No fewer than 120 youths on Wednesday renounced membership of different cult groups and surrendered their weapons on Wednesday at Imota in Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the renunciation by the cultists followed recent violent clash between rival cult gangs which claimed three lives in the area.
Addressing the repented cultists, Lagos State Commissioner of Police (CP), Imohimi Edgar said that their voluntary renouncement would be accompanied by vocational training to enable them acquire new skills.
“When I assumed duty as Commissioner of Police in Lagos, I discovered that cultism and drug abuse are the most challenging crimes.
“The important thing is that the process whereby youths are now willingly renouncing cultism to take up vocational skills have started.
“The vocational job is to be instituted by the council chairman, the lawmaker and other stakeholders in Imota.
“We want a 24-hours economic and nightlife in Lagos,” Edgar said.
He said that the police would obtain data of all the repented cultists so as to monitor their activities for the safety of lives and property in the area.
The CP urged community leaders to partner with the police and other security agencies to sensitise other cultists to renounce their membership and surrender their arms.
The paramount ruler of Imota, Oba Ajibade Agoro, urged youths in the community to renounce cultism and embrace peace, adding that without peace there can not be development.
The monarch said that he would use traditional ancestral means to make the repented cultists swear an oath not to return to cultism.
“People can not be living in fear and contribute immesely to the development of the community,” said the royal father.
Mr Nurudeen Solaja, the lawmaker representing Ikorodu 2 Constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly, said that the renouncement was a welcome development.
Solaja said he would join hands with other stakeholders to ensure that the repented cultists were re-integrated back into the community.
“We will train those cultists who willingly renounced their membership to become better individuals.
“Most of these cultists are artisans who don’t have an idea of how or what cultism is all about; we want to make sure that peace returns to Imota community which is my constituency,” Solaja said.
Prince Wasiu Agoro, Chairman, Imota Local Council Development Area (LCDA), said that the council would continue to sensitise the community on the need to maintain peace for development of the area.