A strange ‘spiritual attack’ affecting some female students of Universal Basic Education Junior Secondary School in Makurdi, Benue State capital has forced the school authority to send all female students back home.
Naija News understands the ‘spiritual attack’ started on Friday, affecting four students in the schools but on Monday, three others were affected by the same attack which prompted the school authority to send all the female students back home.
The school is located in Nyinma Area of Makurdi, the state capital.
According to the headteacher of the school, Catherine Ahom, who spoke with Punch correspondent and later referred the reporter to the Education Secretary of the local government area education authority, the affected students experience a seizure and complain of chest pain, “from there, they will fall down and some others would be running around.”
She added that the spiritual attack is called “Iyor genen” in Tiv language.
Speaking on the development, the education secretary, Patrick Aese, said the ‘attacks’ are not anything to be worried about as it is common in Tiv land and is not transferable or communicable.
In his words, “It is a spiritual matter. Just go back to the school tomorrow, those children will be back to normal.
“If it were to be at the village, traditionalists know what to administer and within one hour they become normal. They know how they control it to make it subside.
“It is very common here in Tiv land. There is a particular group of Tiv that is mostly known for it (spiritual attack) but to other places it is alien.”
He added that in the area where it happens frequently, the people don’t fear it and already have antidotes to deal with it.
“Within the area where it happens frequently, we don’t fear it. We know the limitations and how it can be contained, it is not transferable. The thing started many years ago, our forefathers inherited it.
“It is most common during burial and in most cases while whistling. Noise and some colours like red trigger it among the affected people and when attacked, the affected people will be running and manifesting uncommon strength,” the education secretary noted.
Meanwhile, the head of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, described the abduction of students at the Jangebe School in Zamfara State as “unfortunate”.
In a message posted on his Twitter account, the Archbishop said the security failure was “catastrophic”.
“The wave of mass kidnappings from schools in Nigeria is an appalling crime,” he said. “The failures of the security services are catastrophic.”
He further prayed for the students: “I pray for the swift and safe release of children and teachers – and for justice, security and peace in Nigeria.”