That the inhuman practice of committing barbaric acts and human rights violation is still rearing its ugly heads in certain parts of Nigeria is stating the obvious. The latest of such which, according to our dependable sources has torn apart family members of the victim, a 17-year-old Joseph Akahomhen who miraculously escaped from the shrine of idol worshippers somewhere in Uromi, Edo state, Nigeria.
The incident which reportedly took place sometimes on August 2012 has since landed Joseph in an unknown place which has since caused heated disaffection between his family members. While some are claiming innocence of the heinous encounter, some are alleged to have masterminded the gruesome acts, which today, have remained a source of concern to his entire community where Joseph hails from.
Sequel to the information reaching SAFARI NEWS, we conducted an intensive investigation into the matter which later revealed that Joseph, had at that time been purportedly chosen by the gods to take over his late father’s position in the village as the Chief Priest of Ekpen shrine. We reliably learnt that, upon his religious belief, he refused the offer claiming it was against his biblical teachings as a Christian.
The refusal, according to our sources aggravated a stiff reaction from the shrine worshippers who decided to lock him up in a room for over five days. Following series of punishment unleashed on him during the confinement, he had no option than to accept, hence he was released, upon his resolve to take over as the Chief priest of the shrine.
Unknown to them that he was secretly planning his escape, Joseph managed to disappear from the shrine. The elders staged a concerted effort to get hold of him and bring him back to the shrine, with a deadly consequence of killing him for defying the “instruction” of the gods.
Our investigation further revealed that Joseph’s initial lock-up was with an intention to use him as a sacrifice to appease the gods, after Ekpen shrine refused to accept other persons other than Joseph as the ideal sacrifice, according to tradition.
Historically, we gathered that the position of a chief priest is a cultural and traditional heritance of a lineage and fore fathers who had been the custodian of the shrine and the juju. After Joseph’s late father, Anthony Akahomhen Igberaese passed on, Joseph, by way of tradition was chosen, but his religion, according to him forbids him worshipping juju or have anything to do with traditional shrines.
Soon after the encounter which has since caused jitters in and around the town, Joseph’s whereabouts is yet to be determined.
A similar case was also reeled to SAFARI NEWS by an elder in the community who told of how one Hildo Akpako from a village close to Porto novo in Benin, a neighbouring country suffered gruesomely in the confines of idol worshippers.
Hildo, said to be a very strong believer in the Roman Catholic faith was to inherit the position of his late father and be the custodian of an age-long tradition deity. His refusal angered the worshippers and that cost him his life. It was believed that the gods took his life in a supernatural way because their belief was that the “gods” gave him the life in the first place. He was sacrificed and his blood was used to appease the gods.
In his reaction to the age-long obnoxious traditional practice which had been condemned by leaders around the world, a respected community leader and professional teacher reiterated the pains bestowed on Joseph who has been unjustly punished to be alienated from his family and community. “I can’t imagine where he would be now on the surface of the earth, we need to rise up to these criminal acts, the world has changed, we are in the modern time and we all need to be allowed to make very positive developmental contributions to the entire community and the nation at large. It’s high time we do away with practices that are not enhancing civilization and development in this 21st century.
Religion, according to the community leader who chose anonymity is supposed to be embedded in the fundamental human rights of any person no matter the race, colour, culture or ethnicity. In Nigeria, he concluded to SAFARI NEWS “that is what is stated in our constitution, freedom of religion but some die hard fanatics, who use the opportunity to commit barbaric acts of various human right violations should be made to answer to their unjust acts.