Over 557 cultists in Rivers State have accepted peace and surrendered their
weapons to the police in the state.
The cultists, who are members of different cult groups in Bodo and other communities in Gokana Local Government Area.
The cultists, who are members of different cult groups in Bodo and other communities in Gokana Local Government Area of the state said the decision was for the interest of peace.
The arms submission was the conclusion
of a disarmament exercise and a special
delivery session at the St. Saint Patrick’s
Catholic Church in Bodo community that
commenced in the area earlier this month.
Speaking, the Commissioner of Police in
the state, Joseph Mukan, said the arms
retrieval was jointly carried by the security
agencies, adding that the repentant cultists would be closely monitored to ascertain their honesty.
Meanwhile, the facilitator of the programme, Rev Fr. Abel Abulu, stressed
the need to engage the repentant youths
in spiritual exercise after they submitted
their arms, regretting that Bodo community was a flashpoint of violence.
He pointed out that the youths were exposed to non-violence programmes for
months to redirect their minds, noting that the issue of cultism became prevalent in the area after the last general elections.
Abulu said: “The flashpoint of the violence
seem to be here in Bodo. But it came to point when they said indeed we have sinned in our communities, and please forgive us so that we can come back home.
That whole picture of Christ model of
reconciliation is the message that this
exercise espouses and that is what we have done.”