No fewer than 557 youths have renounced membership of cult groups in Bodo and other communities in Gokona government Area of Rivers state.
The repentant cultists surrendered their weapons and charms to the police during the disarmament programme held at Apostolice Field in Bodo.
The programme which began on December 3, followed an intensive operation in Bodo by the Chairman of Gokana, Hon Paul Vidag Kobani led by the Bori Divisional Officer together with other sister security agencies in Gokana.
Rev. Father Abel Abulu, the Parish priest of Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Bodo, who facilitated the programme, expressed happiness that the youth realised the necessity to vary their ways and embrace peace.
“The whole picture of Christ as model of reconciliation is that the message that this exercise espouses which is what we’ve done,” said the priest.
Read also: Breaking: Fuel tanker explodes at Aleshinloye junction, after Iyaganku, Ibadan
Speaking at the event, the state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, urged the youth to resist any temptation to return to crime or be able to face the law.
“We try to ascertain if they need genuinely repented in order that we will see how they’re going to be rehabilitated and possibly, we’ll appeal to the govt to offer them pardon in order that they will be reintegrated into the society. But first of all, we just need to monitor them to make certain that really they need repented.” Mukan said.
In his speech, Gokana council boss, Hon. Paul Vidag Kobani, however warned that the sincerity on the a part of those that surrendered their arms is what is going to either validate or invalidate the method because the security agencies will do thorough verification before the govt will consider the plea for pardon.
He reminded those that felt the method was a mere jamboree to divert public attention from their nefarious activities to consider as there’ll not be another window of repentance for them if they fail to completely utilize the chance given to them on a platter of gold.
Kobani said those that have denounced cultism can’t tend any special treatment at the detriment of youths who have lived a honourable life as which will send the incorrect the incorrect message to larger society of individuals who didn’t devour arms against the people under any guise.
The LG boss also stated that government can’t be seen in patronage or encouragement of cultism and intrinsically , can’t give any sort of special treatment directly or indirectly. He however assured that those that are truly repentant are going to be considered but not above those that have lived right.
Follow us on Twitter: @oyogist