There is apprehension, anxiety and palpable over the residents of Calabar, Cross River State capital over preponderance of claims of disappearance of male private organs through alleged diabolical means.
What started as rumour in distant lands has gradually crept into many homes in the city as no one would claim not to have known someone whose private organ has been harvested after a mere handshake or body contact with strangers.
The questions agitating the minds of many people are: who are those responsible for the disappearance of male genitals, for what purpose and what is the fate of those who claim their private organs have disappeared? Are these claims true or the people are just raising dust to cause mayhem in the city?
The Cross River State Government has come out with a statement signed by its Commissioner for Information, Erasmus Ekpang saying such claims were not true. The state government’s position was corroborated by the Cross River State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Ms Irene Ugbo who said such claims were the handiwork of mischief makers and called on members of the public to go about their businesses without fear.
The residents were however not ready to take the police and the state government by their word as every few hours, there was uproar in one part of the town or the other over disappearance of a male private organ.
Over fifteen cases were said to have taken place in virtually all parts of the town with some organs being restored to the victims by the perpetrators while some were said not to have been restored.
A spare parts dealer, Chibuike, according to Vanguard said that “an organ was said to be sold for six hundred thousand naira last week but owing to market forces and high demand, the price has gone up to one million per organ”.
According to him, “the organs are used for ritual purposes to make money and anyone whose genital is stolen would die a few days after. More people will fall victim if something drastic is not done by the authorities to stop the ugly state of events in the city.
“Men now put bitter kola and alligator pepper in their pockets or hold their private organs tightly while walking on the street or inside commercial vehicles. The price of bitter kola has also gone up because of the high demand.”
Cases of organ disappearance were said to have occurred at Atimbo, Nyahasang, Moore Road, Satellite Town, Ekpo Abasi, 8 Miles, Watt Market, Atakpa/ Mayne Avenue and some other places in the city.
A resident of Calabar South, Blessing Ngi, said, “it happened in my area, State Avenue by Afokang this morning. Someone lost his penis and it took severe beating of the snatcher before he restored the organ.”
A dramatic episode of the incident occurred along the Goodluck Jonathan bypass in the outskirts of the city.
It was reported that the timely arrival of the police saved the situation at the scene where an angry mob had gathered to lynch two young men after one man claimed his penis and testicles had disappeared after handshake with the duo.
Witnesses at the scene said when the man felt his penis had disappeared, he immediately raised an alarm and removed his trousers and what he saw left him dismayed. “What he saw was smaller than a grain of rice and there were no testicles too,” Jeremiah, one of the witnesses said.
A similar incident at Nyanghasang community in Calabar Municipal led to a Police raid which caused a reprisal attack by the community. A Police van was damaged and an entertainer, Kandy Umoh was among those arrested.
Whether it was fake news or the claim was true, most male residents are now carrying bitter kola and alligator pepper in their pockets which were said to serve as protection to ward off any attempt to snatch their genitals.
But curiously, some residents said this protection did not work.
A resident who pleaded anonymity with our correspondent, disclosed, that “my friend whose organ disappeared filled his pocket with bitter kola and alligator pepper.”
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