guy kept straight face, mute and kept walking to God knows where. Some individuals, who were conversant with such public display of acute madness, told the inquisitive ones among us, that he was carrying out a ritual for money. What a shame!

There’s a viral video on social media, showing two young men at a busy bus stop, sitting on potties and defecating. One of them wipes his anus with a piece of bread and chews. Humans turning into dogs that feed on faeces because of money; this is bizarre! They are aware that they’re being videoed, but remain unconcerned. According to the narrators, this happened in Owerri, Imo State. 

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The annoying thing about the video is that rather than gather those seemingly hypnotised fellows and, giving them the beating of their miserable lives, people were taking pictures and recording them.

This same week, another video of a young man, being paraded in Delta state, surfaced online. He was apprehended by vigilante group in the area, with human faeces which he intermittently ate. He told his captors that his boss directed him to bring the faeces. Quite disgusting!

These are all incidences of rituals done by the now trending group of occultists known as ‘yahoo plus’, supposedly to make quick money. Before now, they were known as ‘yahoo yahoo’- internet fraudsters. They transformed into ‘yahoo plus’, once they began employing diabolic means to scam their victims.

For starters, do money-making rituals work? Is there any relationship between shedding of blood and making fortune? The society unfortunately, believes it works which is why due to poverty, moral decadence and lust for opulence, the youth are all turning into yahoo boys.

Vanguard Newspaper’s Arts Editor, Osa Mbonu-Amadi, holds a different and interesting view on the subject. “Our forefathers killed white rams as sacrifices to the land for bountiful harvests. Then they went ahead to plant big yam seedlings on fertile soils. During harvests, they had bountiful harvests. In their ignorance, they attributed the bountiful harvest to the blood of the ram, instead of the big yam seedlings and the fertile soil. But there is no correlation whatsoever between the blood of the ram and the bountiful harvest. It was all rooted in primitive superstition.

“This is more or less what happens in money rituals. They kill innocent people, and then go and defraud people of their hard-earned money, ignorantly believing it was the blood of the victims that brought the cash.

“Again, I say, there is no magic or ritual that turns human heads, blood, limbs, or life into money. If there were, almost everyone in this world would be rich, because majority of people in the world are immoral and therefore won’t bath an eyelid to shed blood if it will bring money to them. As Soyinka said in his poem, “Abiku”, yams do not sprout in amulets. It’s crass superstition — a practical return to primitive and barbaric life, and most tragically by our youths who are supposed to be more enlightened.

“When those who killed innocent people for money ritual find out that it does not work, they will never come back to confess that they did it but it didn’t work. We have published a story in Vanguard where a certain youth went to confront the juju man who made him to kill an innocent fellow for money ritual that didn’t work. In the process of the confrontation, the matter got leaked and police arrested both the young man and juju man”.

I guess at this juncture, people should consider the above view because Nigeria is fast losing her youth due to obsession for quick cash, material wealth and prominence. These cravings have plunged them into unreasonable, disgraceful and diabolic rituals such as narrated above. A good number of these lazy youth who believe that by debasing themselves, they’ll become rich, also engage in diverse rituals including, collecting ladies’ pants, bathing in the public places, eating human body parts, diverse blood rituals; sacrificing their reproductive organs, humans including blood relations; incest, rape, collecting ladies’ virtue through sex, spraying money in public, hosting parties where it is said that those who partake in food served during such parties, die mysteriously; and so many other weird rituals.

Regrettably, the trappings of life are already enslaving children in dastardly acts of fetishism, which used to be masterminded by unscrupulous adults.  How did these youth, even children- teenagers, become consumed by the craze for lush lifestyle which lures them into devilish acts, when they are supposed to be in school? How in God’s name did we get to this point of blatant savagery?

Again, Mbonu-Amadi, maintains that “It’s partly fuelled by societal belief. We believe it works, and we communicate that belief to our immoral youths. Another reason is socioeconomic injustice- the inequitable distribution of resources. When few people corner the commonwealth of the people and rationalize it by saying it was by their dint of hard work, this is what you get. In a society that does not care about social security, as the saying goes, when the poor is hungry they will eat the rich. But unfortunately, these ones are not killing the rich; they are killing their fellow hungry people.”Another one is our acquired culture of applauding wealth without minding its sources, the proverbial end justifying the means. When we do all that, the young people watch and learn. 

Now, people can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed, not because of terrorists, bandits or armed robbers, but because of our own children! If you have youths now as children, chances are that they may kill you or your wife for money rituals. How else do you define calamity?” 

Just as Nigerians were trying to recover from shock due to the case of the woman that escaped death in the hands of her yahoo son in Owerri, three boys were paraded by the Ogun State Police, for allegedly murdering, beheading and burning the head of their friend’s girl friend, named Rofiat, in a local pot. This is anathema! These boys were all teenagers, for crying out loud. Who thought them that such dastardly act would make them rich? Presumably, the fetish priest- a man, father, sent them on such disparaging mission. Why! What do teenagers need wealth for? This country is in deep mess!

CEO of Boyslivesmatter, Nkechi Macaulay had this to say on the case of the killers of Rofiat. “I watched the video of the decapitated girl and her head in a pot and I just felt sick. This is the price we have paid for years neglecting the boy child. During my last boys’ conference, I brought up the word “Yahoo yahoo’ and ‘yahoo plus’….the boys in the hall went into an uproar, chanting “Yahoo yahoo is correct business and it’s brain work”. I stood lost for some seconds, then I screamed loud and clear, it’s not business but cyber crime, if you are caught, you are going down. Our boys, these generational boys have a twisted mindset about money. The ones involved in ‘yahoo yahoo plus’ target girls for rituals. It’s a crisis situation if we don’t fix our boys”.

We are indeed in a crisis situation and, child rights activist and founder of CEEHOPE, Betty Abbah, agrees that the situation is out of hand. “It’s quite sickening and I think we have come full cycle with regards to ritual killings which have now been taken over by young people including teenagers!”

While Macaulay, posits that the situation is due to outright neglect of the boy child, Abbah, says its more than that.

“But the focus should not be on teenage boys alone as everyone is either a victim or at risk of the current craze for materialism. Everyone needs help not just boys and definitely boys are not the only ones left behind by the huge parenting gap and, I write as someone working with young people. Many young girls are also deeply into “kayamata” meant to hypnotise prospective male lovers in their favour. We have truly come full cycle and something has to give”.

The situation is gone beyond crisis, this is anarchy! Did you read that? Girls are using charm on rich men to get into their treasury. Sometimes they take steps further by getting pregnant for these aristos, to milk them dry. This is partly responsible for rise in divorce cases and war in most homes.

Well, its glaring that our youth’s preoccupation nowadays, is just how to make money. Jubril, a young boy in his early twenties, came home late last year with a posh car. You could notice the joy his family felt for that. 

This reporter wondered aloud, pretentiously actually, how he made the money with which he purchased the car. A neighbour close to the family quickly and quietly supplied the answer. “Ah! Ah!! Aunty, na yahoo yahoo nah! U no dey see am with laptop every day?” She explained further that Jubril bought the car because “de money wan hang”. Soon, this boy began coming home with two escorts, meanwhile, he said he is in the university. Isn’t the situation worrisome? Jubril is not the only yahoo boy on campus. According to reports, nearly all tertiary institutions in the country are infested with yahoo boys hiding under the cloak of students. Most of them are said to be students trained first as cultists, who become hardened enough to engage in money-making rituals. Naive female students are usually their targets. Little wonder, some tertiary institutions have banned students from using cars in school. 

Just last month, 20-year-old Moses Oko, was arrested by the police for allegedly killing a 300 level university of Jos student named Jenifer Anthony; removing her eyes, breasts and other body parts for ritual purposes.

Recall that in early January 2022, a video showing girls in provocative dresses, begging for mercy when they were about to be murdered during a party, trended online. Every plea by the girls fell on deaf ears of their boyfriends-turned-devils, until they were stabbed several times, slaughtered and beheaded.

To this end, the alarm must be sounded repeatedly to girls who hook up with strangers on social media and on campus. The inordinate craze for materialism has pushed these girls to abandon their studies and go frolicking with older men known as aristos- mostly businessmen and politicians, and some ‘rich students’ whose nefarious occultic activities are hidden. Sadly, death becomes the lot of these girls, most often. Sometimes, something tragic other than death, happens to them.

In his article, “Money Rituals: ‘Yahoo Boys’ on the Prowl’, published by New Telegraph, Michael West, narrated how he was told, these desperate men through sex, appropriate the virtue of their victims for fortune and money rituals. “A friend told me of an undergraduate who wanted to renew his money ritual. 

He took one of his girlfriends to the spiritualists. Upon checking, it was discovered that the girl had since been “used.” Meaning she has lost her virtue or glory through sex”. He kept bringing girls but was told they had all been used. The student, said to be a big boy with a fleet of cars in the university town, became desperate due to repercussions awaiting him, should he fail. 

He broke down in tears, when the number of “used” and rejected girls reached 100. “He was not sure if he will ever find a complete girl for the ritual before it is too late. The “used” girls are just existing and not living. Such daughters, according to those who believe in voodoo, may never amount to anything great or meaningful in life. What a pity!”

Things have gone beyond condemning parents for lack of proper parental upbringing and for celebrating their wealth of their children without bothering to find out its source. Now, parents assist their children to carry out sacrifices to make wealth. The case of the woman, who connived with his yahoo son to murder his younger son for money-making ritual, is still trending. That’s a very gory tale to tell!

The horrific reality is that if we fail to halt this ugly trend, it puts everyone at risk because so long as the yahoo plus boys comply the first time by supposedly exchanging blood or something for money, the spiritualists won’t stop demanding for more, until the boys are destroyed.

Being busy must not be an excuse for parents not to nurture their children into God-fearing human beings. Women must ensure they give birth to a sizeable number of children they can control. We must monitor our children, especially their activities on social media, and call them to order each time we notice a change in character or they’re in the company of mannerless peers. No aspect of immoral lifestyle, be it in dressing or action should be condoned. We must strive as the Holy Bible advises us, to train the child in the ways he should go, so that when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Every facet of the country fuelling youths’ involvement in illicit source of money must be dealt with. Our legislators collect fat pay and flaunt their affluence in the face of these jobless youth. This shouldn’t be so anymore. Nigerian politicians are not exonerated. Because they are eager to loot the national treasury, many commit all sorts of heinous crimes to win elections or get juicy positions. Many of them even use the youth as evil ladders to get to the top only to waste the loots on their mistresses and other frivolous gratification. 

That must end! Politics must be made unattractive so that only the best and most qualified will vie for positions of authority.  If only society including religious bodies will stop applauding individuals whose sources of wealth are questionable, things will begin to change. Banning students from using cars in school, is a good step that should be sustained. Government must urgently address issues of street children and unemployment because if many of the youth who do these ritual killings have opportunities to honest means of livelihood, they won’t be tempted to take that route. 

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.