Leaders of Ogoni land give cultists 14-day ultimatum to renounce group

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Leaders of various communities in Ogoni, Rivers State have expressed concern over the activities of cultists wreaking havoc in the oil-rich Ogoni land, especially in Khana Local Government Area.

In the last one month, close to 60 persons especially members of rival cult groups were said to have lost their lives in the area.

However, the quest by the Ogoni leaders for a lasting solution to this menace has brought about an issuance of a 14-day ultimatum to cultists operating in the area to repent and submit themselves to traditional oath-taking in their respective communities.

In a communiqué issued yesterday at the end of a meeting at the palace of the Supreme ruler of Ogoni Traditional Council, Chief Godwin Giniwa at Sakpenwa, the community leaders threatened that failure to take the oath would lead to such persons being ostracized.

The communiqué was signed by His Majesty, King G.N.K. Gininwa, Senator (Dr) Bennett Birabi, Chief Kenneth Kobani, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, Ledum Mitee and HRH, Godwin Bebe Okpabi, among others.

The communiqué reads: “Having reviewed the current deteriorating security situation in Ogoniland, we express profound sadness over and wholeheartedly condemn the spate of killings, cases of cult wars and other criminal activities in parts of Ogoni, especially in Khana LGA, that have created a deep sense of insecurity.

“We hereby warn all those involved in such activities to put an end to such activities forthwith and surrender their arms and all instruments of violence and subject themselves to traditional oaths in their respective communities within 14 days.

“At the expiration of the 14 days, any person who fails to abide by the decision should be declared an enemy of the people and treated as such.

“Leaders of the communities that harbour these criminals or host their camp or fail to administer the traditional oaths on their subjects or fail to expose the identities of perpetrators of these crimes, would not only be deposed, but treated as accomplices.

“We also resolve to send a high powered delegation of the Ogoni leadership to urgently meet with the government to seek their necessary support to drive the peace process, and in particular, with a view to setting up a Special Task Force to track down and appropriately deal with any person that further engages in such nefarious activities.

“We further resolved to convene a meeting with all youth leaders and youth groups to get their buy in and perspectives and thereafter hold another congress, in no distant future, to reappraise the situation as well as address other issues affecting our people.”

Telephone numbers were also made available across the four local government areas for people to send reliable information on any threat to security in their areas.

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