The police boss believes youths sometimes get involved in cultism to have an edge over girls in their communities.
Lagos state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, has explained why six out of 10 youths are allegedly involved in cult activities, while also blaming parents for taking little interest in the lives of their children.
While speaking at a town hall meeting with some residents of Surulere area of Lagos on Friday, June 1, 2018, Edgal said an investigation by one of his officers revealed that a lot of young Nigerians in the state are involved in cultist activities.
With the theme “Partnership with Community for Crime Prevention”, the police chief lamented about the rise of cultism in the state and disclosed some reasons why youths are drawn into it.
According to him, investigations have revealed that youths join cults to gain supremacy over others, avoid intimidation by others, as well as to have an edge over girls in their communities.
He said, “I asked one of my officers to do in-dept research or investigation on the reasons for increase in cultism among the young ones and it was revealed that six out of 10 children are into cultism.
“This is not good for the growth of our country. What are their reasons? Investigation revealed that they join for supremacy over others. They join to avoid intimidation by their peers. They join so that they have an edge over girls in their communities.”
Parents at fault for rise of cultism – Edgal
Edgal further blamed the rise of cultism in the state on parents who don't monitor the activities of their children.
He told parents to be more aware of what their children are getting mixed up in, warning that they're being lost to drugs, crime and cultism.
He said, “Who is to blame? Parents are to blame. It is a shame that we, the parents, have failed woefully. Majority of us are even afraid to talk to our children. We fear to tell them the truth. Some of you keep quiet when you see your children going wrong so that people will not hear you talking to them. Some of you are outrightly afraid of your children and it is shame on you. Some of us don't sleep at home to monitor what our children are doing.
“How many times have you paid a surprise visit to your children's schools and how many times have you checked what is in your children's rooms and their bags to know what they bring into your house?
“We arrested some children between 1am and 2am during initiation into cult groups. These children were between the ages of 15 and 20. Tell me how a child of 15 will leave the parent's house at unholy hours without their parent's knowledge.
“Shame on you, if you are such a father. Go back home and take charge of your children as we are losing them to drugs, crime and cultism.
“I want to appeal to parents to understand that our children are the future hope of our country; if we allow them to miss it, we will have no hope and no future leaders to take over from us. What legacy are we leaving behind for our children?”
He further warned that parents should keep a close watch on their children to ensure that they're not used by politicians to commit electoral crimes in the upcoming 2019 general elections.
He said, “The general election is fast approaching, tell your children not to be used to foment trouble by unscrupulous politicians whose children are not even in the country. Don't let your children be used to cause breach of peace in the country, as anyone caught will be prosecuted. Those who are eligible to vote should go to the polling stations with their PVCs and return home after casting their votes.”
With traditional rulers, transport union leaders, and vigilance group officials present at the event, Edgal called for the declaration of a state of emergency to combat the scourge of cultism in Lagos state.
Since he was installed as Lagos commissioner of police in August 2017, Edgal has been a crusader against cultism in the state, notably issuing a directive to officers to shoot any cultist who is seen with a firearm.