The gradual elimination of the middle class in Nigeria has caused a lot of vices as those in the lower class continually make attempts to be rich at all cost. Cases of armed robbery, assault and fraud have been on the increase lately. Incidentally, while all these go on, money making rituals too have been on the increase.
Findings have shown that those involved in money making rituals have a variety to choose from. The most common seems to be the blood ritual which involves out-and-out killing. The victim’s blood is used along with other items for propitiating some oracles. Ages of such victims vary; day old babies, school age children and adults may be used, checks revealed that the age of the victim often depends on what the ritualist’s “ori” (spirit) agrees with. Many treasure seekers have been caught in the cat of trying to dig up graves in order to obtain skulls and other parts for rituals.
There is also the sexually stimulated money ritual. In most cases, this involves rich men whose wealth depend on the people they have sex with. Though how it works cannot be explained scientifically, it is believed that when the ritualist has sex with someone with the charm activated, the good fortune that should have accrued to the other party is spiritually transferred. Some of the culprits go on to look for virgin girls as they are believed to work better. Findings revealed that after some time, the victim either dies or becomes useless. A number of “runs” or “aristo” girls have fallen victim of ritualists while trying to use what they have to get what they want. Checks revealed that while many have become bedridden with “strange” diseases, a lot of others never lived to tell the tale.
There are also some old conventional rituals which seem harmless as they do not require blood. For instance, there is one that involves a process in which maize grains are fed to a fowl brought by the prospective rich man. Street Journal gathered that medicine men hardly agree to provide the chicken to avoid any suspicion of foul play. It was however found out that no matter what is done, such fowls hardly pick more than ten grains of maize, meanwhile the number of grains picked automatically amounts to the number of years the person will live to enjoy the wealth. Not even starving the fowl works. A medicine man disclosed that at times, in spite of starving, the fowl will pick three or four grains.
One of Nigeria’s most respected pastors shared the story of a man who did money ritual on television. According to the Pastor, the man was rushed to the headquarters of the church in Ebutte Metta in Lagos, in serious pains and almost dying. After a hot session of prayer, the man became well and narrated how he went through some rituals in order to acquire wealth. He disclosed to the pastor that one of the criteria he was given was to swallow an egg. The man said he started having severe pains all over after he had swallowed the egg; an indication that the ritual had backfired. The man later became a regular member of the church after he became well. He attended services and programmes of the church. The Pastor said after some time, he noticed that the man no longer came to church. A team was sent to visit him after some weeks and they discovered that he had moved out of his apartment. The Pastor disclosed that to his surprise, when they got to the man’s new address, he told them bluntly that he would no longer come to their church. He said the ritual he did the other time failed because he got some things wrong while trying to swallow the egg he was given. He told the Pastor that he didn’t get it wrong a second time as he was already preparing to enjoy the wealth that would come his way. “True to his word, he became rich, but he was given seven years to live”, the Pastor said. He continued that “and you know seven years is not really a long time. When people wish you happy New Year six times, seven years are already over. There was nowhere to turn. This man tried to run from death when his time was up. He thought maybe if he ran overseas, they wouldn’t be able to catch him there. Unfortunately for him, he died on the flight”.
Some money rituals also involve the use of a loved one, whose fortune will provide the money. In most cases, wives and mothers are victims as a daring man would be asked to choose his most beloved relative. Street Journal also found out that body parts like the head, breasts and genitals. But of course no one will willingly surrender a body part so it becomes necessary to slay the victims before dispossessing them of the body parts.
Checks have also revealed that a number of those erroneously referred to as “Yahoo Boys” (Internet fraudsters) have delved into money rituals as the internet business has not been forthcoming as before. Instead of calling it money ritual, they have code named it “Yahoo Plus”. In their own case, perpetrators of Yahoo Plus have taken their game to a higher level by adding jazz to it. At times, unsuspecting girlfriends end up as victims. Most people in Yahoo Plus opted for money rituals after the used of jazz failed to bring the desired results from the “Yahoo Yahoo” trade.
Unfortunately however, money rituals fail at times. Victims have been rejected by medicine men while some have been taken to shrines before they were found unsuitable for particular rituals and might have to be returned. One of the commonest consequences of a failed money ritual is that instead of getting rich, the person might either run mad or even die. These often serve as checks to prevent aggrieved prosperity seekers from spilling the beans and also to ensure that the esoteric secrets behind the rituals remain unknown.
And with the proposed introduction of the N 5,000 note by the Central Bank of Nigeria, people are already apprehensive in some quarters that kidnappers will soon be on the prowl as some people will be desperate to become richer either by hook or by crook.