FEAR has gripped the residents of Koblimahagu, a suburb of Tamale, following allegations that five women have used their sorcery powers to inflict a strange disease on four young men in the community and have pencilled in eight more people to be killed.
Already, one of the young men has died, while the other three are in critical condition. Of the three, one has a bloated stomach, while another is unable to eat or drink.
The five women, whose names have been withheld, have been held hostage by some youth in the area, who have resolved to take their captives to a shrine to undergo rituals to ascertain whether they are behind the calamity that has befallen the community or not.
The women, if pronounced guilty after the rituals, could suffer some mistreatment and face banishment from the community.
When the Daily Graphic visited the area, some residents had abandoned their homes for fear of becoming targets of the alleged witchcraft, while those who were still around said they had not been able to catch a sleep and had been congregating at the same point each night.
The entire drama began last week when two close friends were attacked by a strange disease around the same time, leading to the death of one of them, identified as Fuseini Niendow.
A third person, whose identity is yet to be revealed, had also fallen ill and been unable to take in any food or water.
The uncanny atmosphere sent chills through members of the community, leading to suspicions of witchcraft.
Last Tuesday, when the youth could no longer tolerate the situation, they massed up and marched to the palace of the Dakpema, a traditional leader in Tamale, to protest against the strange calamity that had struck the youth of their community.
They narrated the various incidents and said they suspected it was a ploy by some witches to destroy young people in the community who had prospered because all those affected were making progress in their respective endeavours.
The youth swore not to return to their community if the chief did not take some action to intervene and halt the strange phenomenon, claiming that any of them could be the next victim.
The Dakpema, Naa Mohammed Dawuni, calmed the youth down and sent a delegation to the community to meet with the people and ascertain the situation on the ground.
During the meeting, a spiritualist, known in local parlance as ‘Jinwara’, collapsed and began to make some revelations regarding the persons behind the strange happenings.
The spiritualist accused the five women of being behind the act and further revealed that they were preparing to bewitch eight other people, including the youth chief for the community.
Following those revelations, the Dakpema arranged to meet with the youth tomorrow to strategise on the way forward.
The Public Relations Officer for the Dakpema, Mr Abass Salifu, who is also a resident of Koblimahagu, said the youth had resolved to take the women to a shrine at Nawuni, a community in the Tolon/Kumbungu District, to undergo rituals to prove their innocence.
When contacted, the Northern Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr Stephen Azantilow, said his office was yet to receive information on the plight of the women.
He, however, gave the assurance that CHRAJ would investigate the matter and, if confirmed, take some action to save the women.