End of the road for cultists in Lagos?
By Mobolaji Adebayo
CULTISM is one of the social ills that has bedevilled our society for quite some time. It has become so bad that primary school pupils are reportedly getting initiated into the evil practice. Cultism has brought nothing but pains and anguish to affected individuals.
Across the country, it is not unusual to hear news of deadly cult wars that left in their trails wanton destruction of properties and sometimes lives. Such attacks do not portray our society in a positive light. Since development only thrives in a peaceful and conducive environment, the dastardly activities of these cult warriors not only impede development, they also depict our society in bad light.
The predominance of cultism in higher institutions across the country has become alarming and it has caused a lot of damages ranging from destruction of academic calendars, loss of lives and properties, unsafe and uninhabitable environment within and sometimes outside the school’s vicinity.
Severally, government has tried to clamp down on their activities by publicly creating awareness of the ills created by the groups in the society and even as far as publicising the punishment meted to victims when apprehended. Sadly, cultism has gone beyond the four walls of tertiary institutions as it has crept into other sectors of the society.
Being the nation’s commercial and economic nerve centre, Lagos has had its own fair share of cult battles. In places such as Ikorodu, Shomolu, Bariga, Mushin and Ojota, among others, activities of cultists have become a source of worries to the citizens.
In a bid to frontally tackle the evil of cultism in the state, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu recently signed the bill for the Prohibition of Unlawful Societies and Cultism of 2021 into law, approving a 21-year jail term for convicted cultists in the State.
The anti-cultism law repeals the Cultism (Prohibition) Law of 2007 (now Cap. C18, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015) and provides for more stringent punitive measures, as well as makes its application all-encompassing and applicable to the general public, as against the restriction of the previous law to students of tertiary institutions.
Sanwo-Olu said the state had suffered the negative effects of unlawful societies and cultism, stressing that the new law sought to make parents more responsible and show more interest in the upbringing of their children and wards to ensure that they do not become a burden to the society. He said the new law sought to make parents show more interests in the upbringing of their children
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.