Dimensions and Manifestations of Spiritual Threats and Insecurity in Contemporary Nigeria

  • O. B. C. Nwolise


The concept and practice of security or national security was based on state security protected through the amassment of awesome weapon systems and a large size of armed forces throughout the Cold War era (1945–1989) on which huge amounts of money were spent. Human beings were not only neglected within the period but were also decimated, oppressed, exploited, and suppressed, and a lot of money that would have gone into their security and welfare was pumped into armaments and war. The collapse of the USSR, a superpower, without war in 1989, and the humiliation of the United States by a handful of unarmed, angry Arab youths on September 11, 2001, despite the heavy armaments changed humanity’s security conception. This chapter advances human security further by focusing on the spiritual dimension of human and national security. It posits that the focus on physical security does not give the total picture of the security architecture of a person or nation. It identifies and discusses with empirical evidence and examples the dimensions and manifestations of spiritual threats to human and national security in contemporary Nigeria. These include ritual rape, ritual murder, yahoo-plus, cultism, curses, dream manipulations, violent ghosts, familiar spirits, and controlled prostitution. It concludes by making relevant recommendations to ensure that the state and its security agents are able to checkmate these new species of threats. These include new laws, upgrading of training of security personnel, and public security education in schools, churches, mosques, radio, and television.


Spiritual threats National security Human security Security management 


  1. Abati, R. (2016). The spiritual side of Aso Rock. The Guardian, October 14.Google Scholar
  2. Abdul, I. (2014). I don’t fear Boko Haram – Ladi, female hunter. New Telegraph, November 23.Google Scholar
  3. Adeseko, D. (2012). Dana Plane crash: Spirits of the dead haunt residents. Saturday Sun, June 23.Google Scholar
  4. Adewole, L., et al. (2016). Tokunbo ban: Herbalists, clerics, in boom season. Saturday Tribune, December 17.Google Scholar
  5. Akpuh, P. (2014). Inside horror forest; more decomposed bodies discovered, police arrest seven, site turns Mecca. Daily Sun, March 24.Google Scholar
  6. Alabi, C. (2015). I raped 11-year-old girl to become wealthy. Daily Trust, September 24.Google Scholar
  7. Atoyebi, O. (2017). Police, Ibadan youths clash over man caught with human head. The Punch, January 16.Google Scholar
  8. Bobby, Z. (2015). Burial of Biafra war victims has united Ndigbo. Daily Sun, January 26.Google Scholar
  9. Buzan, B. (1991). People, states and fear: An agenda for international security studies in the post Cold War era. New York: Harvester.Google Scholar
  10. Daily Sun. (2006). March 27.Google Scholar
  11. Daily Sun. (2015). Newsplus: Horror in Lagos community: How 16-year-old boy killed my son by distressed dad, July 29.Google Scholar
  12. Daily Sun. (2016). September 15.Google Scholar
  13. Ebipade, A. (2017). Two teenagers killed in Bayelsa cult clash. Nigerian Tribune, March 21.Google Scholar
  14. Fagbemi, A. (2016). Theft of human parts at Kwara cemetery on the rise. The Guardian, July 8.Google Scholar
  15. Folarin, S. (2017a). Man kills, dismembers lady for rituals in Lagos. The Punch, March 21.Google Scholar
  16. Folarin, S. (2017b). Man, wife, torture son to death over witchcraft. The Punch, January 17.Google Scholar
  17. Galaxy Television. (2017). March 20.Google Scholar
  18. Gbla, O. (2003). Conflict and post-war trauma among child-soldiers in Liberia and Sierra Leone. In S. Ahmadu (Ed.), Civil wars, child soldiers and post conflict peace-building in West Africa. Lagos: College Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hubert, O. (2001). Small arms demand reduction and human security. Ploughshares Briefing.Google Scholar
  20. Imobighe, T. (1998). The management of national security. Inaugural Lecture, Edo State University, Ekpoma.Google Scholar
  21. Independent Saturday. (2017). Goodbye to Yahoo-Yahoo, hello to Yahoo-Plus. September 30.Google Scholar
  22. Jimoh, T., et al. (2017). Take bribe, be cursed, Owoseniyi tells policemen. New Telegraph, March 17.Google Scholar
  23. Maduagwu, M. (2010). The belief in witchcraft in contemporary Africa: A philosophical discourse. Ibadan: Stirling Horden Publication Limited.Google Scholar
  24. Makinde, F. (2014). Bricklayer dies testing bullet proof charm. The Punch, July 28.Google Scholar
  25. Malik, O. (2015). Ritual killer gang member lures 4-year old with groundnut, beheads him. Sunday Tribune, January 16.Google Scholar
  26. Malik, O. (2017). We shot him, cut the head, removed his heart. Saturday Tribune, March 25.Google Scholar
  27. Morgenthau, H. (1960). Politics among nations: The struggle for power and peace. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  28. National Mirror. (2015). World News, March 6.Google Scholar
  29. Nigerian Newsworld. (2013). June 3.Google Scholar
  30. Nigerian Television Authority. (2016). Good Morning Nigeria, November 25.Google Scholar
  31. Nigerian Tribune. (2012). January 23.Google Scholar
  32. Nwokolo, E. (2015). Man dies in Ogun after being struck with charms. The Nation, August 4.Google Scholar
  33. Nwolise, O. B. C. (2009). Peace and security. In A. Isaac (Ed.), Praxis of political concepts and clichés in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. Ibadan: Bookcraft.Google Scholar
  34. Nwolise, O. B. C. (2012). Spiritual dimension of human and national security. Ibadan: Faculty of the Social Sciences.Google Scholar
  35. Nwolise, O. B. C. (2013). Is physical security alone enough for the survival, progress and happiness of man? Ibadan: University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Obasanjo, O. (n.d.). This animal called man. Abeokuta: ALF Publication.Google Scholar
  37. Obi, P. (2016). Fresh Otokoto lands in Enugu. Daily Sun, January 27.Google Scholar
  38. Ocholi, D. (2017). Why Dr Allwell Orji took his life. Nigerian Pilot, March 22.Google Scholar
  39. Olabulo, L., et al. (2016). How modern-day slaves are imported into Lagos. Saturday Tribune, December 31.Google Scholar
  40. Oladoyinbo, Y. (2017). Ritualist to die by hanging for killing two brothers. Nigerian Tribune, March 21.Google Scholar
  41. Olukoya, O. (2014). Pastor dies of ‘Magun’ in Ogun. Nigerian Tribune, August 21.Google Scholar
  42. Omipidan, I. (2015). El-Rufai admits spiritual attack. Daily Sun, September 11.Google Scholar
  43. Samson, O. (2014). Tragedy hits Ohafia burial service. Saturday Sun, April 12.Google Scholar
  44. Saturday Punch. (2011). July 30.Google Scholar
  45. Saturday Sun. (2011). June 18.Google Scholar
  46. Saturday Sun. (2012). January 21.Google Scholar
  47. Saturday Sun. (2014). January 18.Google Scholar
  48. Saturday Tribune. (2016). Ojuelegba: Welcome to Lagos, den of the devil, July 9.Google Scholar
  49. Saturday Vanguard. (2016). October 22.Google Scholar
  50. Spectacular Encounters. (2007). July 21.Google Scholar
  51. Sunday Tribune. (2011). October 9.Google Scholar
  52. The Guardian. (2015). March 13.Google Scholar
  53. The Nation on Sunday. (2009). December 6.Google Scholar
  54. The Punch. (2016a). Boko Haram pastor and death of curiosity. September 29.Google Scholar
  55. The Punch. (2016b). Front page comment: IG, girl Ese and the culture of impunity. March 1.Google Scholar
  56. The Westerner. (2007). September 23–29.Google Scholar
  57. Umukoro, A. (2016). I’m 16, Ese can’t be 17 – elder brother. The Punch, March 1.Google Scholar
  58. Uwujare, N. (2014). How we get male sex organ for money ritual. Saturday Sun, December 27.Google Scholar
  59. World Health Organization. (2000). Report.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. B. C. Nwolise
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of IbadanIbadanNigeria

Personalised recommendations