In a “security meeting’’ convened last weekend by the SDO for Donga Mantung Division Ngone Ndode Messappe Bernard highlighted witchcraft as not only being a social problem but security threat. The SDO was speaking to over 200 people drawn from five sub divisions of the Division namely Nwa , Ndu Misaje, Ako and Nkambe Central. Mayors, security officials, heads of services, clergy, ardos, fons, media etc ,were in attendance.
The meeting which was aimed at not only finding solutions or taking preventive measures against security threats of the Islamic sect – Boko Haram, but also to discuss some issues plaguing the division like witchcraft practices, armed banditry, cattle theft, drug addiction , recurrent attacks on villages by foreign grazers and activities of SCNC. Much was expounded on the above security concerns but it rather turned dramatic when the SDO harped on witchcraft phenomenon in the division. The SDO lamented that the number one problem faced by the people of Donga Mantung Division is that of witchcraft that has greatly contributed to the under-development of the area. He said because of witchcraft practices some illustrious sons and daughters of the division have died while others scared from coming home to carry out developmental projects in their respective villages. This anti-development phenomenon “witchcraft , is now the identity card of the people of Donga Mantung Division”, the SDO said, regretting why a division blessed with enormous resources should have such setbacks because envy . The SDO Ngone Ndode Bernard asked if there is no way witchcraft powers could be used to do extra ordinary things that can bring about development.
Turning to the traditional rulers he expressed in belief like all and sundry that traditional rulers who posses super natural should warn and urge their fellow subjects who are practitioners of this scaring practices to desist from rampant killing of their peers. The SDO retorted that he has witnessed cases where the accused admit to the fact that they ate the legs while some admit haven eaten the heart- all of human body.
What made things dramatic here is that of over 12 traditional rulers that were present, none of them readily reacted to the SDO’s declarations giving the impressions to the audience that they are indeed guilty of the accusation levied on them. At the end of the meeting, only the fon of Binka honestly defended that fons may not all be wizards. He said have soothsayers’ have testify the various nocturnal activities of witches and wizards which are beyond human comprehension. He said when victims are brought before the judiciary as evidence, the institution most often exercise skepticism given that it cannot be scientifically proven.
Drawing conclusions on this topic, the SDO called on the people of Donga Mantung to emulate the example from people of other communities by first of all changing their mindsets and nurturing the spirit of love and unity that would enhance peace co-existence, social cohesion and mutual respect amongst them. He further called on them to shun idleness and engage in income generating activities that would keep them busy thereby distracting them from practicing these barbaric acts.
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