Sunday, July 21, 2024

Police alert Nigerians to planned nationwide cult initiation

The event, code-named Aiye Day or 7/7, is scheduled to be observed in all states of the federation NAN

• July 6, 2024
Rivers CP, Olatunji Disu
Rivers CP, Olatunji Disu

The police command in Rivers State has cautioned the public regarding potential cult-related activities across the country on June 7.

The spokesperson for the command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed in a statement in Port Harcourt on Saturday that a large number of Black Axe cultists were preparing to mark their Founder’s Day.

According to her, intelligence reports indicate that the confraternity intends to initiate innocent victims into their group and potentially engage in clashes with rival cults on the same day.

She said, “We have received information about the Neo-Black Movement (NBM), also known as Aiye or Black Axe, which plans to hold a nationwide commemoration in honour of their Founder’s Day. The event, code-named Aiye Day or 7/7, is scheduled to be observed in all states of the federation, especially in institutions of higher learning. The command is aware of the antecedents of the confraternity, notorious for killings on campuses, inter-cult clashes, and other criminal activities of a violent nature.’’

Ms Iringe-Koko said that intelligence reports suggested the group was plotting to disrupt public peace from their strongholds and on tertiary campuses across the country.

“The ceremony could possibly lead to counter-cult activities, inter-cult violence and other associated violent crimes in and around tertiary institutions in Rivers State. It might provide ample opportunity for the forced initiation of innocent victims, as well as crimes such as rape and armed robbery. Consequently, the Commissioner of Police in Rivers, Olatunji Disu, has directed all Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and tactical team commanders to conduct pre-emptive and responsive raids.’’

The police image maker emphasised that the pre-emptive measures would target cult hideouts, high-risk areas and hotels that could serve as meeting points for cult leaders.

She mentioned that police operatives had been instructed to prevent the planned event, arrest suspected cultists and bring them to justice.

“Police area commanders, DPOs and tactical team commanders are to emplace visible and effective patrol strategies, closely monitoring tertiary institution campuses and public places to intercept cult members. Parents and guardians should keep a close eye on their children and wards during this period and watch for warning signs in their interactions with friends.

“Similarly, community leaders and security outfits are encouraged to report any unusual gatherings in their area, while religious leaders should preach to their congregants on the evil of secret cults,” Ms Iringe-Koko appealed.

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