The Akwa Ibom state government has outlawed 32 cult groups in the state.
The government also outlawed (made illegal and unaceptable) any group known to have been engaged in advanced fee fraud “419”.
The State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, who signed the proscription order on Monday in Uyo, said it was in accordance with Section 70 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 38, Vol. 2, Laws of Akwa Ibom State, 2000.
Vikings, Black Axe, KKK, and Buccaneers are among the outlawed cult groups in the state.
The outlawed groups also include Mafia, Luttox (Junior Black Axe), Debam, Dewell, Icelanders, Red Skins, Pirates, Amoc, and Akwa Marines.
Others are The Luttox, The Red Skins, St. Stephens, Dewell, Sept 11 Group, Secret Sons of Satan, King Cobra, J.V (Junior Vikings), Bats, Predators, Black Ladies, Black Cross, Scavengers, Skylolo, Sons of Nights, Blood Brotherhood, Junior Buccaneers, White Angels, and Musket.
Governor Emmanuel said defaulters of the order “shall be prosecuted in accordance with the cultism, offensive Weapons and Violent Behaviour (Prohibition) 2004, or any other enabling law in that regard”.
Akwa Ibom State, in recent times, has witnessed an increase in cult-related violence and killings, especially in Essien Udim, Etim Ekpo, Ukanafun, Ikot Ekpene, and Eket local government areas.
Udeme Nana, a former media aide to the former governor of the state, Victor Attah, has commended Mr. Emmanuel for the proscription order which he described as “very bold and courageous step”.
“In fact, it is a revolutionary and transformative step. It is a step in the right direction capable of redeeming our present society and with potentials of reclaiming the society for future generations,” Mr. Nana told PREMIUM TIMES.
Continuing, he said, “In the past decade, cultists were made to become role models and political leaders at all levels in our dear State. Cultism became a badge of honour. Cultism became a religion!
“Some years ago, the leadership of our Church, Methodist Church Nigeria resolved to discourage its members from belonging to secret cults and admonished those already in cults and occultic groups to denounce their membership of such groups. Members were encouraged to denounce such groups publicly. Those who refused to discontinue in such groups were stripped of positions in the Church,” he said.
Mr. Nana, who is the Convener, Uyo Book Club, advised the governor to take a step further by ensuring that government officials “come clean on this matter”.
“Let every Exco member, permanent secretaries, members of the State House of Assembly, local government council chairmen, board chairmen and members who may have been associated with any of the banned groups renounce their affiliations to such groups publicly.
“That would send a very strong signal down to those on the streets that this revolutionary executive order is a very serious decision,” he said.