New Telegraph

48 Renounce Cultism, Surrender Arms In Ogun

No fewer than 48 suspected members of the various confraternity groups in Ogun state, on Tuesday openly renounced their membership with a promise to turn a new leaf.

The repentant cultists have also surrendered their firearms to the police for confiscation.

Weapons submitted by the cultists include one pump action gun, four double barrels, seven single barrels, two English pistols, four locally made pistols and 35 cartridges.

This followed an amnesty programme by the state police command to cultists to renounce their membership and lay down their firearms.

Speaking during the handing over of these illegal firearms to the police held at the Akarigbo Palace in Sagamu, the state commissioner for police, Abiodun Alamutu said that the essence of the olive branch being extended to cultists was hinged on giving them a second chance to become better citizens and begin to contribute towards peaceful coexistence in the state

He explained, “The olive branch we are extending to these cultists is a product of several engagements. We all know the problem we have had in the past with frequent cult clashes causing loss of lives in Sagamu.

“And working with the government and traditional rulers, we kick off this process whereby the cultists will come forward denounce their membership and submit any firearms with them without any punitive measures.

“This is in line with the directive from the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun who has ordered that the illicit firearms should be mopped up, even those who have their licences are encouraged to return theirs too.

“We urged the cultists in the state to embrace this golden opportunity, many of them already are aware that cultism does not pay, so they should come and lay down their weapons because anyone caught when this window is closed will be treated as a common criminal”.

Speaking earlier, the Akarigbo and Paramount ruler of Remo land, Oba Babatunde Ajayi said that 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.

Oba Ajayi said that “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 have 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 life, ruin their family name 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 Remo land and Ogun State as a whole will draw a vital lesson and follow suit as well”.

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

Oba Ajayi begged the residents of the Sagamu community to show these repentant cultists love and support and not treat them as outcasts.

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