A sociopolitical group in Akwa Ibom State called Akwa Ibom Liberation Movement, AILM, has laud Governor Udom Emmanuel for proscribing cult groups in the state.
The proscription order, according to the governor, became necessary to check the proliferation of violent gangs especially in primary and secondary schools across the state.
AILM in a press statement made available to newsmen, applauded the governor for once again taking a bold step to eradicate cultism from the state, adding that the future of youths has been threatened by activities of cult groups who prey on their naivety and desire for acceptance.
According to the statement signed by its Secretary-General, Mr Solomon Abasiekong Esq., the group noted that insecurity and violent crime were making the state lose its globally acclaimed status as the most peaceful and investor-friendly state in Nigeria.
It blamed the proliferation of cult groups on failure in the family system and peer pressure, calling on parents and guardians to be interested in the friendship their wards keep so as not to regret later.
It urged leaders of religious organizations, traditional rulers and opinion leaders to join the fight against cultism as the menace was breeding antisocial behaviours in young people and eroding the values and norms of the society.
The statement also addressed the headteachers and principals of primary and secondary schools respectively to set up internal surveillance within their institutions to identify and weed out suspected cult members from the school system.
“Akwa Ibom Liberation Movement, AILM, commends the sense of purpose and political will displayed by His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel, in signing the executive order proscribing cults groups and other violent gangs in the state.
“This is a state named after God, as such every effort must be made to protect the sanctity of our society especially the youths, whose naivety and desire to be accepted makes them easy prey for these cult groups. ”
“Whereas the family is the most important unit in our society, we charged parents and guardians to be interested in the friendship their wards keep and if need be reported untoward attitude of their wards to relevant authorities.
“This will help to nip the menace in the bud and save them from regret later on. “Leaders of thought, the clergy and traditional rulers should lend appropriate support towards fighting cultism in our state.
“Each community should as a matter of urgency constitute anti-cultism committees to investigate cult or gang-related activities in their domain and report same to relevant security agencies for immediate action. We cannot fold our arms and watch helplessly as cultists steal the soul of our society.
“We call on headteachers and principals in primary and secondary schools respectively to be more proactive in setting up surveillance in their schools to identify and report suspected cult members to relevant authorities.
“Finally, we charge the Nigeria Police Force whose constitutional duty it is to maintain peace, law and order to be up to the task set out by the proscription of cultism in our dear state.
The Police must ensure that reported cases of suspected cult-related activities and persons suspected to be cultists are thoroughly invested and the whistleblowers’ identity protected. ”
All hands must be on deck to support Governor Udom Emmanuel in this fight to put an end to the menace of cultism and violent crime in our dear state. This way, the huge investment made by the state government to make the state an economic hub will yield expected fruits.
The group also charged the Police whose constitutional duty it is to maintain peace, law and order, to work with the Akwa Ibom state government in its determination to curtail activities of cult groups in the state.