The old debate about the existence and efficacy of juju seems destined to be re-ignited following a claim by survivors of last week’s massacre of security operatives in North-Central Nasarawa State of Nigeria that the Ombatse traditional religion militants over-powered them because they used juju on them.
“Policemen who survived last Wednesday’s massacre in Alakyo Village, Nasarawa State, yesterday alleged that the cultists had an upper hand over securitymen as a result of juju,” according to a story this morning in the Lagos-based Sun newspaper.
“Over 100 policemen and 10 operatives of the Department for State Security (DSS) were killed when their convoy ran into an ambush by the Ombatse cult group members. The securitymen were headed for Alakyo to destroy Ombatse shrines,” the paper said.
The large-circulating tabloid quoted sources as saying that most of the survivors were in the last vehicles in the convoy, but escaped when they realised that their colleagues in front were behaving like people under a spell.
“Each policeman had at least 30 rounds of ammunition, suggesting that, altogether, they had nothing less than 3,000 rounds. But for supernatural powers, there was no way over 100 trained men, including DSS personnel, could have been slaughtered like chickens, the casualty figure did not correspond with police firepower. Probably, the policemen were charmed by the cultists”, a top police officer rationalized, according to Daily Sun.
It said that “one of the officers who led the botched operation, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (names withheld) had in 2010, participated in an attack and counter-attack course in Italy. As at press time, his corpse was listed among the missing ones.”
The paper, however quoted an unnamed senior police officer as not buying the juju story. He rather blamed the failure of the operation on inexperience of the officers who authorised it, saying that more attention should have been devoted to the planning, particularly with reports that an earlier operation suffered a similar fate.
“One very important issue in every operation is exit route. No experienced officer embarks on an operation without factoring in exit route. The absence of an exit route jerked up the casualty figures,” the officer was quoted as saying.
“We have at least 15 APCs (Armoured Personnel Carriers) in the Force Headquarters. We also have helicopters. Nasarawa State command could have simply loaned the helicopter for aerial surveillance and the APCs for the main operation,” the officer added.
Source: News Express