Over 130 youths of Badagry community on Thursday voluntarily renounced membership of different cult groups and surrenders their weapons to the Lagos Police in Badagry, Lagos state.
Members of the Eiye and Aiye cults at Badagry voluntarily surrendered their arms and ammunition to the Lagos state police at the Badagry West Local Government Headquarters, Badagry Lagos.
Addressing the repented cultists, Lagos State Commissioner of Police (CP), Imohimi Edgal, who again said cultism was the biggest recurring problem in Lagos. However, we are making progress. This is a big problem intertwine with drug abuse even to the ridiculous extent of taking it to primary schools and recruiting these children into cultism.
He added: “I remember the experience at Ikorodu, where over 250 boys and girls of cult groups renounced and surrendered arms after which I urged other communities to emulate Ikorodu’s bold step.”
According to the CP, they have been able to address this by making strong use of community policing not only with religious or traditional rulers but also with local government to talk to youths in the community to relinquish cultism.
He, however, urged everyone to be more vigilant. “We have to be more vigilant – not the police alone – collective and concerted efforts by everyone. Entry and exit into schools must be well-documented.”
Edgar said this following the recent parade of two suspects at the Command Headquarters Ikeja, who were arrested by the RRS for selling Tramadol to secondary school students. “The problem of cultism has left our shores. Young Nigerian boys and girls who travelled to India and Malaysia to either study or do business are forming cult groups over there and killing themselves. How long are we – parents, leaders, clerics – going to watch this happen?,” he asked.
He, therefore, called on various local government, communities, cleric and other relevant bodies across the states as a matter of urgency to declare state of emergency in the fight against cultism using the stick method while calling on the Lagos State House of Assembly to pass stiffer laws – using carrot method – in fighting against cultism in Lagos. “Also, other communities in Lagos should emulate what’s going on here today. We must join hands to fight this menace”.
Meanwhile, some of the surrendered arms and ammunition he listed included: AK47 and its ammunition, pump action and its ammunition, axes, machetes, locally made pistols and SMGs among other dangerous weapons.
“We call the local government and other relevant bodies concerned to talk to the youths, give them training for us to reintegrate them into the society. Among these youths today are PhD, Bsc, HND and more degree holders of various institutions,” he disclosed.
Meanwhile, the Executive Chairman, Badagry Local Government and Chief Host, Mr. Onilude Adeniran said that in the past, the problem of youth cultism was restricted to the tertiary institutions. But now, cultism is even in our primary schools.
“Every now and then, my office receives news about cases of drug abuse and cultism in our secondary schools. To worsen the case, every street in our cities , towns and even villages seem to belong to one cult group or the other. How did we get here.
According to Adeniran, came into office when Badagry was experiencing cases of gang wars and cult related crimes. We made up our mind to rid our local government of traces of cultism. Today’s event is a result of weeks of painstaking interactions, negotiations and even sacrifices.
He urged them to identify their purposes in life and strive to achieve it. “On our part as administration, we promise to provide all within our means to ensure your rehabilitation into the peace society. We are already taking steps on that.
This came after members of the Eiye and Aiye cults resolved to free themselves from mental slavery and turn a new leave. One of the leaders of the group, Oladapo Babalola said it was time for them to emancipate themselves from mental slavery.
He said further: “We admit that cultism ate deeper into us. But the DPO of Badagry was able to talk to and encourage us. We are turning new leave now. And today, we are ready to work if the opportunity comes. We, hereby, offer ourselves to the DPO to enlist us into the police.”
Others present at the renouncement included: DPO of Seme, Mr. A.A. Smith; DPO Orogbo Station, Johnson Adagba; Captain Okediran; Oba Akran of Badagry Kingdom, De Wheno Aholu Menu Toyi 1 and his High Chief, Hundungan Samuel the Agoloto of Badagry among several other force men form the Navy and Army.