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Lawmakers blame Nigerian movies for surge in ritual killings, declare national emergency

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Addressing the escalating ritual killings challenge

Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Wednesday declared a national emergency amid rise in cases of ritual killings across the country.

The lawmakers also urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA), stakeholders, and the media to initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Toby Okechukwu, the deputy minority leader, at the plenary in Abuja, NAN reported.

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Presenting the motion, Mr Okechukwu said that incidents of ritual killings had assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria while decrying the upsurge of reported ritual killings, and abductions in different parts of the country.

He blamed the increase on Nollywood, the country’s movie industry, arguing that younger generations may see ritual killing as a norm.

“Ritual killing had become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm,” he said.

Mr Okechukwu added that in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and cut out sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

Citing the killing of Iniobong Umoren in Akwa Ibom and the recent incident of 21-year-old Sofiat Kehinde who was killed and had her head burnt in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun, the lawmaker said the news triggered condemnation considering the age of the suspected killers.

The House thereafter charged the Inspector General of Police to take urgent steps towards tacking ritual killings in the country.

The lawmakers also tasked the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearing house for all movies produced in the country.

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