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18 Jun 2017

Cult Group In Ikorodu Strikes Peace Deal

Over 100 youths last Friday renounced membership of cult groups in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State. Abdulazeez Sholebo, a leader of the Eiye Confraternity, told newsmen after his group joined other cult groups, including the Bucaneers and the Black Axe, to publicly announce their resolve to quit cultism and all forms of criminalities.
Sholebo said that they would not return to their former ways again and thanked the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, for granting them amnesty. He announced that the youths, following their decision to embrace peace, have also decided to hunt the notorious Badoo killers and other criminals out of town.

Akinyemi Gold Lanre, of the Bucaneer cult, apologised to the people of Ikorodu on behalf of other groups that they were sorry for all the atrocities they committed against them. He said that they were delighted to be given another opportunity in life to draw closer to God and make good use of their life. He expressed joy a the opportunity to turn a new leaf.

He commended the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabir Adewale Shotobi and other leaders present at the event, for graciously keying into and implementing the amnesty programme introduced by Governor Ambode for youths that had gone astray. He particularly accused the Ajagungbales (land grabbers) across the state of promoting cultism and street gangs by recruiting cultists to do their dirty jobs.

Leader of the Black Axe cult, Seyi Ajasa, said that his group would not abuse the rare opportunity offered them. He promised that with the decision of the youths to come clean and live a peaceful life, the worrisome spate of cult clashes and incessant killings in the area will become a thing of the past. He begged members of the society not to discriminate agains the repentant youths.

“We are also not pleased with the life of violence and crime. We are also ready for peace and with what is happening here today, I can assure you that cult clashes and incessant killings in the area will become a thing of the past. I just want to appeal to Kabiesi and the Governor as well as other people to help to get us rehabilitated,” he said.

Comrade Lanre Olabinjo, co-ordinator of the Ikorodu for Peace Initiative, urged the youths to show true repentance and not to return to crime. “We are happy with the decision of the government to grant you amnesty to have a new lease of life, to reform you, so that you will be useful to yourselves and the society. Note that amnesty is not a leverage to continue in criminality. It is to give you another opportunity to live a good life and be useful,” he said.

Olabinjo, who is also the leader of the Onyabo Vigilante Group, emphasised that the law would catch up with any of the youths that would go back to commit crime. “The security agencies will go after you and deal with you. I assure you that by then, you will not have this opportunity. It is not Lanre that is sending you to jail, it is the law,” he added.

Oba Shotobi, while thanking Governor Ambode and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, for their commitment to ensuring that the state is rid of crime and violence, commended the youths for taking the decision to shun violence and embrace peace. The traditional ruler promised to continue to laise with the state government in ensuring that the youths are rehabilitated.

Oba Shotobi further appealed for total cooperation by all and sundry in the ongoing efforts to apprehend the Badoo gang. He challenged the repentant youths to channel their energy towards driving criminals out of the area.  He, however, condemned any form of jungle justice, saying it is barbaric and uncivilized.

Others present at the event were His Royal Majesties Oba Dr. Akeem Oriyomi, Obateru of Egbin Royal Kingdom and Oba Richard Ogunsanya, Olubeshe of Ibeshe, Commander of the 174 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Lt. Col Benedict Ezeh, representatives of CP Fatai Owoseni, amongst other dignitaries.

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