The Osun Police Command, on Thursday, launched the Police Campaign against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV) targeted at
dissuading the youth from joining cult groups or engaging in vices.
Mr Olawale Olokode, the state Commissioner of Police, at the launch, said that the campaign aimed at saving the youth from the claws of cultism and other vices through advocacy, awareness creation, sensitisation and re-orientation.
“As the Osun Commissioner of Police, I resolved to run a state command that is not only proactive in internal security management, but also people-oriented.
“This is informed by my conviction of the need to evolve initiatives that will address the root causes of crimes in the state, in line with the IGP’s better option of proactive policing and concentrating on root causes of crimes.
“The campaign is informed by the realisation that there is a correlation between cultism and other violent crimes involving our youth population.
“Again, deep-rooted and socially-driven crimes like cultism, are best addressed through a strategy that is focused on community policing, which encourages building partnership towards addressing delinquencies that threaten our communal values.
“The POCACOV represents a new approach by the Nigerian Police in combating cultism and other vices.
“It is also a way of recognising the fact that core law enforcement approach is no longer enough in combating these sets of crimes, hence, the need to work with different stakeholders as well as mobilise support in getting to the root of the crimes,” he said.
Olokode called on stakeholders to join the police through the POCACOV, to carry out enlightenment campaigns to dissuade youths from engaging in cultism, drug abuse and other vices.
Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, the Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, while delivering a lecture entitled, “Cultism: A Growing Menace and Threat to Education”, stated that cultism constituted a serious threat to social life and the community.
Ogunbodede stated that cultism, as it pertained to Nigerian campuses, had nothing positive to it, adding that the peace and development on Nigerian campuses had been seriously compromised with precious time, lives and resources lost to the menace.
The vice chancellor, who stated that “cultism is not a new social phenomenon”, explained that historically, certain cults had played key roles in societal development and good governance.
He, however, noted that the nature, goals and modus operandi of cultism have changed over time, saying, “cultism now constitutes serious threat to social life and the community”. (NAN)