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Security: Cultism shows up for attention

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ANAMBRA State is currently reputed as the safest state in Nigeria. Before the present administration of Governor Willie Obiano), the state has been unsafe for its citizens and visitors. Before 2014 it was known as one of the worst states of the nation in the area of security.

Before then, the state’s crime record was such that armed robbery, kidnaping, child trafficking were on the high rate. These unholy acts scared the indigenes away from coming home to the extent that some people decided to perform traditional weddings and some other traditional functions outside Anambra. Coming home for Christmas   was out of the question

Most people that dared to visit home come with security agents like police. The worst aspect is that some prominent people in Anambra lost their lives in the course of that. Some of them died while trapped in the captivity of the kidnappers. Then the present administration came to power and gave a big fight to criminals. In his maiden broadcast, Governor Willie Obiano said, “in the area of security Anambra will be different under my watch. Not only shall we redraft the operational manual of the entire security apparatchik of Anambra State to ensure a lightning quick response, we shall also re-orient our people to see that every citizen has a role to play in the security of our communities. The concept of community policing or what is better known as the vigilance groups, has worked well in Anambra State. The next challenge however, is to re-train, re-equip and refocus them to meet the dynamics of our time. Along the same line, we will strengthen the police and other law enforcement agencies in the state to enhance their efficiency and response rate to distress calls.”

So just as he promised, he succeeded in making Anambra the safest state in Nigeria. He stressed “Anambra is highly regarded as the safest state in Nigeria today. Anyone who is familiar with the Anambra narrative would remember that for decades, our beloved state was held down by lawlessness and insecurity which made all efforts of meaningful development impossible. At a point Anambra could almost pass for a postcard for disorder and insecurity. But our story has changed. We have made rapid progress from being an address for lawlessness to an oasis of peace and a destination for wise investors.”

But with the exit of these lawless criminals, another source of violence has emerged in the state. This is cult clashes among youths in the communities. The cultists have moved from schools to communities, example masquerades, markets etc. In most community festivals in Anambra today masquerades clash which sometimes involve deaths. This is now another problem to the state. Cultism is a major vice which is common in tertiary institutions but has penetrated deeply into communities. This social vice is really eating up the moral and educational standard of the state. Innocent youths are being lured into the act.

The most common causes of cultism are quest for power or social identity, poor parental training, peer pressure/peer group influence, revenge, emotional instability, wealth, loneliness, drug abuse, poverty and search for protection.

Anambra State has greatly suffered the effects of cultism. These effects include death. The death of young people these days is so alarming due to cultism practices (thugs, touts, deviants individuals). They even go as far as killing themselves over a mere issues like girlfriends, food and drinks.

Other effects are high increase in student dropout, thuggery, theft and robberies.

Cultism if not tackled will continue to cause problems in the state with more effects on individuals, families, schools, religious setting and the whole citizens.

In order to solve the problems associated with cultism, public campaign against cultism must be applied. Government, schools, religious gatherings, parents and non-governmental organization should organize workshops, lecture, talks, seminars on the dangers associated with cultism.

Another important tool is disciple. If parents should enforce discipline in their children it will help.

Another way to curb these social vices in the state is if the government can put it into law the punishment for anybody caught with anything that has to do with cultism. This will help to reduce the vices.

The security agents should tackle this too. The best way to do it is to investigate communal gatherings. They must monitor and discover unholy gatherings. This I think will help to eradicate cultism in the state.

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