Over 200 youths on Monday in Ikorodu, Lagos, renounced membership of various cultism groups and surrendered arms and ammunition in their possession.
The ceremony, which took place at the palace of the Oba of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Shotobi, was attended by Lagos State Police Commissioner, Edgal Imohimi and heads of other security agencies.
CP Imohimi said the arms surrendered by the youths included 15 locally made long guns, 30 bullets, 11 cutlasses, four axes, four double-barrel guns, five short locally made pistols and a sword.
He said the development was as a result of the community policing and community partnership put together by the state police command.
He assured the repented cultists that the command would do all within its might to ensure Ikorodu was rid of criminality.
Imohimi said: “Today, we are in Ikorodu at the instance of our royal father and his lieutenants to take over these arms and ammunition that belong to members of major cult groups who renounced such confraternity.
“We have identified leaders of Aiye, Aye and Buccaneer, who have come out with their over 200 members to give up arms. What is happening here is that jointly, we are making history. All these weapons have been voluntarily handed over by cultists who have renounced membership and have pledged to build Ikorodu and allow peace and security to reign.
“These arms are weapons of destruction and I am happy you volunteered to relinquish them. They would be sent to police armoury. I heard that there are still few persons in your midst, who do not want to join this drive to shun cultism. Be vigilant and do not allow them to carry out their activities in Ikorodu.
“I have told my men here to partner you in order to arrest such persons. I know you have fears and uncertainties but I can assure that there is a process. Your renunciation is the first step. Thereafter, the Oba will approach the local government chairman to train you in vocational skills before your reintegration into the society.
“There would also be opportunities for soft loans to establish your vocational trade. Ikorodu is the fastest growing part of Lagos and the world is concerned about what is happening here.
“I hereby call on youths of other communities in Lagos to renounce cultism. I am also appealing to youths to shun hard drugs. If you take these drugs, you won’t have a bright future. Do not allow drug dealers to rob you of your future.
“Anywhere you find a drug dealer in Ikorodu, report to the police and the person would be arrested.”