In response to the recent kidnapping and abduction cases linked to cult activities, the Enugu State Government has declared a war on cultism within the state.
The move comes as the Enugu State Police Command reported the arrest of over 53 suspects believed to be associated with secret cults involved in abduction and robbery incidents, according to a statement on Tuesday.
During a press briefing held in Enugu on Tuesday, Kanayo Uzuegbu, commissioner of Police for the Enugu State Police Command, reassured residents that the state remained safe for businesses, investments, and upcoming Christmas festivities.
He addressed concerns raised by alleged kidnapping incidents on social media, categorising many of them as fake news deliberately propagated by mischief-makers.
He accused these individuals of exaggerating and sensationalising nighttime abduction and carjacking cases, often misrepresenting them as recent occurrences to create fear and tension among residents.
Uzuegbu pointed out that the motive behind these false reports was to undermine the efforts of the government, police, and other security agencies in tackling both existing and emerging crimes in the state.
He clarified that some of the security incidents reported as kidnappings were cases of abduction committed by secret cultists. To combat this issue, the anti-cultism squad of the police had been activated and was on high alert to take stringent measures against these cultists and drive them out of the state, he said.
Acknowledging the support of Governor Peter Mbah’s administration, the commissioner praised his commitment to establishing a peaceful, secure, and economically prosperous Enugu State.
“It is on that note that I crave your indulgence to use this opportunity to once again thank the Governor for all the support his administration has been giving to the Police, and his commitment to enthrone a peaceful, safe, secured and economically prosperous Enugu State,” the commissioner said.
In a warning to cultists, the police chief urged them to repent or face the consequences. He also encouraged citizens to continue reporting criminal activities to their nearest police station.
As the Christmas and New Year festivities approach, Uzuegbu assured the people of the state, especially those returning to celebrate the season with their loved ones, of the utmost security.
Meanwhile, the police have confiscated various dangerous items from the arrested suspects, including 28 firearms, 30 live ammunition rounds, 66 live cartridges, 25 motor vehicles, 16 motorcycles, mobile phones, cash in naira, and military uniforms, among other weapons, according to the statement.