Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
There was mild drama, on Monday, at the office of the Bayelsa State Volunteers group, venue of the renunciation ceremony of 500 cultists as a notorious cultist on the wanted list of the Bayelsa Police resisted his arrest.
An eyewitness account stated that the cultist, who had gathered with some others, inside the hall ready for the renunciation ceremony, got wind that some policemen attached to the Anti-Vice/Cultism squad, were in the premises with a mission to arrest him.
The cultists reportedly came outside with some of his fellow cultists and protested attempts to arrest him.
The development prompted many of the cultists to vow that they would resist arrest of any of the cultist that came for the renunciation ceremony.
As the cultists dared the policemen, organizers of the ceremony, led by the Director-General of the Bayelsa Volunteer Force, Mr. Douye Koroye, appealed for calm.
Later, Special Adviser to the Governor on Oil and Gas/Bayelsa Volunteer, Hon. Bonny Ayah, announced to the delight of the repentant cultists that the police had been ordered not to arrest any cultists ready for renunciation.
Finally, when tension was doused, about 500 cultists renounced their membership of various cult groups
The process of renunciation was witnessed by the Leader of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Peter Akpe Ayah, Special Adviser on Scholarship, Hon. Jeremiah Owoupele, Chairman of the State Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee, Engr. Igodo-Enieni Samson, Chairman of the Ijaw Youths Council (Central zone), Comrade Tari Porri, and the Special Adviser to the governor on Security, Chief Boma Spero-Jack.
Comrade Koroye who explained that the Bayelsa Volunteer group with the assistance of the State Government, decided that the only proper way was to give youths a second chance at peace and proper lifestyle, added that “Nobody will victimise anybody as we are here to renounce cultism and do the right thing.”
Hon. Peter Akpe, who is the leader of the State House of Assembly, explained that the decision by the State Assembly and Governor Seriake Dickson administration to pass the Bill amending the 2012 anti-cultism law was based on the need to strengthen the police to arrest and prosecute suspected cultists.
Akpe’s words, “Nobody is interested in killing any repentant youths of the State. As you denounce, it end your era of shame and evil. Cultism will not take you anywhere. Cultism is for the weak minded youths. Anything you take by shedding blood will be taken from you by shedding your blood.”