The Lagos State Police Command has launched a special operations targeted at eliminating cultism in the state.
The State’s Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Zubairu Muazu at the launch of Operation Crush, said, “The Command has painstakingly put in place measures to reclaim the destiny of our youths who have chosen the path of crime by engaging in various cult activities”
“Cultism is evil and it is a crime against the collective will of the people. When cultism thrives, surely other heinous crimes like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping etc will thrive too. Defeating cultism will therefore mean defeating all heinous crimes in the State, as virtually every major crime recorded in the State have a link to cultism”
The CP stated that “from February, 2019 that I assumed duty as Commissioner of Police Lagos State, the Command has arrested 202 notorious cult members and they have been charged to Court and at different stages of prosecution. We have recovered 54 assorted weapons. Other successes recorded by the Command includes the arrest of 105 suspects for armed robbery and 7 suspects for kidnapping.
The Command has also successfully foiled 93 armed robbery attempts through prompt response to distress calls from members of the public at different locations in the state.
Tackling cultism requires a holistic approach. We intent to adopt community policing approach. We will soon embark on sensitization programs in collaboration with Police Community Relations Committee and other stakeholders in Schools, Neighborhoods and Media. We will equally establish Police Students Relations Committee, comprising all the Students Union Presidents and other Students leaders.
“We will organize town hall meetings in areas mostly affected by cult activities. The meetings will discuss extensively, the root causes of cultism and gangsterism in the affected areas and the possible solutions.” he said.
The various cult groups and gangs identified within the state include: Aiye and Eiye confraternities, One million boys at Ajengule, Fadeyi boys at Fadeyi area, Akala boys at Mushin area, Nokia group at Surulere area, Shitta boys at Bariga, Oworonshoki, Shomolu and Palm grove areas, Awawa boys at Dopemu, Ageg, Ogba and Iyana Ipaja.
“We have observed the activities of those cult groups and gangs for the last one month and credible intelligence was gathered. We have reviewed our strategies and have initiated far reaching approach to totally eradicate this menace. We have rejig our Anti Cultism Unit to effectively combat those miscreants who have chosen the wrong path of life. We are taking the fight to their door steps, we are all out for them. We will fish them out, isolate them and bring them to justice. We are battle ready to uproot every cultists den and hideouts until they are totally defeated.
“This Special operation we are flagging off today, is code named ‘Operation Crush’ aimed at ending Cultism and Gangsterism in Lagos State and it will be directly under my command. Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers will personally lead the various operations in their areas of jurisdiction”
“Let me therefore, use this medium to sound a warning to members of those gangs and cult groups either renounce membership of such cults and gangs or be prepared to face the full weight of the law. This is a promise. And to parents and guardians of those youths, my message is simple, monitor the activities and movements of your children and wards and make sure that their mission on the public space are legitimate otherwise, they should stay clear”
“Let me call on everyone, both old and young, rich and poor to join us in this noble fight. We must cleanse our communities of those few criminal elements who have threatened our social and economic well-being. Together we can subdue them” Muazu concluded.