Belief in the power of spirits in Nigeria, even among the educated, is believed to contribute to the practice of ritual human sacrifice – which can make killers like Ben Adebayo* rich.
The witchdoctors who use vital organs, skulls and other body parts for occultic rituals pay handsomely for them, as their clients believe they can bring power and wealth when used in potions and amulets, according to Nigerian news reports. A “ritualist” like Adebayo was earning a good living cultivating human body parts – from people he killed – for “herbalists,” witchdoctors who use them in potions or incantation rituals.
Amulets and potions made of ritually sacrificed body parts are believed to make people invincible, protecting them from illness, accidents, economic failure or attacks from evil spirits, the reports say. While the traditional, animistic beliefs that accompany belief in ritual influence of the spirit world are common among the uneducated in Nigeria’s villages, such beliefs and practices extend to the well-educated in cities, local news outlets report.
Often chosen for ritual murder are “soft targets” like the elderly, the physically challenged and children, the reports say. Last December in Ondo state, two women in their 70s were hacked to death in their homes in separate incidents linked by a common practice – the removal of their vital organs for ritual use. A sociologist at Bayero University in Kano, in northern Nigeria, told an Agence France-Presse reporter that traditional shamans in the country prefer children’s body parts for get-rich-quick potions.
Often chosen for ritual murder are “soft targets” like the elderly, the physically challenged and children.
The 31-year-old Adebayo, whose location is undisclosed for security reasons, made a practice of luring young women with money, he told the leader of a ministry that Christian Aid Mission assists.
“He was involved in serious, occultic/witchcraft killing of girls, and then removing their breasts and private parts,” the ministry leader said. “He used this to make so much money, and he became so deeply involved in killing that he destroyed more than seven girls, whom they used for sacrifice.”
With the same intent, Adebayo arranged to meet a young woman who, he was unaware, was a missionary with the locally based ministry, the leader said. Adebayo commonly asked girls or women to accept money in exchange for helping him with some fake task, and they would then follow him into the forest as part of the ruse. There he would kill them.
He made the same kind of offer to the missionary.
“On this occasion, however, she resisted and prayed for the guy,” the leader said. “After many times trying to get the girl to come with him through ritual charms, instead of the charm working on our missionary, Ben saw himself tormented by the fire of the Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit showed Adebayo spiritual truths in the following days as she shared Bible passages with him. She continued to pray for him and presented the Gospel to him from different angles, sometimes emphasizing humanity’s sin, other times emphasizing God’s holiness. The truth of God sacrificing His own Son for the sins of humanity sliced through him like the cutlasses he had used to kill people.
“As the days passed, this young man gave his life to Christ and completely renounced this occult world,” the ministry leader said.
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SOURCE: Christian Aid Mission