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Kwara state grapples with surge in cult-related violence, clashes

The student asked the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Victor Olaiya, for advice on dealing with forced cult membership, a question that underscored the pervasive fear and pressure among youths.

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Kwara state grapples with surge in cult-related violence, clashes

An alarming increase in cult-related violence and clashes between rival cult groups in Kwara State has heightened concerns among residents and security agencies.

The escalating situation has prompted a series of urgent measures and stakeholder dialogues aimed at addressing the crisis.

During a recent stakeholders’ dialogue titled “Stemming the Tide of Social Vices Among Students: A Panacea for Positive Growth,” organized by the Kwara State Government, a shocking inquiry from a secondary school student highlighted the severity of the problem.

The student asked the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Victor Olaiya, for advice on dealing with forced cult membership, a question that underscored the pervasive fear and pressure among youths.

Commissioner Olaiya urged those facing coercion into cultism to seek help immediately, warning against handling such situations alone.

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He cited a recent tragic incident where a student was killed under similar circumstances.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, represented by Commissioner for Tertiary Education Dr. Mary Arinde, implored students to avoid cultism and other social vices, stressing that such activities jeopardize their futures and lead to regret, stigma, and premature death.

The dialogue follows a series of disturbing events, including the arrest of a suspected cult member with weapons intended for his gang, and the detention of a Federal Polytechnic student found with recruitment forms for a cult group. In another incident, a violent clash in the Eiyenkorin area resulted in one death and the burning of two buildings.

Despite the police’s efforts, including the arrest of 46 suspects in recent clashes, the threat of violence looms with the approaching 7/7 cultists’ anniversary. Previous anniversaries have been marked by severe violence and criminal activities, leading to heightened security measures.

Kwara State Police Command’s spokeswoman, Toun Ejire-Adeyemi, confirmed that intensive operations and patrols are in place to mitigate the menace.

The police, in collaboration with the judiciary, are working to ensure that arrested suspects are not prematurely released, which has previously exacerbated the violence.

Residents and authorities remain vigilant as they brace for the potential resurgence of cult-related violence, hoping that continuous efforts will stem the tide of this social vice and restore peace to the community.

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