The curses from the Oba of Benin which he placed on traffickers and people involved in illegal immigration seems to be already bearing fruit.
The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, during a ceremony in March, invoked curses on anyone who used witchcraft to aid illegal migration.
Since the curses from the leader of the historic kingdom of Benin in southern Nigeria, anecdotal evidence suggests the trafficking has slowed although it is too soon for firm data to be collated.
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Edo state which has Benin as its capital has nine in every ten women trafficked to Europe from Nigeria. This is according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC). Many are as a result of women like 42-year-old Patience who earned a steady income using black magic to influence girls to go from Nigeria to Europe for sex work. She is however now afraid the trade might kill her.
“I didn’t hear directly from his mouth but, through the radio and television. The Oba has stopped everything.”
“Whenever I go out, I meet girls who beg me to take them to Europe but I refuse because I don’t want to die. Everybody is afraid.”
Patience is also convinced that a madam she knows in Europe has fallen ill for defying the Oba.
“It is the effect of the curse placed by the Oba on those who cheat. That is the reason why she is sick,” she said.
“No one will ever come here again,” said David Ubebe, a juju priest who for eight years attended to a flow of women bringing girls to swear oaths at his shrine. David also use to get phone calls from madams in Europe asking him to compel girls to pay them.