...As Peace Returns To Community,
Peace is gradually returning to all the Akpor Communities as over 40 cultists from Rumuokparali Community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State denounced their membership of cult groups, surrendered their arms and took traditional oath administered by the traditional rulers, chiefs and elders of the community.
Speaking at the event which took place at the community town hall over the weekend under tight security including armoured car, the chairman of the event and Ozuoba Divisional Police Officer, (DPO) Mr. Eugene Nlemuba warned the repentant cultists on the repercussion of any of them reneging and going back to his old ways.
“When the law catches up with you, we shall treat you like armed robbers or kidnappers without recourse to your people”.
The Police Officer however appealed to the stakeholders especially the community elders to incorporate them into the society and show them love, adding that anybody can support them eke out a living and be useful to the society and their families”.
A security expert Rtd Sgt Clement Amadi who is also the Neighbourhood Watch Cordinator in Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, in a lecture which preceded the denouncement proper advised the youths to ensure that they truly repent with their whole hearts as there would be no opportunity like this again for them to amend their ways and live a useful life without fear of anyone ambushing them in the bush.
The leader of the Icelanders who refused to give his name appealed for forgiveness in all their past deeds and promised to be of good behaviour. He also promised to assist the security agents to apprehend any cultists who return to criminality to terrorize the community or harass the people in anyway and hand them over.
The Community Development Committee (CDC) Chairman, Mr. McGoddy Kamalu and Rumuokparali Youth President, Mr. Chinda Kelvin (London) thanked the stakeholders, security agents and indeed everybody that have made the event a successful one, adding that their community has been under siege for a long time with no meaningful development.
In a separate interview, they appealed to stranger elements in their midst especially the runaway wanted cultists from other Ikwerre Communities to also repent or relocate to other areas as they would not spare anyone who would spoil their works of encouraging these repentant cultists to surrender their arms and denounce cultism in the overall interest of all.
They also used the opportunity to urged the state government and other stakeholders to support these youths by providing them job opportunities, teaching them skill acquisition and/or scholarship opportunity for those who are interested in furthering their education.
Meanwhile the whereabout of one notorious cultist and his brother allegedly abducted by some gunmen over three weeks ago which sparked off violent protest in the area is still unknown which perhaps is the reason for the heavy security presence during the event.
One of the repentant cultists from the Iceland cult group Azubuike Chinda expressed happiness at the successful execution of the event, adding that there is nothing like freedom which has eluded them for many years.
He thanked those who organized the events and promised not to return to the evil ways.
Chinda however said he was forced to enlist to cultism due to constant harassment and intimidation of the opposing cult group –Deegbam for revenge purposes and supremacy fight.
But that all that is over “I am now a new creature as old things have passed away. He however expressed gratitude to God that throughout his sojourn in the evil world, he never participated in the shedding of blood.
Highlights of the event was the filling of denouncement forms by the repentant cultists and the traditional oath taking.