200 Youths Renounce Cultism, Surrender Arms in Lagos

Edgal (with the microphone), flanked by security chiefs, addressing the repentant youths.

Matilda Omonaiye/

No fewer than 200 Lagos youths yesterday renounced their membership of secret societies.

The repentant cultists also surrendered assorted arms and ammunition to the police at an event in Ikorodu.

Police said 860 youths have voluntarily renounced their membership of various cults in different parts of the state so far.

According to the police spokesman, SP Chike Oti, the development was a direct fallout of the unrelenting efforts by the police to entrench the principles of community policing in all aspects of their operations.

Some of the arms and ammunition surrendered by the repentant cultists.

Upon resumption of office, police commissioner, Mr. Imohimi Edgal, had identified community partnership as one of the major strategies he would employ to tackle crime in the state.

An earlier dividend of the community policing strategy was the smashing of the notorious badoo secret cult, which had terrorised residents of Ikorodu and environs for a long time.

Police also succeeded in arresting some of the alleged leaders of the cult, while others have been declared wanted.

Yesterday’s event, which held at the palace of the paramount ruler of Ikorodu, saw hundreds of youths that hitherto belonged to cults like the Buccaneers, Aiye, Black Axe and Eiye openly renouncing their membership and vowing never to return to them.

A statement by Oti quoted Edgal as congratulating the repentant youths on their decision, while urging them to prevail on their former colleagues to follow their example.

The statement reads: “The CP (Edgal) congratulated the youths for choosing the path of peace and progress and for forsaking the path of death and destruction. He urged them to not only renounce cultism but to denounce it in its entirety and do their best to pull out their friends who are still inside the evil associations.

“The CP also thanked the Ayangburen of Ikorodu land, Oba Kabiru Shotobi, and members his traditional council for keying effectively into the community policing strategy of the Inspector General of Police and for their roles in convincing the youths of their land to quit cultism. He also thanked the chairman of the local government for agreeing to provide vocational training for the youths to enable them reintegrate fully into society.

“He directed the Area Commander in charge of Ikorodu, ACP Mohammdu Amodu, to document, profile and obtain the biometrics of all the repentant youths and maintain regular contact with them.”