The movie “Living in Bondage”, is arguably one of the pioneers of the mega-billion naira Nigerian film industry christened Nollywood. In the movie, a frustrated young man Andy, having noticed that some of his friends had become rich, desperately desires to get rich too. His wife Merit tries in vain to encourage him to wait for God’s time. Consumed by his inordinate craving for wealth, he extends a hand of fellowship to the devil, the suzerain ruler of the kingdom of perdition.
Led on by his friend Paul, Andy joins a secret cult where members are required to sacrifice their loved ones in exchange for wealth.
He sacrifices his wife Merit and becomes stupendously wealthy. However, he does not enjoy his wealth due to incessant torment by Merit’s ghost. Eventually, he runs mad, eating from dustbins across the city. He is rescued by a former girlfriend Tina, who takes him to a church where he confesses to using his wife for money ritual. He loses everything and starts life afresh, with the church assuring him that God has forgiven him.
Many people are familiar with the synopsis of that sell-out movie narrated above. More poignantly, the storyline of the movie brings to contemporary reality the consciousness of a typical Nigerian youth who is desperately motivated in the wrong direction to acquire wealth. These days, mainstream and social media are inundated with how youths use female pants, bras and other forms of underwear for money ritual purposes. It is reported that these items now sell for various sums of money where they are used for despicable acts of fetishism. Afterward, the former owners of these items suffer multiple calamities ranging from madness, haemorrhage, barrenness and other mysterious illnesses. It is not uncommon these days to see some youths, without any means of income or any expertise in a particular vocation become wealthy overnight, driving very expensive cars, adorned in gold, jewellery, sundry frippery and living in high-brow areas of the city. With his new status like the peacock, the bird of infinite jest and pride, the young millionaire controls penal social structures that inevitably grovel to his doorsteps for gross lucre.
Truly, engaging the issues in Nigeria is mental torture. It benumbs the mind and disembowels the soul. Indeed, one requires a measure of mental fortitude to remain sane while grappling with the issues in Nigeria. Our country has become a big joke, with the charade that is the political class, with a set of wicked people who would not allow the tired President Buhari to retire to his village for a deserved rest after serving Nigeria for many years.
These are the people who insist he must win the next election and put Nigeria through another four years of guaranteed peril. With a comatose educational system, with an economy daily gravitating in the direction of poverty, Nigeria is certainly in the doldrums. In the context of the Nigerian situation, the whole idea of money ritual has graduated to new heights, it has become part of the tragic narrative of a country lurking around the precipice, bidding time to tip over the abyss.
Certainly, more obscenity has not been seen in the psychology of humanity than the current hunt for female underwear for the purpose of money ritual. While youths in other countries are involved in innovations that create wealth, our youths use human beings for rituals to create wealth. Youths are not the only ones who engage in these activities. Some businessmen also engage in ritual sacrifices using human parts, especially the body parts of females. A society with a low-value system unwittingly celebrates these people as successful businessmen. I have argued in a different essay that our idea of success in terms of financial overflow must be re-assessed. Apart from businessmen, some politicians are also involved in ritual sacrifices using human body parts. Some drink blood, some bath with blood and some others eat human flesh. In this way, they enthrone a culture of brutish cannibalism that does not aid human growth or advancement.
Some women engage in ritual sacrifices in their desperation to get married or even have babies. Indeed, our society is caught in the strangulating throes of a union with mammon, the malicious god of wealth, where we are driven to a composite debasement of our souls. Yet, we are deeply steeped in all forms of religion, piousness and pretentious worship.
Ritual sacrifices for whatever purpose is a wicked act, condemnable and indefensible. It is important that the society is alive to new dimensions of this ignoble practice. People use their wives, husbands, children or relatives for money ritual. Sometimes too, people use parts of their body, hair or finger-nails for ritual purposes in order to make money or gain one advantage or another. Young men now use their sperms for money rituals. When they become wealthy, ladies besiege them for marriage. The consequence of the sperm money ritual manifests in sterility and barrenness because the young man is not able to impregnate his wife. While the lady basks in the euphoria of getting married to a millionaire with a ground-breaking wedding, unknown to her, she is sold out to the devil and will never conceive. Eventually, she is thrown into emotional turmoil and begins to run from pillar to post for a miracle child. The devil’s gift is always predicated on an incongruous exchange.
In a new dimension, the wicked now visit salons to pick original human hair for money ritual purposes. They also steal clothes in people’s compounds spread out to dry. They visit hospital waste bins for female sanitary pads, pampers, umbilical cords of newborn babies, and other forms of human waste. I remember clearly when as schoolboys, we were regaled with tales from Lagos narrating how people’s private parts got missing at the touch of a ritualist. It didn’t make sense to our puerile minds in those days because it lacked veracity. For us, it was inexplicable magic. But now, like Celine Dion, “it is all coming back to me”.
The repercussions for money ritual are inevitable. They manifest in different ways, some of them too grisly to recount. Sometimes, the perpetrators die suddenly in disgraceful fashion. Sometimes too, they eat their own human waste, run mad and walk about naked. Other times, parts of their bodies decay gradually until they die. Also, some of them go through unimaginable experiences at night having frequent encounters with spirits and apparitions. Some die by thunder strike which mangles their bodies beyond recognition.
Some die in motor accidents where their bodies are plastered on the road. Indeed, any short cut to success will lead to a short cut to life. Our society must be alive to these and other absurdities that have unfortunately characterized our generation. Since we are living in times when everybody is responsible for himself with a minimal or no government input, it is advised that we should all be alert and not become mindless accomplices in an evil endeavour.
Dr. Adiele writes from Lagos via [email protected]