Fear and apprehension have taken hold of the inhabitants of Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, due to an increasing number of reports about the alleged disappearance of male private organs.
In the last two weeks, what initially began as rumors in distant areas has gradually spread to numerous households in the city, with almost everyone claiming to know someone whose private organ has purportedly been taken after a mere handshake or physical contact with strangers.
Many are now pondering over who might be responsible for these disappearances, their motives, and what fate awaits those who assert their private organs have vanished. People are debating whether these claims hold any truth, or if they’re simply attempts to sow chaos in the city.
The Cross River State Government, through its Commissioner for Information, Erasmus Ekpang, issued a statement asserting that these claims were unfounded. This stance was supported by the Cross River State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Ms Irene Ugbo, who labeled such assertions as the work of troublemakers, urging the public to go about their daily lives without fear.
Despite these reassurances, residents remain skeptical. There are frequent outbursts in different parts of the town, each claiming another incident of a male private organ disappearing.
Reportedly, over fifteen cases have occurred in virtually all parts of the town. Some victims have had their organs returned by the perpetrators, while others have not been as fortunate.
According to a spare parts dealer named Chibuike, “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.”
He explains that these organs are allegedly used for ritual purposes to generate wealth, and that those whose genitals are stolen will reportedly pass away a few days later. He predicts more victims unless authorities take decisive action to halt this alarming trend.
In response, men are now resorting to carrying bitter kola and alligator pepper in their pockets or clutching their private organs tightly while in public. The demand for these protective measures has caused an increase in their prices.
Cases of organ disappearance have been reported in various parts of the city, including Atimbo, Nyahasang, Moore Road, Satellite Town, Ekpo Abasi, 8 Miles, Watt Market, Atakpa/Mayne Avenue, and other areas.
A resident, Blessing Ngi, attested, “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.”
One particularly dramatic incident occurred along the Goodluck Jonathan bypass on the outskirts of the city. Police intervention was required to prevent an angry mob from lynching two young men after one individual claimed his penis and testicles had vanished following a handshake with the duo.
Witnesses recount that the distressed man immediately raised an alarm and removed his trousers, only to find something smaller than a grain of rice, with no testicles present.
Another incident in Nyanghasang community resulted in a police raid, provoking a retaliatory attack from the community, resulting in a damaged police vehicle and several arrests, including entertainer Kandy Umoh.
While some residents have taken to carrying bitter kola and alligator pepper in their pockets as a protective measure, there are reports suggesting that this may not be entirely effective. One resident revealed that their friend, despite this precaution, still experienced the disappearance of his private organ.