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.
– Dec. 05, 2019 @ 08:10 GMT |