Over 500 youths in Ijede town of Ikorodu, Lagos State, renounced their membership of different cult groups and surrendered their weapons to the Lagos State police boss, Imohimi Edgal, who vowed to profile them and put them under close watch.
Some of the weapons submitted to police were AK 47 rifles, pomp action rifles, locally-made pistols, AK 47 magazines, axes and cutlasses. Those who gave up their arms were youths whose ages are between 17 and 35. Leader of Eiye cult in Ijede, Olanrewaju Adesoye, said they were tired of being chased about and needed peace of mind.
“I was the number one man of Eiye. My journey to cultism started from power tussle over boundary issue, but the crisis that followed was not what we bargained for. My appreciation goes to the local government chairman who pioneered this move. We had made up our minds to renounce our membership for a long time but we feared we would be arrested,” he said.
Abdulazeez Densi, a leader of KK cult group, noted that he decided to give up his membership for safety of his life and community. “The crisis is becoming too much. I am tired and I want to be safe. I also want peace to reign in my community.”
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, who received the weapons on behalf of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), said the event marks a new beginning in the history of the area, pointing out that the act was a boost to his much clamoured police public partnership. He urged other local council chairmen to emulate the actions of the Ijede council boss, Salisu Fatiu Jimoh, for pioneering the move.
“Ijede has set the pace for other communities in Lagos. I am, therefore, calling on chairmen of local governments in the state to be at the centre of championing this initiative. They should talk to the youths to shun cultism and drug abuse. We want to stamp out cultism and drug abuse in Lagos State. On behalf of the IGP and AIG Zone 2, I receive these arms for onward transfer to the Lagos State Command armory.”
He directed the Divisional Police Officer, Ijede to commence profiling of those that renounced their membership of cult groups as the first step in the process of reintegrating them back into the society.
“We would place them on police supervision and monitor their activities. We would also have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with those that championed this cause, in order to ensure they engage them in vocational skills.”