ACCORDING to Encarta English DIctionary, a Cult is referred to as a sociology elite group, a self identified group of people who share a narrowly defined interest or perspective while cultism can be defined as the practice of activities that are associated with Secret Cults. In the same vein, secret cults are organization whose membership and modes of operation are considered unconventional and known to its members only and which usually involve voodoo, rituals, violence and also high volumes of criminality.
Cultism, associated violence and other vices has become a major challenge and concern confronting our society today because of its associated vices and violence. The activities of the group no doubt, has brought about death of countless individuals in our society as well as damage and loss of properties, maiming of individuals, lack of peace of mind in our environment, disruption of businesses, academic and social activities and lack of community development, sexual and gender-based violence, negative health challenges and negative pschological impact to the families and society at large amongst others.
Worrisome on this negative trend is the involvement of Artisans such as drivers, vulcanizers, mechanics, Okada and tricycle riders, barrow pushers, traders, conductors amongst others. There is also female involvement in this cankerworm as well as tertiary, secondary and primary school involvements, thereby making the society sit on the keg of gun powder.
Indeed, cultism is an ill wind that blows nobody any good because of its associated violence, various kinds of crime and which has made it the mother of crimes or an envelope containing many crimes.
The Inspector General Of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, Npm, Mni on 29th August, 2019 in Enugu, flagged off the Campaign Against Cultism and other Vices(POCACOV) with assurance to effectively integrate the citizens of this great country into the police Internal Security Framework and build a robust partnership to sensitize the public on the dangers of cultism and other violent crimes. He further maintained that the Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices(POCACOV) came into existence in line with the Federal Government’s Community Policing Agenda.
According to him, the programme is community driven in line with community-oriented policing tenets and will spotlight the dangers of cultism, substance abuse and associated violence as well as other vices and their relationship with crime and galvanize stakeholders support to help reduce incidence of cultism and other vices across the country as the programme will be strategically deployed through the support of state governments and relevant stakeholders in all the states of the federation.
Interestingly, the programme and its activity is designed to stand the taste of time, following the collaboration between the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) with the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) which has given birth to the existence of NYSC POCACOV Community Development Service(CDS) to continually drive the message of ‘Say No To Cultism And Other Vices, And Be A Champion.’
There is also a programme on the use of notable actors, actresses, artistes under POCACOV Ambassadors to influence our youths in this campaign amongst other things. In the light of this and to make our communities safe, peaceful and secured, POCACOV requests the involvements of all and sundry, including government and government agencies, states, local governments, various religious groups, academia, the media, civil society groups, traditional institutions, trade union bodies, parents, guardians/caregivers, relevant security agencies, corporate organizations and other relevant stakeholders to support and join hands with the Nigeria Police Force in the ongoing Police Campaign Against Cultism And Other Vices(POCACOV) in order to save our youths from the claws of cultism, associated violence, substance abuse and other vices, thereby making our communities safe, peaceful and secured as PREVENTION THEY SAY, IS BETTER THAN CURE.
S.P Ebere Amaraizu is the spokesperson, Enugu State Police Command and national coordinator, Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV)