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Wabara: Why Are Igbo Forests Not For Tourism?

Wabara: Why Are Igbo Forests Not For Tourism?

FROM SEUN ADEOYE (OSOGBO) AND UZOMA NZEAGWU (AWKA)

SENATE President Adolphus Wabara beheld the spectacle of the Osun Festival in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, perhaps for the first time yesterday.

He surveyed the grove that has continued to provide appreciable revenue to the state through revenue. The Igbo high chief also witnessed the thousands of religious faithful and culture enthusiasts, mostly women, who joyfully thronged the festival, resplendent in their all-white Iro and Buba.

He recognised that the deep Osun grove was not in any material way different from the traditional shrines in the South East.

In the midst of it all, the Senate President could not but wonder aloud: "Why would my people, the Igbo, use their God-given forests for ritual killings and not tourism"

Wabara's poser was an inadvertent reaction to the discovery of some horror shrines in Anambra Sate by the police on Wednesday, habouring about 50 dead bodies and 90 skulls.

The Senate President, while speaking at the Osun-Osogbo shrine wondered why people of Igbo origin "rich in culture", should be using their forests for human sacrifice.

He lauded the people and government of Osun State for protecting their culture, particularly how the shrine was being used for tourist attraction Wabara noted that thousands of people from within and outside Nigeria visit the Osun grove yearly for cultural and tourism purposes.

He said: "it is sad that our people (Igbo indigenes) with this type of edifice, will use it for such wicked and nefarious activities. I've looked around and I did not see any corpse, either fresh or old, and I cannot see any human skull. This forest was protected by the people for great occasions like this."

The Senate President therefore urged the people of the South-East "to go back home" and ensure that "such activities not fit for the century are stopped and our thick forests are protected."

At the Osun-Osogbo festival attended by thousands of people, Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola said that the event had gone beyond religion but was now a "celebration of our cultural heritage."

Oyinlola said that the significance of the festival had increased over the years. "As you can see, we have both Christians and Moslems alike gathering for this great event," he said.

While pledging the support and cooperation of his government with the UNESCO on the developmental progress of the Osun grove, Oyinlola said that his administration would exchange partnership with private individuals and organiations in the promotion of culture and tourism.

The governor who disclosed that Osun cultural carnival would hold from August 27 to September 3, implored the organizers of Osun-Osogbo festival to sustain and maintain the current tempo of the festival.

Professor Wande Abimbola, Special Adviser to the President on Culture, who represented President Olusegun Obasanjo, prayed for those who attended the event and pledged the president's support for the event.

The week-long activities of the festival ended with prayers and sacrifices at the grove where participants went back home with water fetched from the river as source of divine favour and blessings.

And in an attempt to dig out more facts surrounding the Arusi Okija "Shrine" in Ihiala Local Government area of Anambra State, the Police Headquarters Abuja has dispatched more policemen to the state.

This is however coming on the heels of strong criticisms of the police raid by the Pan Igbo Socio cultural group, Ohaneze which argued that worshippers at shrines was a non-issue in Nigeria.

A police source said the Inspector General, Mr Tafa Balogun had sent some policemen and detectives from the Force Headquarters, Abuja to dig deeper into the forest.

It was learnt that a confessional statement from one of the suspects earlier arrested in the police raid this week might have prompted the IG's action, suggesting that it is a mop up operation to pick up suspects who escaped arrest.

The Anambra Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Kolapo Shofoluwe told The Guardian that investigation into the matter was still on.

Early last week, Shofoluwe had stated that Police Headquarters, Abuja would send more reinforcements to strengthen efforts of the State Command.

But in a sharp reaction, the Secretary General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Col Joe Achuzia (rtd), described the police action as ridiculous, and a calculated attempt to tarnish the image of the Igbo , saying the issue portrayed the ethnic stock as cannibals.

Source:

http://www.igbonews.co.uk/html/okija2.html

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23 answers

Cross River National Park/Forest is the only places capable of drawing tourists.

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Are forests the only object of tourism? How many forests are used for tourism in Nigeria? How much tourism even take place in Nigeria?

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If they are not evil,then why are they not use for tourism

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You're girlfriend lost her head there?

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Cuz they are evil forest simple.

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Federal deputy director, driver kidnapped in Edo - No trace of kidnapped Niger perm sec

Uchechukwu Olisah and Dipo Olaleye - 11.11.2009

A Deputy Director in the Federal Department of Livestock and Pest Control Services of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources was reportedly kidnapped along with his driver on Monday on their way to Benin City, the Edo state capital, for an official assignment.

The Deputy Director, a level 16 officer simply identified as Abubakar, was said to be coming to Benin City to represent the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources at the annual conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria holding in the Edo state capital when he was abducted with his driver by unknown gunmen.

Abubakar who was coming to Benin City in a Hilux Jeep with an undisclosed Federal government registration number had a lunch with his driver at Lokoja, the Kogi state capital, where he last spoke with his Field Office in the Edo state, informing them that he was on his way to the city.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that Abubakar later in the day informed the Benin Office that he was being held somewhere in Benin City by gunmen, who he said, kidnapped him between Auchi and Ekpoma in Edo state.

Meanwhile, three days after he was kidnapped on his way to Minna, there has been no news of the permanent secretary in the Niger State Ministry of Youth and Strategy, Alhaji Adamu Umar.

Umar was kidnapped by unknown persons on the Minna –Suleja road while returning from Zaria where he had gone for a contact session at the Ahmadu Bello University, (ABU), Zaira.

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@Poster

Don't you see the killing and kidnapping of people in cities and towns is enough or do you enjoy bein kill and kidnap

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tribalist threads that are basically lies should just be erased.the two below has one alleged culture of cannibalism existing in yorubaland.the 2nd which is obviously true is that of a yorubaman from osun that engaged in cannibalism.when growing up we heard stories of yoruba people being idol worshippers and cannibals but i never actually believed that.these sort of stories cant but justify those false beliefs.we can form idolatory and cannibalism section on nairaland for these disgusting stories and fraudulent juju belief.

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-349664.0.html

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-349159.0.html

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hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

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There are cannibals everywhere. I was almost eaten up by a German man. But because I  am a hard core Okoro man, I managed to escape.

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The story of Okija shrine is enough to attract tourists to Anambra and turn it into a positive thing. Does it mean Anambra people do not know what to do? I personally will like to see skulls and will gladly pay to do so. Some Oyibos have human skulls as part of their prized possessions.

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here is some pics from igboland.

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You guys are having a field day because becomerich has not shown his face and maps abi?

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LOL. . . . . . .Nairaland no go kill me with laughter!

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Come and see total madness.

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500 Okija victims recount ordeal

Daily Independent

By Chris Agbambu, Deputy Bureau Chief, Abuja

Shrines in Okija, Anambra State were chambers of horror and torture. About 500 victims have told police investigators how they were tortured to confess to crimes they knew nothing about.

In turn, the police have tightened their noose on the detained priests who may be charged with multiple crimes against humanity.

Since the news of their arrests, police investigators have been inundated with petitions from victims who allege one form of maltreatment or another by the priests.

They said the ordeal usually started with an invitation by the priests alleging offences they were innocent of.

One of the victims told the police in Abuja how the shrine operators extorted more than N3 million from him if he did not want to die.

The victim, who pleaded anonymity, told the detectives that it was by the special grace of God that he is alive, having met their demands.

In their own petition to the police, the Igbo community in Kwara State narrated how they were summoned to the shrine.

The younger brother of the captain of the Super Eagles, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, was also at the police headquarters to tell detectives how the footballer was summoned to the shrine.

The victims said they came voluntarily to narrate their experiences so that when the list of the names in the shrine registers are published, Nigerians would not be surprised, “because most of them were victims of circumstances”.

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Ogun State, Super Den Of Ritualists

« on: November 01, 2009, 05:07 PM »

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Saved by menstruation!

Woman survives five days in ritualists’ den

From Moshood Adebayo, Abeokuta

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Mrs Adeniji

Photo: Sun News Publishing

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It was narrow escape for a mother of three in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital after spending five days in kidnappers den in the ancient town.

Mrs Tope Adeniji, who miraculously escaped from the ritualists’ hideout, said for the first time in her life, she saw fresh skull and lifeless bodies with their heads severed from the rest of their bodies.

Adeniji, a staff of the Ogun State Magistrate Court, Isabo, Abeokuta, was returning home penultimate Tuesday when she ran into the get-rich-quick men of the underworld through a taxicab she boarded.

Road to kidnappers den

I was returning home after work at Isabo to the Aregbe area of the state. I met three other persons who pretended to be passengers in the taxi. By the time we got to Asero, I noticed that the two ‘passengers’ beside me had dozed off. There was another one in front, beside the driver.

I still did not suspect any foul play until we got to an area called CAMP, where I requested that I should be allowed to disembark since I have reached my destination. Rather than allow me get out, one man who sat in front of the cab pulled out a gun. He ordered me to lie face down, which I obeyed immediately. Thereafter, I knew nothing again until we got to an unknown place where several others, more than 100 that had been kidnapped, were waiting for the hangman.

When we got there, I switched my telephone to discreet (vibration) and inserted it almost inside my private part. I was taken to a place where a man that appears to be their leader stays. Before his arrival, I managed to send text messages to people, particularly members of my church that I had been kidnapped.

I noticed that a net that I believe had been charmed was usually put on their prey, who within few minutes would die. But when a similar thing was placed on me, nothing happened to me. So their leader instructed that I should be taken away very fast.

Thereafter, I was taken to a room within their enclave for some minutes. About thirty minutes after, their leader requested for me and he asked those who kidnapped me where they got me.

They stripped me Unclad and noticed that I was menstruating. This infuriated them and their leader ordered that I should be taken away from his sight. They obeyed immediately and I was taken to a room where I was left alone for hours.

When I got to the room, I resumed sending text messages to people until they came in with a plate of food, which I rejected. Afterwards, they asked me my name and I gave them a fictitious name. I passed the night alone in the room.

The following morning, their leader came to tell me that I was stubborn. I pleaded with them that I should be spared. He later directed that his boys should rub a substance on my face. When I did not react as they had expected, he again instructed that I should be returned to the room from where I was brought.

On the third day, those boys that were guarding attempted To Molest me and while struggling with them, blood came out from my private part and they all shouted that I was not clean.

So I was left alone. I later sent a message to my pastor requesting that I should be given the name of an angel, which I repeated several times.

One thing that I noticed that while I was calling the holy name, my guards started fighting themselves and they left me alone.

The following day, they forcibly cut my fingers and toenails before I was taken to a dungeon where another spiritual net was used to cover me. Thereafter, they returned me to the room again with guards. All this while I was praying, reciting the names of angels sent to me by my pastors and others.

On the fourth day, one of the guards offered to assist me, but he did not give details of how he would do it. That very day too, I was taken to another man that seemed like their overall boss. When I got there, he asked me whether I am a Sango worshipper and I said no. He told me that what he was seeing on me suggested that I was an adherent of Sango.

I did not know what transpired between them as I kept pleading that I should be allowed to go. The man that promised to assist me then told me that about 2am he would assist me. Thinking that they would harm me at about the time, I attempted to run into safety but I did not succeed because the fence of the yard was higher than the usual.

As he promised, about that time, he opened the gate of the building where I had been incarcerated and threw my bag they collected from me the day I got there. After trekking some minutes from the kidnappers den, I got to a thick bush. I continued trekking until I got to a cassava farm near the mechanic village along the Abeokuta-Lagos road. There I sent a text message to my people who came to pick me. I was later taken to my church where more prayers were offered for me. I thank God that I am alive to tell this story.

How prayers saved me

I survived their onslaught through the grace of God and prayers by members of my church at the Christ Anointed and Miracle Church Cherubim and Seraphim Church, (CAMCA). But for God, I would have been killed like several others that met their untimely death.

Before, I used to think that kidnapping in our town is not real. But with my experience, I now know better than before. I know on daily basis somebody somewhere is being used for money ritual. I thank God for saving my life. He is the one that rescued me from the hands of the ritualists. I will continue to serve Him for the rest of my life.

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How those a criminal make a whole society uncivilized?

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