Peace is gradually returning to Akpor Communities in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State as they took turn to appeal to their youths not only to publicly denounce cultism and surrender their weapons but to be of good behaviour henceforth.
And so last Saturday June 29, 2019 was the turn of Ozuoba Community which witnessed over thirty (30) youths of the community adhering to the clarion call, following the directives of the state governor to the traditional rulers for them to sanitize their domains of criminal elements.
The cultists were those from Iceland group and Degbam group said to be responsible for years of violent attacks, kidnapping and other vices in the area. They trooped out from their camps to take the traditional oaths to shun every criminal acts and be good behaviour.
Stakeholders who spoke at the event which was held at Ozuoba Community Hall, including the Divisional Police officer, Ozuoba, Mr. Eugene Nlemuba advised the repentant cultists not to go back to crime again and warned that the police will leave no stone unturned to rid the area of criminal elements.
In his remarks, the Paramount Ruler/Nyenweali, Ozuoba, HRH Eze Amadi Wali thanked God for supporting them to achieve the feat and advised the repentant youths to seize the opportunity and turn a new leaf in their lives in order to benefit their respective families and the society. He made it known that no responsible parents/elders would want to see their leaders of tomorrow being destroyed.
Quoting the bible, he said: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the wages of sin, bible say, is death. It is a good thing for them therefore to have accepted to surrender themselves to God in order to move forward,” he said.
The Community Development Committee (CDC) chairman of Ozuoba, Comrade Chike Alekiri Wede in his remarks also appreciated the courage of the youths to denounce their membership of the cultism groups and encouraged them not to look back in their decision but to embrace God fully to achieve their destiny in life as according to him “everyone's destiny is in his/her hands”.
On the thanksgiving service held at St. Michael's (Ang) Church, Ozuoba, the chairman said it was worthwhile as the benefits are numerous including receiving more favour from God.
Also quoting the bible, the chairman said “the Watchman watches but in vain without the divine support from above. He however prayed that God Almighty would crown all their efforts with success.
Also speaking, the Ozuoba Youth President, Mr. Goodluck Odoemene who was visibly excited at the development said their first programme for the youths will be orientation exercise for them while scholarship and employment programmes will follow suit.
He used the opportunity to urge the politicians and other stakeholders who are in the habit of engaging those youths in thuggery and other negative tendencies to desist forthwith or face the wrath of the youths council as according to him “this ugly introduction into the society has sent many to their early graves”.
At the church thanksgiving service, the Vicar of St. Michael (Ang) Church, Ozuoba, Rev. Canon Prince Charles Ezeanochie prayed for the cultists, breaking every covenant of the cultism fraternity they had entered into, adding “from then henceforth, God shall take over their lives and annul any pronouncement of death upon you.”
The man of God urged them to embrace God totally and start a new life as old things of their lives have passed away.
He, however, reminded them of the danger of reneging on their promise, while assuring them of the church's continuous prayers for them at all times.