CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Ritual killing has been a long-standing practice in Nigeria and other regions of Africa that has become increasingly alarming. The recent influx of innocent souls being killed for ceremonial purposes is alarming, with worried government agencies making little or no effort to resist the human hunters (Aiyetan, 2003). With the rise of Christian activities and contemporary civilization, such unscientific actions would be anticipated to be based on ancient stories or myths. Ritual killings to satisfy the gods or goddesses, on the other hand, appear to be on the rise at an alarming rate. These horrible deeds take place in the twenty-first century, at a time when other countries throughout the world are experimenting with and improving technology. The term “ritual” refers to a method of performing religious service, according to Aiyetan (2003). The act of killing or causing the death of another person, on the other hand, is known as murder. We can state that ritual killing comprises all of the rights or kinds of killing that are linked with killing someone by combining the two definitions. As a result, ritual killing is a command from the devil, man’s sworn enemy, in which one is forced to do things that the human brain is incapable of contemplating in order to fulfill one’s aims and maintain power (Ekong, 2002). In Nigerian society, ritual killing is a widespread occurrence. Hundreds of Nigerians have been killed by ritual killers, as Igwe (2004) calls them.

We live in a culture where irrational, dogmatic, mythological, and magical conceptions continue to mislead the majority of people’s beliefs. Ghosts, juju, charms, and witchcraft are all popular beliefs. Many Nigerians think that infusing mystical medicines with human heads, breasts, tongues, eyes, or sex parts will boost one’s political and financial fortunes. Juju, charms, and amulets, they believe, can protect individuals from business failures, sickness, diseases, accidents, and spirit attacks. As a result, doing rituals with humans is seen as a means of spiritual fortification and growth (Igwe, 2004).

For monetary gain, the majority of Nigerians indulge in ritual murder. Many Nigerians believe that performing a special type of ritual using human blood or body parts will bring them money or good fortune.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The societal sorrow caused by ritual murder has socio-ethical ramifications. Many people have experienced great grief and sorrow as a result of it, as well as significant suffering among the victims’ families and relatives. Ritual killing, according to Elesho (2004), is anti-social and should be fought in order to put an end to this barbaric behavior. It is dangerous to live in a culture that does not value human life. Humans are not animals who can be slain whenever they want. If necessary, animals are meant to be sacrificed. Human life is sacred, and it should be respected as such. As a result, killing another human being for religious reasons is unethical (Nwafor 2017).

The society has conditioned youths to believe that money, luxury, and opulence are everything.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The fundamental goal of this research is to look into how society influences youth ritualism. Other aims of this study include, but are not limited to:

i. Determine the extent to which young people are involved in ritualism.

 

ii. To identify the sociocultural elements that influence young people’s ritual participation.

 

iii. To investigate the influence of parents on their children’s ritual participation.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

i. To what extent are young people involved in rituals?

ii. What societal influences influence young people’s ritual participation?

iii. Do parents have an impact on their children’s ritual participation?

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study will have a huge impact on society since the findings will disclose the elements that influence young people’s involvement in ritualism. It will also benefit youngsters because the study will go into detail into the causes of youth involvement in ritualism.

Finally, this research will provide as supplementary resource for researchers and students interested in conducting research on this or related topics.

SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The focus of this research will be on sociocultural influences on youth ritualism. It will concentrate on the extent to which youths are involved in ritualism, the sociocultural elements that influence youths’ involvement in ritualism, and the role of parents in the influence of youths’ ritualism.

This study would enlist the participation of students from the University of Agriculture, Umudike.

LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The scope of this research will be limited to sociocultural influences on youth ritualism. It will be restricted to the extent of youth ritualism, the sociocultural elements that influence youth ritualism, and the role of parents in the influence of youth ritualism.

This study would enlist the participation of students from the University of Agriculture, Umudike. This serves as a boundary for this study, as more research is required if the findings are to be employed elsewhere.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

A careful inspection or study is referred to as an examination.

Individuals adapt their behavior to match the needs of a social context, which is referred to as societal influence. Conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales, and marketing are all examples of it.

 

Ritualism is a prescribed method of performing religious rituals.

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