The Commissioner of Police in Anambra, Mr Chris Owolabi, says about 90 per cent of cult-related deaths in the state are not documented.
Owolabi made the disclosure during a Peace/Security Summit, organised by National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), in collaboration with the state Police Command at Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka , on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit had, as its theme: ‘Importance of Safe Society and the Roles of Nigerian Students and Youths in the Security of our Campuses’.
Owolabi attributed the non-documentation of most of the cult-related deaths to the fact that most parents and guardians of the deceased would not want such cases investigated.
“Cultism can be identified as mother of all the crimes being committed by the youth and it is unfortunate that many lives are being lost.
“We are advising our youths in the country, particularly students, to eschew all forms of vices capable of jeopardising their future.
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“Parents should also take issues of cultism seriously by inculcating good moral values in their children as well as monitoring their movements, because most cultists are groomed in higher institutions.
“We urge students in various higher institutions to be brave enough to release timely information to security forces in their various institutions,” he said.
The police commissioner, who was represented by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of Operations in the state, Mr Emmanuel Ogbuanya, also decried what he called growing consumption of illegal drugs.
According to him, consumption of illegal drugs has landed most youths in trouble and in their early grave.
Also speaking, Vice-Chancellor of NAU, Prof Charles Esimone, expressed the regret that lots of lives and future of students had been truncated, owing to the nation’s growing security challenges.
Esimone, who was represented by Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. Nonso Achebe, advised students to be security conscious and take security of their lives and environment seriously.
In his remarks, Convener of the summit and Senate President, NANS, Mr Chuks Okafor, said that the current security situation in the country had prompted the summit.
Okafor attributed the high rate of crimes among youths to rise in consumption of hard drugs, urging youths to shun the act.
Okafor also urged national leaders and stakeholders to organise national summit where the nation’s problems would be discussed and addressed.