The Commissioner of Police in Akwa-Ibom, Mr Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, says the Police Command has arrested 312 youths over alleged cult-related activities in the state.
Ogunsemilusi disclosed this in Uyo on Tuesday while delivering his address at the Students’ -Security and Leadership Summit with the theme: “Cultism as an Impediment to Students’ Future Development”.
The summit was organised by the state Chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in partnership with the command.
It is aimed at stemming the upsurge in cult activities on various campuses of tertiary institutions in the state.
The commissioner said that 244 of the suspects were currently undergoing prosecution, while 68 were serving prison terms for their involvement in cult activities in the state.
He also said that cult activities had resulted in the spread of HIV/AIDS and rising cases of rape, armed robbery, kidnapping, arson and other violent crimes.
“It is very worrisome that nowadays technocrats, intellectuals, political leaders and persons regarded as revered members of the society belong to cult groups.
“They fraternise with roadside artisans, drivers and even mechanics who are also members,” he said.
Ogunsemilusi urged the management of tertiary institutions to regulate the number of students they were admitting as part of measures to curtail cult activities.
He also suggested that tertiary institutions in the country should publish tuition fees in their websites to prevent students from duping their parents to fund membership of secret cult groups.
A former Dean of Student Affairs, University of Uyo, Prof. Des Wilson, said at the summit that cultism had truncated the future of youths in the country.