500 youths renounce cultism in Bayelsa, join volunteer service

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Over 500 youths yesterday gathered in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital and denounced their membership of various secret cult groups.

The youths, who hailed from different local government areas in the state, said they were moved to take the action following various opportunities created by the State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, for youth empowerment.

Lamenting the evil of cultism, the youths said they were deceived to join secret associations by some of their leaders, but thanked the governor for bringing them out of darkness.

They also vowed to assist security agencies and the State Government to fight crimes in the state.

The youths took their stand against cultism at a brief ceremony organised by the Chairman of the Bayelsa State Volunteers (BSV), Prince Douye Koroye, at the BSV’s office in Yenagoa.

They were received by Koroye, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Boma Sparo-Jack; Majority Leader, State House of Assembly, Dr. Peter Akpe; the Central Zone Chairman, Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Tare Porri and other Dickson’s aides such as Jeremaiah Owoupele and Bonny Aya.

Koroye declared that the youths, who took anti-cultism oaths administered by Sparo-Jack and signed denunciation forms, would be enlisted into the special squad of the state volunteer service.

He said Dickson desired the youths to steer clear of crimes to enable them achieve their potential and contribute positively to the development of the state.

He said the amended anti-cultism law passed recently by the House of Assembly was a demonstration of Dickson’s commitment to end cultism as it strengthened punishments for convicted cultists.

He said persons, who voluntarily renounce cultism with a sincerity of purpose, would not be penalised, adding that the state required peace for development.

Akpe in his keynote address urged the youths to rise above cultism to take advance of various opportunities in the oil and gas sector.

He said Dickson was doing everything possible to destroy “the cancer called cultism”, adding that cultism is demonic since its activities take place mostly at night.

Addressing the youths, he said: “Cultism will take you nowhere and that is why your decision to renounce it is in the right direction. It is a killer of destiny. It is a destroyer of lives. Nobody in his true senses will decide to stab and shoot people. It tells you that there is an evil force behind you.”

Also advising the youths, Sparo-Jack went down memory lane on how he worked hard to rise from grass to grace through manual labour, trading and schooling.

He told the youths that by dint of hard work, he rose to become the first Bayelsa State Director, Department of State Service (DSS).

He appealed to the youths to develop their talents by taking advantages of various opportunities created by Dickson in education and other sectors.

Porri in his part commended the youths for their bold steps and warned them against going back to cult-related activities after their denunciation.

Culled from here

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