By Nnamdi Ojiego
As condemnations trail the beheading of the lawmaker representing Aguata State Constituency 2 in Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Okechukwu Okoye, and his aide, Cyril Chiegboka, by yet to be identified individuals, experts have given reasons why killers go the extra mile to behead their victims.
Okoye’s head was dumped at Chisco Park in Amichi, Nnewi South Local Government Area on Saturday, May 21, six days after he was abducted.
Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident.
Governor Charles Soludo condemned the gruesome killing which he described as heartless and barbaric and placed N10m reward for anyone or group that would avail valuable information that could lead to the immediate arrest of the perpetrators.
Before then, two soldiers, Audu Linus, a master warrant officer, and his partner, Gloria Mathew, a private, had been beheaded in Imo State.
The deceased soldiers were beheaded after being shot by unknown gunmen on Saturday, April 30, 2022, as confirmed by the Nigerian Army. Their corpses were inhumanely treated and gleefully posted on social media platforms.
President Mohammadu Buhari, in a statement by his media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu, condemned the barbarism of the perpetrators of the incident and similar acts of violence against law enforcement agents, describing it as alien to all cultures and civilizations.
Show of Power
Dr. Sunday Amosu, a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State, explained that the motive for beheading was to exercise power and inflict psychological torture on victims, their relatives and even those who would receive the news.
According to him, if killers just kill the victim, it would not generate the expected and required uproar, sensational reportage and public outcry.
“The killers have motives for behaving the way they do. The motive is power has shifted in our favour and we will exercise it, who can question us? Execution, killing, decapitation, whatever name we call it, is a show of power. You are at my mercy, what can you do?
“Those who behead believe that if they just kill the victim, it will not generate the expected and required uproar, sensational reportage and public outcry”, Amosu referenced.
Continuing, the psychiatrist noted that the killers were usually under the influence of drugs, alcohol, and other banned substances.
“These drugs dull their feelings and affect their perception. It is also worthy of note that quite a number of them may have underlining abnormal personalities such as anti-social personality disorder.
“These groups of people break the law without any remorse and quite a number of them are recidivists. They tend to do things on the extreme to prove a point that the power lies with them. It may also be to retaliate.
“The killers too may be a product of a dysfunctional family who have been abused themselves whether physically, psychologically or sexually”, he explained.
Also responding, a Psychologist and Founder of the Sunshine Series-Mind Wellness, Aisha Bubah, attributed the choice of beheading to psychopathy, a clinical term used to describe people who have psychopathy tendencies.
She said: “There’s something called psychopathy, it’s not a mental health diagnosis but it’s a clinical term used to describe people who have psychopathy tendencies. And oftentimes, what you find in these people is a lack of empathy, that is, the ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes and feel their feelings.
“These killers feel others as objects, so it’s easy for them to just met out any form of violence on people because they don’t identify that person as a human being like themselves and of course, there are people who drive joy in violence, in hurting other people.
“These are called sadistic people and it can be quite extreme. They enjoy the process of causing more harm to another person in the process of killing them as opposed to just killing them the easier way. And it takes a lot of lack of empathy, lack of conscience and wickedness to be able to carry that out”.