Cultism Is A Security Threat, Should Not Be Taken Lightly—IGP Egbetokun

Cultism Is A Security Threat

By Osho Oluwatosin

The Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun has declared that cultism is a security threat to Nigeria and should not be taken lightly in the society.

This declaration was made at an event in commemoration of the Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV) tagged ‘’Teenagers Stay Informed, Know The Dangers Of Cultism and Drugs’’ which took place on Saturday, 1st of June 2024 at the Lagos Police College with high ranking members of the Nigeria Police Force in attendance.

The event had the Lagos state Commissioner of Police, CP Adegoke Fayoade who also represented the IGP, Kayode Egbetokun, Force PRO, ACP Muyiwa Adejobi, traditional rulers, students of secondary schools across Lagos, to mention a few in attendance.

The IGP, who was represented by the Lagos CP, Adegoke Fayoade noted that cultism has gone beyond universities and spread to other parts of the society.

He described the activities of cultists as a security threat that needs to be attended to. He advised parents to support their children to avoid falling into the trap of cultism as a result of peer pressure.

‘’All over the place, cultism is a thing that has gone beyond university.

“It used to be confined to universities but today, it has taken over everywhere and what they do is to disturb the peace of the area, they claim supremacy and at the end, they fight and destroy properties and lives.’’

‘’ It’s a big security threat that has to be attended to. The issue of drugs too, cultism is an enhancer to criminal activities, they are interwoven. These are things that need to be stopped because we are losing precious lives of youths.

“The after effects of this is that most of our youth will start having serious medical Problems, mental illness and the inability to think right again for themselves, family and the society so it’s not a thing that should be taken lightly.’’

‘’It’s a menace in our society and as parents, we have to face it squarely and pay special attention to our children, we must direct them well and at this stage that they are, they need the support of their parents in order not to fall for peer pressure.’’

The national coordinator of POCACOV, CSP Olabisi Okuwobi also advised teenagers to stay away from cultism and criminality in order to secure a promising bright future which could be deemed by criminal activities.

According to Okuwobi, Cultism is a deadly disease that makes parents cry and can destroy the bright future of teenagers. She explained that cultism and other vices are traps that should totally be avoided by teenagers who want a bright future for themselves.

“She advised that every teenager should focus on their education and endeavour to speak out if anyone tries to cajole them into joining any cult group.

‘’Cultism is a very deadly disease; it makes your parents cry so the message is children should not join cultism. Crime doesn’t pay but education does.

“Make sure you don’t engage in criminal acts that will destroy your future. Your future is bright, don’t dim it with criminal activities. Criminality and cultism are traps that should be avoided by children. If anyone is trying to cajole you into joining cultism, feel free to contact us.’’

While speaking on the reason for the increment in cultism activities, Evang. Daniel Osita, CEO Jesus care reformation centre for drug abuse and misuse opined that cultists have the backings of politicians who are protecting them.

‘’The reason cultism is growing is because they have the backing of some top people because if they don’t have, there is no serious root that can make it last this long. We have top people who are encouraging this.

“Some schools have tried to stop it but some school managements are involved in this mess. Some of them are under duress; they can’t say anything because some people in power have threatened them not to make any move. Some VCs, Rectors, Provosts are powerless, there are students they dare not talk to, hence cultism continues.’’

Furthermore, Ambassador Samuel Eniola Adam, the president of Eagle Crime Awareness and Prevention Initiative described cultism as the father of all crimes because several other vices can come out of it.

He also commended the IGP, Kayode Egbetokun for supporting POCACOV initiative.

‘’Cultism is the father of all crimes because from it, you can become an armed robber, a kidnapper. Once you become a cultist, killing and lynching becomes nothing to you.

“We need to arrest cultism first before going into other vices and I want to give kudos to the IGP for bringing this initiative to the grassroots.’’

While speaking, ACP Muyiwa Adejobi challenged the corporate affairs commission (CAC) to do more when registering names of organizations because some cultist groups hide under foreign names and abbreviations to get registered.

He warned the commission not to allow anarchy in the country by not doing due diligence and adequate profiling when registering organizations that could be cultist groups.

‘’I need to challenge CAC this time around; they must do more when they want to register names. Some of these groups hide under a foreign name to register, I have seen some of them and I know their names. If you are Black Axe, Aiye, Vikings, Buccaneer, I know your logo, slogan and colour but they come with a new name and CAC will register them.

“I am not against anybody but CAC must be very careful not to create anarchy in Nigeria. If they go to CAC with an abbreviation, let them spell it out so I want to challenge CAC that whenever cult groups come around to register, they need to profile them, if they are not sure, let them come to us.’’

One of the students, Tayo, who is the head girl of State Senior High School commended POCACOV for the initiative while underlining the lessons she learnt at the programme. She urged school managements to create more initiatives like POCACOV to curb the influence of cultism.

‘’We learnt about the consequences of cultism and the impact it can have on society. It’s not a good thing to join because if you do, you either get killed by a rival group or get arrested. It’s not a good thing in the society and we also learnt that we should admonish our friends not to be part of it no matter the background they came from.’’

‘’As we return to school, I will advise my colleagues not to join cultism even as they proceed to higher institutions so that they won’t lose their lives. I want to urge school managements to create an initiative like POCACOV in order to further curb the influence of cultism.’’

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