It is visible, in Nigeria especially the western part people fear witches almost than they fear their god’s.
Among the major ethnic groups, names like aje, amoosu and mayya are not seldom called, they are often used when referring to a witch.
It is a belief that witches possess mystic powers and are capable of enchanting their victims mostly they make life miserable.
According to people witches carry out their operation mostly at night, and like vampires, they say witches are blood suckers; people say ” when caught in a witch net, blood tonic is of no use”.
Many problems have been deployed from the fear of witches, most of which needs urgent attention but are often ignored.
Rural development is a matter of pressing concern in the country, when discussing the causes of underdevelopment, the fear of witches and spiritual attack which is one of the major causes is often neglected.
People are afraid of visiting their hometown not to talk of investing there. The witches in the village are often thought to have superior powers in ones life. Once some individuals get the opportunity, they leave their village for ten to twenty years or more without looking back.
Wise parents when visiting caution their children not to roam about or eat in peoples houses; they are often watched under close supervisions.
For the few who tend to go back and stay in the village, they do so mostly at the strike of old age or serious problems.
More or so, a child going after his mother with cutlass, a husband looking at his wife with strange eyes and hatred: the fear of witches has contributed immensely to the number of broken homes and relationships.
The clerics are also adding more salt to the injuries by telling people the exact person behind their predicaments.
Now, people are afraid of telling even their best friend and close relatives of upcoming success.
During Ceremonies, people keep their eyes on the watch and try to please every old woman just to avoid provoking a witch.
For centuries, the questions of whether a witch exist or not have been a matter of controversy, but if they truly exists should they be feared, stigmatized or physically abused?.
People that believe in the existence of witches say they operate spiritually, therefore in a critical sense, spiritual battles should be fought with spiritual weapons; people should move closer to their God or gods.
The clerics who are usually the root source should be cautioned, people should engage in fighting the spirit of witchcraft and not the person, that is the witch. We should face the battle with courage, and not fear.
[Written by – Shola Akeredolu]