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The evil of dating apps

By Maria Famakinwa

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Dating apps have become a part of our fast-paced lives. It is a staple in the 21st century, but like other inventions and innovations, some unscrupulous elements are hiding under the guise of using the dating app for potential partners to kidnap, scam, rape and kill desperate partner seekers. One of such cases is the revelation by a suspected ritual killer,  Adebayo Olamide Azeez, who revealed how he lured seven women through a dating app, “MyChat,” and killed them for ritual purposes.  He and his accomplice were arrested and paraded in Abeokuta, Ogun State, by the State Police Command over the alleged killing of a 35-year-old woman, Sulaimon Adijat, for  money ritual.

He disclosed that he was a member of a ritualist gang that specializes in killing women and selling their body parts for different purposes. He named members of his gang  as Moses Abidemi Awuraji, Oluwo Samuel Monday, Peter Oluwalolese, Jamiu Yusuf, Akinwunmi Ifatosin, Sherifff Agbai, and Osojieahen Alioneitouria, who had earlier been paraded by the operatives of the Command.

According to Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, ‘the suspect conspired with Moses Abidemi Awuraji, an herbalist, to kill the victims for money ritual. The suspects strangled their victims to death,  dismembered their body parts and sold them to Oluwo Monday Samuel and Alfa Ariwo (who is still at large) for ritual purposes. The three suspects confessed to the killing of 10 ladies at the Igbo Olomi residence of Moses Abidemi,” Alamutu said.

Narrating how he lured and killed the victims, Adebayo said, “I got the ladies from MyChat, which is a hookup app. I just talked to them that I wanted to hook up with them whenever Moses Abidemi Awuraji contacted me that he needed human body parts. “They will call me that they need body parts; I will go on the app and chat the ladies for a hookup. I didn’t know the ladies before; we didn’t have any conversation before. I only talked to them on the app. I ask if they were available, and we negotiated on the amount they wanted to collect.

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“When we reached an agreement, I would send my address to them, and they would come over to me at Atan-Ota. I would pick them up and call Moses Abidemi Awuraji that they were around; I would then take them to Moses Abidemi Awuraji’s house in Igbo Olomi, Atan-Ota, and inside his sitting room, we would kill them. Abidemi’s wife (Awuraji Mariam) will pin their legs down while I strangled them. I joined the gang in September 2023, and we have killed seven ladies. These are the ladies that I brought to the house that we killed. I don’t know what they use the corpses of the ladies for; my job was just to source for the ladies and bring them in. They didn’t usually tell me the amount they would give me; at times, they will pay me N30,000, other times, they gave me N40,000. I couldn’t say no to them whenever they asked me to bring the ladies. I don’t know who they sell the body parts to, and I didn’t ask them about it. My work was just to source the ladies and collect my money.”

This revelation that further affirmed the evil of dating apps has sent shock waves across the country as Nigerians who spoke with The Hope expressed sadness over the disturbing reality, and warned parents to caution their children especially females who are their soft targets. In the submission of a teacher, Mr Kenny Oladele, he called on parents to be more prayerful and watchful about their children and warned that we are in the perilous time when nobody’s life matters again.

His words: “All my four children are females and I constantly remind them that females are an endangered species as far as this generation is concerned, for them to be very careful of the company they keep and where they go. It is one thing to talk to your children, it is another thing for them to obey. When I read about the story of the ritual killers who recruited ladies through online dating apps, I called my children as well to tell them and I pray they listen. The economy is bad and people want to survive at all cost, which is the reason for increase in social vices. Parents just have to do more by talking to their children,” he said.

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A trader, Mrs. Abosede Olukanye, who also warned against the idea of looking for partners through dating apps added that good relationship cannot be known through such apps. The woman who further blamed loss of societal value for this lamented that getting one’s partner in the 70s- 90s was not done through any dating app, except the two families involved met each other physically and discussed.

She said: “The loss of societal value, as a result of westernization, has opened African society to the evil being perpetrated on a daily basis through the social media. In the past, you knew who you were dating and the family to avoid manipulation of the other person which is the case today. If those arrested in Ogun State had escaped, we would not have known because many of such cases had gone unnoticed. Both the male and female genders need to be careful since they also harvest male organs. It is so pathetic because we have lost countless lives through people faking love to harm others. It is high time the government took action against it.”

A Corps Member, Olajumoke Olamidun, who revealed that some people met their partners through dating apps, opined that it was wrong to condemn such apps because it is part of technology advancement but rather blamed those who fell for such as greedy. She said: “I agree that some bad people go to dating apps to carry out their evil plans yet, there are some people who have met their partners through the same apps. Ladies should understand that there is a difference between hookup and those looking for partners on dating apps. Hookup is for commercial sex workers who risk their lives to get paid. All they do is to connect on such apps, negotiate the amount and all is settled. How will ladies like that not be used for rituals?

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“How can a lady just agree to meet a man she has never met before at a designated place because they chatted on a dating app? Ladies need to be wise and stop risking their lives. For instance, it is not ideal to meet someone on the dating app and immediately tell the person everything about you through the same app. Also, one needs to be careful if you meet someone through the dating apps within few months and he/she is asking you to come for a visit, asking for your account details and the rest, you should sense danger. Instead, invite the person, let your family be in the know, get more information about the person, his/her parents, where he/she lives among others. Doing this is telling the person that you are not the type to be toy with.

“Most ladies who fell victims of dating apps were being lured by money due to their greediness. Some of these people with evil intention can go to any length to win their victims, especially now that the economy is bad. We need to  apply safety measures while using the dating apps because once the person understands that your parents are aware of everything, he will run away if his intention is evil. We need to be wise and always remember that most people who go to dating apps have ulterior motives,” she said.

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