By Abuchi Onwumelu
The Management of the Federal Polytechnic Oko, in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State, has exonerated its students from cultism and cult related activities.
In a release signed and made available to newsmen in Awka, the Public Relations Officer of the Institution, Obini Onuchukwu, debunked the rumour making the rounds that Okopoly students were involved in cult war allegedly going on in the host community.
The statement read in part, ‘The attention of the Management of Federal Polytechnic Oko has been drawn to indiscriminate publications on the involvement of our students in cult related violence.
‘For the records, we wish to state clearly that students of the institution were not involved in the ongoing cult clashes that happened recently in the community.
‘More worrisome was that the institution was never consulted for clarification or confirmation of the report, as the rule of objective journalism demands.
‘Such a false information is capable of portraying the institution in bad light, create fear in the minds of students and staff, and further ridicule the laudable efforts of the Polytechnic Management to weed out cultists from the institution.
‘The clashes which allegedly led to some killings, happened among cult groups in the host community and its environs and have no connection with the students of the Polytechnic,’ he said.
The PRO noted that their students were not in the school because of the shutdown of schools as directed by the Federal Government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and therefore described as spurious, the claim that students were killed at a time when their hostels were empty, and the College activities grounded, except for skeletal services provided by some staff on essential duty.
‘It is obvious that the Management has through eagle-eyed security system reduced cultism to zero level for the past 10 years. There is no possible way for cultists to creep back into the institution to wreak havoc when some strict measures have been devised to wipe out their nefarious and nocturnal activities in the Polytechnic.
‘The Management pleads with all relevant security agencies to fish out the masterminds of the recent bloody incident, as a matter of urgency, before the resumption of school.
‘It will not be good if our students return and meet this precarious situation on ground. They are young people and may be caught in the crossfire by these cult groups,’ he said.
Onuchukwu said the Polytechnic was ready to collaborate with relevant security agencies to ensure that no student of the institution was attacked or harassed by criminal elements within the locality.
He called for concerted efforts to arrest those behind what he termed the local cult violence and street terrorising gang.