By Jude Atupulazi
The Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Chris Owolabi, has identified cultism as the root cause of youth criminality in the state. The police chief made this assertion last Tuesday during a Peace and Security Summit organized by the Zone B of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Auditorium, Awka.
Represented by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Emmanuel Ogwuanya, the police boss described the summit as coming at the best time, given the heightened criminality in the Southeast Region.
He listed kidnapping, robbery, murder, among others, as some of the offshoots of cultism, leading to dire consequences for cult members who, he said, may also suffer from lunacy, untimely death, imprisonment and disgrace to family, as well as delayed graduation or termination of their education
The police chief who noted also that cultists intimidated lecturers and fellow students, regretted that cultism had even permeated into secondary and primary schools.
‘Cultism is something we need to avoid, especially among youths who are the fighting force of any society,’ he said, while urging parents to instil moral education on their charges, just as he called for moral education by individuals, civil societies and media, among others.
He called for collaboration among security outfits in schools to arrest that, noting that the police had its own mechanisms for enlightenment and combating of cultism.
Earlier, the NANS Senate President, Chuks Okafor, in his address, expressed delight at the convocation of the meeting, which, he observed, was one of the promises he made to students.
He stressed the importance of community safety and said NANS was ready to partner government in that direction, even as he decried the crises in the Southeast, noting they affected commercial and business activities in the zone.
Okafor condemned the attack on security outfits in Anambra State and challenged the law enforcement agencies to step up to the challenge in order to return normalcy to the Southeast Zone.
He said cultism and drug abuse negatively affected students and called for not only deterrent measures but for a national security summit like the one convened at Unizik.
The NANS senate president stressed the need for intelligence gathering, noting that it would help security agencies, being that such intelligence gathering was a task for everybody.
‘Let our leaders continuously open the doors of engagement,’ Okafor urged.