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48 Cultists Renounce Membership, Surrender Arms In Ogun

Cultists

No fewer than 48 repentant cultists in the Sagamu area of Ogun State have surrendered their arms to the Nigeria Police Force and renounced their membership in the various cult groups they belonged to.

The ceremony to profile the repentant cultists and take stock of the arms and ammunition was held at the Palace of the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Adewale Ajayi, in the Sagamu Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday.

It was earlier reported that two cult groups, Neo Black Movement, popularly called Aye, and the National Association of Airlords, also known as Eiye Confraternity, Sagamu chapter, wrote letters of apologies to the Akarigbo of Remoland, asking him and other traditional rulers in Remoland to forgive them of their wrongdoings.

The two groups had, in a viral letter, pleaded for mercy and promised to abide by the laws of the country.

While the letter from the Eiye Confraternity was dated December 22, 2023, that of Aye was dated December 26, 2023.

Weapons submitted by the cultists, who have promised to turn a new leaf, include one pump action gun, four double barrels, seven single barrels, two English pistols, four locally made pistols, and 35 cartridges.

Speaking at the event, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, said the approach of the police to engage in moral persuasion as a way of curbing the incessant cult crises that have ravaged the part of the state led the cultists to renounce their membership and surrender their arms.

Alamutu, while urging the repentant cultists not to go back to their old ways, stressed that the police would also work with the Ogun State government and the traditional rulers to convert them into an Anti-Cultism Vanguard that would preach the dangers of cultism to others still engaged in the act.

The CP said, “You will recall that last year, this community witnessed disturbing incidences where cultists were on rampage and disturbing the peace of the community that I had to partially relocate to this community.

“It was the persistent nature of this crisis that brought the idea of having a second look and approach to the crisis and we thought of using moral persuasion and engagement to see if we can get results and thank God this is the outcome.

“By giving them this Olive branch, the idea is for them to turn a new leaf. I have had a closed-door meeting with Kabiyesi on how we can engage these youths. Now that we have convinced them that the right thing to do is hard work, we are going to see how we can assist them to be of use to themselves and be our vanguard so that others will have a reason to embrace peace.”

In his reaction, Oba Ajayi said the amnesty for the cultists was a result of several engagements and discussions during when many of the cultists regretted their nefarious acts and promised to turn a new leaf.

The monarch added, “Not satisfied with the killings and disturbance of these cultists in the town, the community re-strategised and moved against them. The heat was so much that some of them were even forced to leave the town, but they continued to beg, sending emissaries that they were ready to turn a new leaf.

“We have engaged them and told them point-blank that cultism is not the way forward, that they will only ruin their lives, ruin their family names and the plans of God for their lives.

“We told them to submit their weapons and stay away from cultism, and we have promised to integrate them into the society. It is an ongoing exercise, and we hope that their colleagues in other parts of Remoland and Ogun State as a whole will draw a vital lesson and follow suit as well.”

He thanked Governor Dapo Abiodun, security agencies, and the Sagamu Security Committee for working round the clock to ensure the success of the amnesty deal for the former cultists.

He begged the residents of the community to show the repentant cultists love and support and not treat them as outcasts.