Described as ‘Ibadan forest of horror,’ Soka, Ibadan, Oyo State, was stumbled upon by a commercial motorcyclist on March 22, 2014, will remain a strong contender for Nigeria’s most horrific kidnappers/ritualists den yet.
Over 20 decomposed human bodies and hundreds of human skulls were found scattered all over the vast forest while over 20 men in captivity, apparently waiting execution, were rescued.
The police reportedly arrested seven persons in connection with the discovery.
Eye witness recalled that two men were slaughtered like cows right in his presence
While what transpired inside Soka may be left to the imagination, the story of a narrow escapee, Adewale (the shock would not let him reveal his full identity), a high School IT teacher in Alakuko Area of Lagos as told to this reporter in November 2016 might serve as a sneak peek into what happened in there.
Adewale had boarded a yellow commercial bus from Alakuko Area for Sango; but what seemed like an ordinary ride soon turned into a nightmare.
First, the conductor brought out a knife and ordered that all passengers surrendered their valuables. It however soon got worse, as the driver headed over the Sango Bridge and passed their Sango destination.
He continued at top speed, with the man with the knife daring anyone to as much as make a sound or movement. To cut the story short, they ended up in a forest, where they had them took off their clothes and their hair shaved within minutes.
“Soon after, a rough-looking guy with bushy hair came back, seized one of us, the elderly man among us, took him into the house, brought him back and right before our very eyes, slaughtered him like a cow.
He also severed his head in the process. I was horrified and went numb with shock. By far, that was the most gruesome thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
One of the two women among us screamed in horror. You know how it is with women; she could not bear the sight. Then the man, the executioner, looked at us and said ‘I brought him here, so you all can see the fate that awaits you.’” Kayode narrated.
The discovery of the horror forest generated controversy throughout Nigeria. It raises some question on the security of the state and the need to strengthen it.
There was a concern on the link between the management (kidnappers and ritualist) of the horror forest and some top government officials and notable politicians in the state but there seems to be no clear evidence to establish that fact.
There was a claim by the youth in the area that the Oyo State Police command refused to investigate the forest despite several kidnapping cases reported in the state.
Some of the survivors rescued from the den claimed that the ritualist kidnapped victims by claiming to be the officials of the urban renewal initiative coordinated by the Oyo State government