A’Ibom offers repentant cultists amnesty

By Bassey Anthony, Uyo

Akwa Ibom has offered amnesty for repentant cultists terrorising Inen community in OrukAnam local government area.

Chief Judge of the state, Justice Godwin Abraham, disclosed this at weekend during a visit to displaced victims of the over six-month rival cult clashes taking refuge at Ikot Ibritam, headquarters of the council.

Abraham, an indigene of the area, appealed to the warring cult groups to lay down their arms and embrace peace as government was ready to talk with them.

He said he was touched by daily reports of violence, maiming, killings and wanton destruction of property leading to the natives fleeing and seeking refuge outside their community.

” I want to send a message to the young men calling themselves cultists that they are not doing themselves any good not even to the community.

“Some have died as a result of this unfortunate incident while others have fled from their homes to take refuge here”

“The children have not gone to school, many economic activities are not going on . I want to appeal to them to drop their arms and embrace peace, ” he stated.

The CJ assured the displaced persons that their plight would be communicated to government for necessary action .

“The governor that we have is a peace- loving governor. The moment they accept peace , this government would care for them and rehabilitate them”

” I know we have unemployment now but the solution to unemployment is not to take up arms and kill.

“There are legitimate ways of going about things. I am also trusting God that all the young men involved in cultism terrorizing their community will accept peace and allow government to take care of them,” Abraham added.

He donated food items worth thousands to the displaced persons in the camp.

Food items donated include bags of garri, rice, beans , cartons of Indomie noodles and vegetables oil among others.

A retired police Inspector, Okon Josiah Udoh, told the Chief Judge how he was attacked and shot severally while attempting to broker peace among the two rival cult groups in the community.

” When I retired from service, I came back to my community in September and discovered that terrorism was high in the village.

“I identified the cultists and had meetings with them to end hostilities in the village.

“Surprisingly, a former councillor now in police custody called me asking to steer clear .

“The following morning I was attacked in my compound . I was rushed to hospital where three bullets were extracted from my body,” he recalled.

The Paramount Ruler of Oruk Anam local government area Akuku Obosi said activities of cultist have created fear and insecurity in the community.

He reiterated Governor Emmanuel’s capacity to bring lasting peace so that residents of the community can return home .