The Bayelsa state government is planning to grant amnesty to members of the various cult groups in the state who are willing to confess their crimes and show repentance by turning in their arms and embrace peace.
The state governor, Seriake Dickson gave this indication in a statement on Sunday in Yenagoa signed by his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Daniel Iworiso-Markson.
According to Mr. Iworiso-Markson, the governor’s offer of amnesty to cultists in the state was to redirect their energies to more productive endeavours towards building a better tomorrow in the state.
“This is part of the state government’s genuine plan to carry every dedicated and law abiding youth along in its new youth empowerment strategy, through training and engagement programmes.’’
Mr. Iworiso-Markson said the state government, under the auspices of the offices of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Civil Society, were proposing the amnesty.
According to him, the proposed amnesty is for prospective renounced cult members in the State.
“This is part of government’s efforts at further extending the olive branch to repentant members of cult groups in the state, who still indulge in criminality, especially in far-flung communities, to be reintegrated into the society,” he said.
The CPS enjoined all cultists, who are “genuinely willing to renounce their membership” of various cult groups to register their names and other relevant information about themselves at the office of the Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the governor on Civil Society.”
Mr. Iworiso-Markson explained that the proposed amnesty was also open to cult members in higher institutions of learning in the state, adding that the registration for repent cultists would begin on March 20 and end on April 5, excluding weekends.
“Government is, therefore, calling on cult members to take advantage of this window of opportunity created to turn a new leaf and do something meaningful with their lives,’’ he said
Mr. Iworiso-Markson explained that to demonstrate Government’s commitment to this project, Dickson had scheduled to meet with all repentant cultists to discuss and arrange on how to engage and empower them.