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By Chukwudi Abiandu
Dissatisfied with the evil activities of ritual killers and the gangsters that go by the name yahoo-yahoo boys that live in questionable opulence, a community of Civil Societies and other concerned stakeholders in Delta State yesterday, Wednesday, 29/11/2018, held a peaceful protest and procession in Asaba to express their strong condemnation and gruesome murder of the 22 year-old Miss Elozino Joshuana Ogege, a 300 level mass communication student of Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka.
The group that included journalists carried their protests through to the office the Secretary to the Government of Delta State, where they were granted audience by the SSG, Mr. Festus Agas, the Headquarters of the State Police Command, where they were received by the Deputy Commissioner of Police and Officer-in-charge of the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Mr. Wale Abas, and the Ministry of Women Affairs, where the permanent secretary, Mrs. Gladys Puegeren and the the Directors received them on behalf of the Commissioner, Mrs Omatseye Williams.
Led by Ambassador Caroline Usikpedo the civil societies group presented “Our Charter of Demad” as follows:
• Call on the Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command and all other authorities concerned to quickly conclude their investigation.
• That all the culprits involved, should be tried and prosecuted as a matter of urgency to serve as deterrent to others in the evil trade.
• Call on the Commissioner of Police to launch ‘Operation Flush out Yahoo-Yahoo business’ in Delta State and create security patrol systems in all the institutional places of learning.
• Police escort – Call on the Commissioner of Police to carry out an audit of the number of police escorts detailed out to private individuals and investigate the sources of the wealth of some of them as they are hiding the mask.
• Parents – Call on all parents and guardians to reject the gifts of the luxury cars and mansions that your unemployed wards bring to you without any known source of income.
• Call on the state and Federal Government to as a matter of urgency enact a law prohibiting Yahoo-Yahoo business and ritualism of all sorts in Delta State and Nigeria at large.
• That Government should support the Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in our effort to sensitise the citizens, communities and rid our institutions of higher learning of all forms of nefarious activities.
• That government and other relevant authorities should partner with the CSOs and security agencies to monitor the activities of students in schools and prevent them from being victims of ritual killings.
Chanting solidarity songs, the CSOs asked: “How many more will be killed or be missing before we put a stop to this? The culprits must face the full wrath of the law.”
The indignation of the CSOs is hinged against the experiences that institutions of higher learning in Nigeria and the local communities now harbor all kinds of criminal activities and ritualists in the Ambassador Usikpedo said: “Unwarranted quest for wealth and big cars have led the society into a den of ritualists with special focus on the women and girls. Women can no longer go in search of their livelihoods due to fear of being abducted for money rituals.
“The normal traditional way of living and washing and drying of women clothes, especially under wears has become a mirage as they even o a level further in stripping girls at gun point to get their panties for rituals. What is this called? The answer is yahoo-yahoo business, whose merchants target our institutions of learning and social gatherings to get their victims.”
She pointed out that this ignoble trend began when the news about going to Ghana for three months only and return with huge amount of money to build mansions and buy multi-million naira exotic cars, and in a few months one of their loved ones will fall sick and die.
According to Usikpedo, the unsuspecting and innocent victim, late Miss Elozino Ogege was abducted while searching for hostel accommodation, leading to her gruesome murder, with some of her vital organs chopped off for ritual purposes. “This is just one out of the numerous such incidences that are not on record. The campus is no longer conducive for the girl-child to learn, criminality now abound that even the good children sent from homes come back with a degree in crime and ritualism,” she said, adding: “Our children should not learn with fear or study with criminals. Children in higher institutions should be a joy to parents not sadness.”
The CSO’s also told the Delta State SSG to help convey to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the political parties to help save the society by making sure that ritualists and those that have made money through Yahoo-yahoo do not infiltrate the political parties to have access to become members of the Houses of assembly, Senators, members of the House of Representatives, and holding other top government positions.
Their logic is that the society in Nigeria will be in grave danger when ritualists and yahoo-yahoo boys control the reins of government.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Puegeren, who apololised for the absence of the commissioner, who she said was away to attend to other assignments, thanked the CSOs for mobilizing against the ills in the society. “Th story of Elozino is a pathetic one. The way her life was taken is condemnable. If the girl-child and females are not safe, then no woman is safe. As mothers we condemn it,” she said.
While praying for grace and God’s enablement to enable the CSOs continue to create awareness against ritualists and the yahoo-yahoo business she said: “Justice must be done. I join you to say that Yahoo-yahoo business is condemnable and must be flushed out of the society.”
At the State Police Command, the O/C CID, and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Wale Abbas said: “We really appreciate your effort. I need to tell you that the Commissioner of Police is not sleeping on this matter. No right thinking person will allow what happened to Elozino to continue to happen.”
He announced that arrests have been made and that police investigation was continuing to unravel the gamut of the matter to further expose others in the evil and dastardly business of Yahoo-yahoo and ritual killings.
Abbas urged the CSOs to also call on government to enact laws that will criminalise the matter so that the police can be effective in carrying out their duties, pointing out that within two months in Asaba, the Police Command has lost no fewer than 10 policemen and their arms and ammunition.
But the CSOs also demanded from the police an audit of policemen and ensure that no police escort is given to yahoo-yahoo boys.
At the SSG office, they told Mr. Agas to inform the Governor about the fear of members of the CSOs that with the quantum of money that the yahoo-yahoo boys have, they will infiltrate the political parties and use their money to gain access to become law makers . They Government must do something to prevent this, they said.