… Council Boss Empowers Some
By Agnes Igwe and Okereke Wilson Ogbonnaya
Following the fight against cultism in Ebonyi State by the State Governor, Chief David Umahi, the traditional rulers and appointees, over two hundred repentant cultists have denounced their evil groups.
The Special Assistant to the governor on Internal Security Ebonyi South, Hon Chika Nwangele disclosed this in Abakaliki during an interview with newsmen as the positive effects of their vigorous sensitization campaign to schools against the monster called cultism which have caused loss of many lives and property in the state recently.
As a measure to apprehending hoodlums easily, Hon Chika announced their readiness to arrest and prosecute all motorcyclists and drivers who operate without plate numbers in the state.
The pronouncement came as a reaction to alleged case of child snatching few days back at Vanco Junction, where some people on motorcycle were said to have snatched a male child from his petty trader mother who hawks at the junction.
He said, “With the help of the governor, by this time next month, there will be nothing like cultism in Ebonyi state. In collaboration with our Neighborhood Watch outfit, we are also checkmating the cases of kidnapping, child snatching, trafficking among others.”
“To that effect, we shall commence arrest of motorcyclists and drivers who operate without plate numbers in the state. Because without plate numbers, when babies or bags are snatched, or any other crime is committed, unraveling the identity of the hoodlums will be difficult. This “operation impound motorcycles and cars without plate numbers” shall commence on Monday.”
“I assumed office on the 19th of June 2019.Since then I have been working together with my boss, Chief David Umahi, my colleagues in other senatorial zones and our direct boss, the Acting Commissioner for Internal Security, Dr. Ugbala Kenneth to ensure the state is ride of cultism, rape and other vices ravaging the society.”
“You know one thing is to give advice, another thing is to implement the advice given. We have been going round the state, sensitizing the state in general and youths especially on the dangers of cultism, kidnapping and vices of all sorts.
“Not just in tertiary institutions, we have been going to secondary schools, local government councils, communities, women groups, traditional rulers and elders for collaborative efforts to reduce crimes rate to the barest minimum in Ebonyi state.”
“I want to tell you the experience I have had in the course of the sensitization. Many people are not happy being cult members, that means they are members of the group under duress. But because of bad friends, they engage themselves in hard drug and other bad behaviours.”
“I thank our dear governor for the initiative to decentralize our offices. We have Special Assistant on Internal security Ebonyi South, North Central and the capital city, Abakaliki. This initiative has made our work easier for us, implementing the law of division of labour. Our aims are the same, to flush cultism, rape, kidnapping among other social vices out of the state.
“We have taken the sensitization within two weeks to Urban Model Secondary School Okpaugwu, Abakaliki High School, Mile 50, and Holy Ghost Secondary School. We have also gone to familiarize with Police division officers.”
“To the glory of God, this sensitization has brought about repentance and denouncement of cultism by over 200 persons.
“They have been going to churches to renounce membership. So many of them now have fear of God. They understand that there is no need to behave abnormal. Yes I call it abnormal because when someone wakes up in the morning and what came to his mind is to kill or rape somebody, then the person is abnormal. He or she is not in their real sense.
“I thank my governor for giving us the opportunity to contribute our quota in eradication of cultism and other vices in the state.”
“Like my lecturer always tell us way back in school, ‘show me your friend and I will tell you who you are’
“.When you want to change the kind of life you live, you have to change some places you visit, some people you interact with and some things you do. So with help of Chief David Umahi empowering the youth, we are opportune to go the flash points and preach repentance to them.”
“We supposed to start arresting everybody we know that have connection to cultism. But because of the kind of heart our Governor has, as a man of God who also has children, he said he is giving them last chance for repentance.”
“That extra chance is why we are going to sensitize. They immersed themselves in the things of God in different churches by being members of choir and prayer ministries in their rehabilitation process.”
“I want to tell you that any day we go out for sensitization, we win souls for God. We have about 80 persons that renounced cultism this week on Monday to be precise. We are still going to get more because they are eager to leave their evil ways” Hon Nwangele assured.”
Meanwhile, no fewer than 25 persons said to have renounced their membership in various secret cult confraternity at Onueke Ezza, penultimate weekend have been empowered with undisclosed amount of money by the council chairman, Hon Sunday Ogodo.
Addressing newsmen on the menace of miscreants in the area, the chairman said that having noted that the illegal association and its activities are evil wind that blows no good to any man,
He reminded everyone that he began from the assumption of office to continue to preach to the youths the ‘negative effect of moral decadence’ until recently when the exercise began to yield positive impact with cultists beginning to renounce their evil associations.
He disclosed that following his quest in ensuring that there is peace in the entire area, especially at Onueke axis, known to be the business hub of the council, he had invited Evangelist Uche Umeh and other members of Christian Association of Nigeria who officiated prayers against violence held at their headquarters and through the spiritual exercise, relative calm atmosphere was observed before and during the general elections.
He told Citizens’ Advocate that the principal aim of empowering the former cultists was to enable them change their wears as to dress up properly so that they would appear responsible before the society, the gesture which might arouse other people’s interest to abandon cultism.
Hon. Ogodo further added that it was after he had found out that other approaches earlier adopted did not yield a desired result that he resorted to prayer and as God would have it, their requests were granted, following the decision of the 25 persons whom he said had repented genuinely and forsook the dreaded association.
Hon. Ogodo said, “Before now, Onueke had been the flash point of criminality, crises and killings but based on the answered prayers, the general elections period which would have served as an opportunity for wasting of more lives, later appeared peaceful in such a way that different party faithful were drinking together without any discrimination.”
He disclosed that for the fact that people heeded to the Word of God and the stakeholders’ piece of advice by exhibiting genuine repentance, through the efforts of the state governor, he would accommodate and establish them fully.
He also frowned at an ugly incident which he said happened in the past where his former liaison officer was allegedly butchered by people suspected to be cultists, leaving the man’s wife and his tender children to their fate.
He advised that the miscreants should retrace their footsteps, especially now that security had been intensified in the area, coupled with the curse placed on the defiant by the Traditional Rulers.
He urged petty traders and non-indigenes to feel free and continue their businesses without panic.