A 19-year-old Nigerian boy is recuperating in Bauchi City hospital after his eyes were gouged out by people who reportedly wanted them for witchcraft rituals, according to the BBC.
Hussein Emmanuel from the Northern State of Bauchi, Nigeria says he was lured by his two male friends to go swimming in a nearby river two weeks ago, where they turned on him and gouged his eyes out.
When they got to the river in Marti village, the two men tried to strangle him with a chain and knocked him unconscious before removing his eyes, the BBC reports.
The 19-year-old motorbike rider says one of his attackers became his friend after he promised to get him a job in Southern State, Nigeria.
When he regained consciousness, he couldn’t see and began calling for help until some passers-by rescued him.
Police say they have launched investigations into the matter but are yet to make any arrests. They have also refused to comment on the motive behind the horrific incident, according to the BBC.
Ritual Killings and Body Mutilations
According to Ref World, ritual killings are quite prevalent in many parts of Nigeria, where people believe witchcraft and superstition involving the use of human body parts can make them wealthy.
The practice, which implicates both the rich and the poor, involves the hunting down, mutilation, and murder of the most vulnerable persons in the society, especially people with albinism and epilepsy.
Because of the mystery surrounding these ritual sacrifices, most incidences go unreported, making it hard for investigators to apprehend the perpetrators.
Also, since most of these sacrifices are based on traditional beliefs and practices, it has become a major challenge for the police and human rights activists to combat them.
Sadly, these practices are widespread in Africa. According to Human Rights Brief, ritual killings are rampant in Nigeria, Uganda, Swaziland, Liberia, Botswana, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and many other African countries.
In Uganda, it is believed that child sacrifice is a thriving business where the wealthy pay witch doctors to conduct sacrifices in an effort to expand their fortunes.
In other parts of Africa, politicians are said to commission ritual killings in an attempt to improve their chances of winning elections.