By Ifeoma Ofurum
The police in Imo State have indicated their readiness to crush budding criminals and cultists in secondary schools.
The State’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Andrew Enwerem stated this at Emmanuel College Owerri, during his tour of all secondary schools in Imo State.
DSP Enwerem who defined cultism as “when two or more students gather themselves in a secret place to carry out activities like initiations, taking of oath and others, without the principal’s authority” also said that cultism which started in 1953 in the University of Ibadan by Prof Wole Soyinka and others when they formed the Pirates Confraternity was meant to promote African culture against the Western culture and not to cause violence in the society as seen today.
He, however, said that it is worrisome that secondary school students now indulge in cultism which he said leads them to armed robbery, kidnapping, raping, assassination among others, adding that over 100 secret cults now exist in the country which had led to increase in criminal activities,
It is against this backdrop that the Inspector General of Police directed every state to catch the students young by sensitizing them on dangers of cultism and social vices in the society, he said.
He, therefore, urged those students who are aspiring to join not to do so while he asked those who are already members to renounce their membership, noting that if anyone is caught, he will be arrested and jailed. He disclosed that some policemen in mufti had been placed within the premises of all secondary schools in the state to monitor, detect and arrest those involved in cultism for prosecution.
He, however, said in order to eradicate cultism, parents should monitor their children’s activities and their peer groups instead of devoting all their time in chasing wealth. He urged the schools’ authorities to add anti-cultism and moral upbringing in the school curriculum. The PPRO called for cooperation of everyone in fighting crime and urged them to call the police for any useful information about crime and cultism on 08034773600.