Traditional Rulers of Ekpeye Ethnic Nation have pleaded on cult groups, as well as leaders and politicians involved in criminal activities to desist and hand over their weapons for peace.
They said at the expiration of the handover period put at midnight of Friday, June 28, any person who fails to abide by the decision would be declared an enemy of the people and treated as such.
The Ekpeye traditional leaders from Ahoada East and Ahoada West Local Government Areas led by HRM Eze Felix Enene Otuwarikpo, Eze Igbu Upata III made their position known when they visited Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
Eze Otuwarikpo who said they were in Government House to give report of their peace efforts however, handed some weapons submitted by ex-cultists to the governor.
The leaders expressed sadness at the level of insecurity in the area, just as they condemned the spate of killings, rape, kidnapping and armed robbery.
“Having reviewed the current deteriorating security situation in Ekpeyeland, we express profound sadness over and wholeheartedly condemn the spate of killings, cases of cult wars and other criminal activities across Ekpeye, that have created a deep sense of insecurity,”
“Today, we are here to inform you of the level of progress made to bring about peace and in the search for peace, 113 cultists have denounced cultism and traditional oath has been administered on them.”
While he informed that more are willing to repent, Otuwarikpo however pleaded on the state government to assist in efforts to reintegrate them.
The elated Governor Wike promised to support the peace process, while he advised all those who are yet to renounce cultism to do so forthwith and surrender their arms and all instruments of violence and subject themselves to traditional oaths as demanded.
He decried those who return to the same violent path after renouncing their membership of cult group, stating that henceforth, a legal process will be deployed to “bind them over” for prosecution should they renege.
The governor also urged the leaders to do more in persuading the cultists to turn in all their weapons for a permanent peace, pledging to pardon all those who genuinely repented.
Speaking also, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edison Ogerenye Ehie, thanked the traditional rulers for their commitment to ensuring peace.
He also thanked the ex-cultists for their decision to embrace peace but warned them to abide by the tenets of traditional oath.
Comrade Oyagiri Monday
Special Assistant on Media to the Eze
25 /06 /2019