Journalist, security experts advise youths against cultism in Lagos

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Evelyn Usman ,Asst. Crime Editor Vanguard Newspaper , the PPRO of Lagos Poluce Command, DSP Bala Elkana, Juliana France (4th) ACP Monday Agbonika during Youthslens seminar on Wednesday in Lagos
Evelyn Usman ,Asst. Crime Editor Vanguard Newspaper , the PPRO of Lagos Poluce Command, DSP Bala Elkana, Juliana France (4th) ACP Monday Agbonika during Youthslens seminar on Wednesday in Lagos

AN NGO, the Youthslens Movement of Nigeria, has charged   youths from different parts of the country to rise against cultism by spreading the danger associated with the scourge to  both their friends and family members.

The founder of the NGO,  Juliana France, said this in her speech at  a one-day seminar on Wednesday organised by her NGO  in collaboration with the Lagos State Police Command.

She said that  the rate at which the young ones were involving themselves  in cultism was worrisome

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of  the seminar was “The Nigerian Youth and Cultism today”,.

It had participants from Abia State University, LASU, NIJ, IMO State University, Yabatech and  some secondary schools students from Lagos State.

She said that the fight for a safe society against cultism must start with the youth who should be ready to  spread all they had heard against cultism to their friends, family members and the society at large.

Francis, who is the Crime Editor of New Telegraph Newspaper, said the statistics  of young people in cultism gave birth to the idea of the programme.

She stressed that the reasons given  by many  for joining  cultism were not acceptable.

“No reason  is acceptable for anyone to participate  in crime, even when there is no food at home and they don’t have parents. No reason is acceptable for any young persons to join cultism.

“They should know that their choices  will have consequences.

“Any negative action by  them will affect their family members and their future. They should know that life is not a competition.

“Parents and the society  must keep on talking against it now  more  than before,” she said.

Also,   an  Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Sango-Otta area of Ogun Police Command, ACP Monday Agbonika, said that  some communities were  experiencing cultism due to their  locations.

Agbonika said that  factors  such as:  peer  pressure, revenge against  presumed enemies, emotional instability, family problem and political association could force young people to join cultism.

The area commander noted that one of the challenges why cultism thrives  on  campuses is because policemen are not allowed to enter higher  institutions  for operations  except  on  invitation.

He commended Juliana Francis for the seminar, stressing that this was one way to check cultism among youths.

He  appealed to   individuals and cirpirate organisations to keep on talking about the dangers of cultism among youths.

Agbonika said that some of the effects of cultism include:  failure in academics, school dropout, armed robbery, rape, and prostitution.

Also,  the Lagos State  Police Command  spokesman, DSP Bala Elkana,  said that  cultism was a serious problem to the society.

He said that it needed  the attention of all to tackle it adding that the involvement of  many young ones had made it  become very serious.

Elkana urged parents to live an exemplary life for their children to emulate  and become responsible citizens in life.

He said, “The most painful thing to do as Police Public Relations officer is to parade young persons who are  supposed to be leaders of tomorrow as suspected cultists or criminals .

“It is not about taking cultists to court for prosecution, but addressing the root cause of why  young people  were joining cultism. This is where every one is involved. The police arrest cannot solve the scourge.

“Parents and various people in positions of authorities must do the needful,” he said.

A prison reform advocate, Pastor Darlington Ajilemisan, said that the current correctional  centres (prisons) in Nigeria were adding to criminality with  overcrowded inmates.

Ajilemisan said that many people turned criminals because they were detained with hardened criminals while in prison custody.

He also alleged that many violent crimes were sometimes organised by   prison inmates.

He said, “I cannot talk about prison without talking about what took me to prison. I was a criminal and I was taken to the prison.

“There, I was introduced other crimes. I happened to become the chaplain after I met Christ.

“I have been going to the prison at the age of three. I was an assassin, professional killer, I was a small boy in prison.

“In prisons, there are homosexuals, if you think you go to the prison and be better, that is a lie.

“The prison will change your intelligent quotient (IQ) no matter what your religion may be.

” I have served in prison in four continents. You enter the prison, you will come out either as a hardened criminal, homosexual or be involved in other crimes you were not involved in before.”

Ajilemisan wondered why the public was fond of comparing prisons in Nigeria   with that of the US.  He said that prisons in Nigeria were over populated.

“Prison is for reformation, and a correctional centre. But when you have warders or prison officials who are not educated, but feed on the inmates, how will they  correct such  inmates, “ Ajilemisan said.

NAN

– Dec. 05, 2019 @ 08:10 GMT |

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