The attendant effects of cultism cannot be exhausted as both intra and inter-cult clashes negatively affect people in a very high proportion in various communities while the peace in the affected communities is adversely affected whenever there is cult invasion. The Commissioner for Police, Rivers State, Mr. Zaki Ahmed, has said.
Speaking at the occasion of the celebration of Rivers State golden jubilee by the Eleme People’s Congress, held at the Eleme Civic Centre, Ogale-Eleleme, in Rivers State, Ahmed said that a lot of lives and property have been destroyed through cult violence. “Young people who are supposed to be leaders in future have fallen victims of trigger-happy cultists in our society,” Ahmed said. “Some members of cult groups are caused bodily harm that may result to physical injuries and or death especially during their initiation ceremonies. Closely related to this is the fact that some of them risk health problems because of use of harmful drugs such as marijuana, cocaine among others.”
He added: “In schools, sometimes it leads to incarceration, rustication, expulsion of both innocent and student members or they may spend more than the required number of years for graduation. In extreme cases, it may result in death of cult members and non-cult members.”
He urged the Eleme community and Nigerians in general to join hands with the police in the fight to bring crime down to its barest minimum in our society. “I call on you to cooperate, to partner and to synergise with the police in the area of providing useful information that will lead to the arrest of the criminals to the police. This is what we mean by the term ‘Community Policing’. Be whistle-blowers in your communities. When you see something, say something. These criminals are not spirits. They are not ghosts. They live among us. Report criminal hideouts and any suspicious movements or characters in your communities to the nearest police station; do not wait until it happens before you report them. Let me assure you that your information will be treated with utmost confidentiality,” Ahmed said.
He stressed that the Nigeria Police, being a lead agency in the internal security architecture, is saddled with the responsibility of providing an enabling environment for all to go about their lawful businesses, detect crime, apprehend and proceed against offenders in the court of law.
Ahmed who spoke on the topic, ‘Tackling Insecurity and Cultism through Community Policing’, and described insecurity as “an important subject which is eating deep into the fabrics of our society in particular and the globe in general,” noted that the discourse was coming at a very good time in order to educate and enlighten not just the youth but the entire public on insecurity and the need for community policing to tackle the challenges posed by this ugly menace.