From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
No fewer than 850 people Monday renounced their membership of cult groups in Akure, the Ondo State capital. The repentant members of the secret cults include traditional chiefs, religious leaders, youths and traditional priests. The former cultists took the decision after they had reportedly drunk a liquid substance at the palace of the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo. It was gathered that the monarch and some elders of the town were not happy with the incessant clashes among rival cult groups, a development which has led to loss of lives of many youths in the town. The traditional ruler summoned his chiefs and other residents of the town to his palace where they took the substance after they had taken an oath administered by the monarch. fro our findings, the monarch had through the chiefs invited cultists in the town to converge on the palace or face serious consequences. A source said “the palace adopted the system to curb the killing and violence among the cult groups. Many of them have been going to the palace to drink the ‘water’ and renounce, they will also drop their weapons. If after drinking the water, the person goes back to cult, he will die mysteriously. “You can see that since the traditional exercise has started, you hardly hear of killing or fighting as a result of cult activities. Over 850 of them have done it and their activities have really reduced.” The source noted that those that were not ready for the traditional cleansing had left the town. Confirming the development, the Chief Press Secretary to the Deji of Akure, Mr. Michael Adeyeye said the exercise is to eradicate the illegal activities of the cultists. He explained that a traditional rite was performed at the palace on those who were ready to renounce their membership. “There are some people who do the cleansing on them (cultists) at the palace but I don’t know how they do it, all I know is that they are made to swear to an oath that they will not go back to cultism.” Adeyeye explained.