Nigerian youths have been warned to desist from cultism and other crimes that could take them to prison or destroy their future.
A prison advocate, Pastor, Darlington Ajilemisan and other panellists gave the warning at a one-day seminal with a theme: The Nigerian Youths and Cultism Todayheld at Lagos State Police Command Officers Mess. Ikeja
The youths who where drawn from primary schools and higher Institutions were advised to stay clear of friends that could lure them into cultism and other crimes.
According to Pastor Ajilemisan’, crime doesn’t pay, I have been into crime since I was three year- old selling drugs on the streets of Lagos until I graduated to become adult.
He said I cannot talk about prison without talking about what took me to prison. I have been going to be prison at the age of three. I was trained an assassin, a professional killer, I was a small boy in prison; I was doing all these things because of how I grew up seeing my parents fighting.
“There is all kind of things going on in the prison, there is homosexuality, if you think you go to prison and come out to be a better person, you are lying, the prison will change your thinking, No matter what your religion is, I have served in four different prison in the world. I have also been to Kirikiri prison.
“I have also been to all different police stations. Whoever that enters prison, will come out as a hardened criminal, and other crimes you don’t think you will find yourself in.”
Pastor Darlington further said, many crimes such as armed robbery; assassin and other violent crimes are organized in the prison. Nothing that water in prison is poisonous one. I imagine people comparing Nigeria prison with the United State of America, Nigeria prison is over populated.
“My fear is that prison in Nigeria have is a master destroyer. Prison is supposed to be for reformation, and correctional centre, but when you have warder officials who are not educated, they feed on the inmates. Nigerian Prison needs proper funding to make it the real correctional centre.”
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sango, ACP Monday Agbonikan said, cultists lure their target with different tricks.
He said cultists have also have many away of identifying themselves sometimes through their dresses, hair styles and sign language only those who are their members that can understand them, not all persons that have same hair style is a cultist.
One of the challenges why cultism strive in campuses is because policemen are not allowed to enter university for operation except they are called, we commend the organisers of the seminal Mrs. Juliana Francis, because that is the only way to catch them young and check it.
“We must talk about parents. Parents should do their best, society values working contrary to normal norms. In Lagos Island, it is difficult to separate cultism and area boys.
“There is connection between crime and people living where crime are being perpetrated, pear pressure is attracting people to join cultism, revenge over issues can cause Youths to join, emotional instability, family problem can cause one to join cultism and Political thuggery. ”
ACP Agbonikan also said, cultism could affect once academic, school dropout, robbery, rape, prostitution and other vices. He urged parents to play important role in the life of their children to prevent them from joining bad gang
The Lagos State Police Spokesperson, a Deputy Superintendent of Police Bala Elkana said cultism is a serious problem to the society. He said many young ones are involved, that makes it very serious.
Elkana said parents should live an exemplary life for their kids to emulate. What ever the kids wish to become in life can only be by themselves. The most painful thing to me as PPRO is to parade young persons who supposed to be leaders of tomorrow as cultists or criminal.
“It is not about taking cultists to court but addressing the root causes of cultism attracting young people into it.”
The convener of the programme, Mrs Juliana Francis, said the number of young people in cultism gave birth to the idea of the programme.
The idea behind the program is for the young ones that had been taught about the danger of cultism to forward same message to their friends and relatives. They have no reason to join any crime, even when there is no food at home and they don’t have parents.
“No reason is acceptable for any young persons to join cultism. They should know that their choices have consequences. Any negative action they are involved will affect their family members and their future. They should know that life is no competition in life, Parents must keep on talking about it to their children.”