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Akwa Ibom State condemns cultism, bans 65 cult groups

The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, on Monday signed an Executive Order, prohibiting the recognition and operations of 65 cult groups and other secret societies in Akwa Ibom state.
 
Governor Udom, who signed the Executive Order after a State Executive Council meeting at the Government House in Uyo, the state capital, revealed that the decision was a testament of his administration’s efforts against cultism and cult-related activities in the state,
 
He noted that order was within the purview of the powers conferred on him by Section 70 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 38, Vol. 2, Laws of Akwa Ibom State 2000.
 
The governor also revealed that the new law, known as the ‘Cultism and Other Violent Behaviour (Prohibition) Order 2020,’ takes effect from Monday the 16th day of March 2020.
 
Some of the groups outlawed by the new law are Vikings, Black Axe, KKK, Buccaneers, Mafias, Debam, Dewell, Icelanders, Red Skins, Pirates, AMORC, Akwa Marines and Utoto Groups (419).
 
Others include J.V.C (Junior Vikings), Luttox (Junior Black Axe), Red Skins, Secret Sons of Satan, King Cobra, Predators, Black Ladies, Black Cross, Scavengers, Skylolo, Blood Brotherhood, Junior Buccaneers, White Angels and Muskets.
 
According to Governor Udom, “any cult, society or group by whatsoever name whose activities are found to be consistent with the activities of a cult shall be Considered and treated as such under this Order.”
 
“Defaulters shall be prosecuted in accordance with the Cultism, Offensive Weapons and Violent Behavior (Prohibition) Law 2004, or any other enabling law in that regard,” the governor declared.
 
The development comes on the heels of recent incidents of cult activities and restiveness by youths across the state, especially those in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
 
A 300-level student of Communication Arts, Fatherwills Ukpangere, was shot and hacked to death by suspected cultists in 2019, at the Annex Campus of the University of Uyo.
 
In a cult-related incident on February 16, 2020, students of Government Technical College, Ewet, Uyo, went on rampage, attacking residents and destroying properties, leading to the eventual closure of the school by the Akwa Ibom State Government.
 
The school was only recently reopened by the State Government, following compassionate appeals from parents and other stakeholders.

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