No fewer than 500 youths in Ijede Local Council Development Area of Ikorodu, Lagos, yesterday, voluntarily renounced their membership of various cult groups in the area.
They included cultists from Aiye, Eiye, Buccaneer, and KK among others.
The youths, whose ages are between 17 and 35, submitted weapons that have been in their custody to the Lagos State Police Command.
The weapons, which were displayed at the Ijede LCDA hall included pump action rifles, AK-47 rifles, locally-made guns and single-barrelled guns. Also displayed were cartridges of various types as well as axes and machetes.
The state's Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, who was at Ijede to receive the arms, pointed out that the act was a boost to his Police/public partnership policy, even as he applauded the efforts of the LCDA Chairman, Mr. Salisu Jimoh, for pioneering the move.
The voluntary renouncement by the former cultists, according to Edgal, is the first step in the process of reintegrating them into the society.
Former cult leaders speak
In his speech, former head of KK confraternity, Abdulrazeez Densi, said yesterday marked the beginning of a new day in his life, as he had been living in uncertainty.
Asked why he decided to opt out, he said: "I decided to renounce my membership because of the safety of my life and that of members of my community. I want peace to reign in my community."
Another former cultist, Olarewaju Adesoye, who claimed to be the former head of Eiye confraternity, said: "I was the number one man of Eiye. Cultism started from power tussle over boundary issue.
"But the crisis that followed was not what we bargained for. My appreciation goes to the local government chairman, who pioneered this move.
"We made up our minds to renounce our membership for long, but the logical way to follow, so as not to be arrested, was not visible."
Another former cultist, who simply gave his name as Temitayo, said most of them joined various cult groups because of lack of jobs. He said members of the various cult groups comprised graduates and artisans.