Ondo youths renounce cultism
By Sade Adewale
Growing activities of cultists in recent times has made life so cheap in Ondo City. Security agents appear helpless as cultism is becoming very dominant among our youths unleashing terror from time to time.
This motivated the Osemawe to have embarked upon, the series of consultations with Chiefs, opinion leaders, law enforcement agents, other stakeholders in the kingdom with the collaborative efforts of Ondo Ekimogun Youth Association under the leadership of Comrade Eric Famogun, which recently led to a well attended occasion marking the renunciation of cult membership by over 200 restive youths at the Osemawe’s Palace.
Members of the Osemawe in-Council, Chiefs, Spiritual leaders, Executive members of Ondo Ekimogun Youths Association, were all present at the renunciation exercise.
The Osemawe, Oba Kiladejo had earlier promised residents of Ondo kingdom that cultism would be a thing of the past in his kingdom.
In an interview with The Hope, he said that elders in the kingdom have taken traditional steps to subdue the incessant killings of youths who belonged to cult groups in the town.
He noted that the activities which started about a week ago has yielded positive results as over 200 youths who were cultists from different groups renounced their membership and promised not to be involved in any form of violence again.
The monarch stressed that cultism had claimed lives of some youths and will be eradicated in the kingdom, calling on others who were yet to renounce their memberships to do so. He urged indigenes as well as residents of Ondo kingdom to be more hardworking, honest, shun violence and work towards the growth and development of their city at all time.
The Osemawe promised to continue to empower youths in the city so as to sustain the success achieved so far.
He also seized the opportunity to appeal to the government, non governmental agencies and well meaning Ondo sons and daughters, to create job opportunities in Ondo kingdom that will empower youths who are the leaders of tomorrow.
He therefore thanked all chiefs, youth associations, spiritual leaders and other stakeholders that made the exercise a huge success.
Speaking earlier, the Lisa of Ondo kingdom, High Chief Simeon Olusola Oguntimehin explained that socio-economic development cannot take place in an environment dominated by incessant threats to security, lives and properties of the residents.
He encouraged the youth to avail themselves the opportunity provided by the monarch to renounce their membership of cultism, and engage in productive activities.
They were however warned by Lisa of Ondo kingdom that any individual or group found engaging in cult activities thereafter, will be handed over to the law enforcement agents.
Oguntimehin thanked the Osemawe for putting in place such initiative, particularly at a time when incidences of rival cult clashes and killings were on the increase in the kingdom.
In his speech, the Ondo West Local Government Chairman, Ebenezer Akinsunlere commended those that made themselves available for the programme.
He appealed to the youth to do away with anything that could dent their image and cut their lives short as a result of violence.
Akinsunlere urged them to embrace peace at all times while promising to table the matter before the security personnel during the forthcoming security meeting.
Sharing similar sentiment, the Ekimogun youths president, Mr Eric Famogun said that they have decided to use the yearly youth week to find a lasting solution to incessant cult killings in Ondo.
He stressed that the Aláwörò, Opotu, and many other notable traditionalists led the leaders of all the cult gangs in Ondo to an oath taking before the “AIGHO diety.” They drank “Water” and ate the ‘Kola” swearing if they would kill, plan to kill or involve in any act that can threaten the peace of the city.
Famogun noted that all those who renounced cultism have now formed local ANTI CULTIST SQUAD who will fish out any evil perpetrator henceforth in Ondo.
His word: “We have to clean our house first, if we want to stop the embarrassment we have received from the SARS”, he added.
The president hinted that the resolution was that those who will not cooperate with the peace agenda will have to quit the city.
Also speaking, the Chief Priest congratulated those that attended the event, while challenging them to focus on legitimate business.
He enjoined them to stop working for politicians or being used as political thugs.
The Chief Priest further challenged those who are fetish among them to desist from the act and also to stop making themselves available for illegal activities as he placed curses on whoever reneged.
He urged each group to call their members who were not present at the event to come over before it is too late adding that those that renounced cultism did so in a traditional way and the youth later signed the renouncement form officially which indicated that they will never go back to such again.
One of the cultists group leader, Mr Fadayomi Ayoola, popularly called “mad man” said that the issue of cult clashes in Ondo will soon be resolved and become a thing of the past.
He noted that the person behind the issue is called Seun and must be arrested and detained by the police.
Ayoola later sought the permission to sanction members who failed to show up.
Other cult members in their response thanked the Osemawe for the opportunity given to them to come forward and renounce their membership of the evil groups.
They however solicited for assistance to be empowered on skill vocations that will help them to earn a living and to build their career.