The Anambra State Anti-Cultist Squad has arrested 22 teenage cult members in a community in the state during their initiation ceremony.
The Commander of Special Anti-Cultist Squad in the state, Mr. Christopher Bassey, who stated this during interview with newsmen, said the teenagers were arrested at Ajalli, Orumba North Local Government Area of the state during their initiation.
He said his men burst into the initiation ground two weeks ago and arrested them but unfortunately the kingpins who were initiating them into the fraternity, Junior Vikings Club (JVC), escaped.
He said these people who came from outside the state, escaped with their locally made pistols but they recovered cutlasses, axes, and regalia among others. Bassey appealed to the public to give the Squad necessary information that will lead to the arrest of these cultists.
He lamented the spate of cultism in the society, especially among the teenagers, saying that his men arrest them on daily basis. The Commander attributed the increase in the activities of cultists to the forthcoming governorship election in the state but assured that they were equal to the task.
Bassey however assured that in handling the suspects, they do not torture them in the process of interrogation, rather he painstakingly personally interview those arrested to find out their level of involvement and charge to court those who have overwhelming evidence against them and counsel under aged ones.
Bassey however said their efforts to rout cultism in various areas and communities in Anambra State have started producing results as communities are now keying into campaign against cultism and all forms of vices.
He said recently, the Ogidi community youths in Idemili North Local Government Area of the state matched around the town against cultism.
Ajalli community, he said, has joined in the campaign against cultism, an exercise, he said, his unit was involved.
Bassey said he expects more communities in the state to join and these were as a result of their commitment to fight cultism and crime in the state to a halt.
Meanwhile, a coalition of civil society groups in Nigeria has commended the Commander for the innovation and civilised way of handling the issue of cultism in the state.
The group led by Chidi Chielo, said they have gone round the state to find out about the activities of the unit and people confirmed that Bassey brought innovation to the unit.