Wonders in Rivers State as over 3,000 cultists surrender arms to cleric
Wonders in Rivers State on Saturday as not less than 3,000 cultists from Gokana Local Government Area of the State laid down their arms to a popular cleric in the area, Rev. Father Abel Abulu.
The youths denounced cultism and also surrendered different kinds of guns after the cleric’s message.
It was learnt that the cultists had on two occasions refused to submit their arms to the committee in charge of the amnesty programme, denying that they did not have guns in their possession.
Report says the repentance of the cult members and laying down their arms was achieved as joint efforts of Gokana Peace Ambassadors and the clergymen in the area, who went into the creeks to preach peace to the cultists.
One of the repentant cultists, who spoke to newsmen, Denbesi Isaac, said they decided to lay down their arms because they were touched by Rev. Father Abel Abulu’s message and ready to allow peace to reign in the community.
Isaac in his speech urged the state government to work together with the Christian community and the Gokana Peace Ambassadors to ensure adequate empowerment for the repentant cultists.
He also noted that if the boys were integrated into the state amnesty programme, it would stop them from going back to their former lives.
Isaac had promised that he and his group would never return to their former lives of cultism for the sake of peace and development.
Isaac said, “We thank God that we are alive today. It was the preaching that the Rev. Father gave to us on the several visits he made to us that made us to change our mind. To me it is the handiwork of God.
“We are calling on the state government to include us in their amnesty programme. They should train and empower us so that we would not think of going back to our past lives.”
However, the President of Gokana Peace Ambassadors, Kpakol Aleema-Kpakol said the group decided to embark on peace campaign following the widespread violence which has claimed the lives of several innocent souls in the area.
Aleema-Kpakol, who spoke alongside his Secretary, Tomei Barikpe Vycent, commended the effort of Rev. Father Abulu for his commitment in ensuring the security of Gokana people.
He advised the State government to take care the repentant cultists in order to promote peace in the community.
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