At least 3,000 youths voluntarily submitted their arms to a renowned cleric in the area identified as Reverend Father Abel Abulu leaving the entire community of Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State,in total shock on Saturday.
The youths denounced cultism and also surrendered different kinds of guns after the cleric’s message and efforts by Gokana Peace Ambassadors towards restoring peace to the area, Punch Metro report.
It was gathered that the cultists had on two occasions refused to submit their arms to the committee in charge of the amnesty programme, feigning that they did not have guns.
The cultist’s acceptance to the plea to repent was reportedly achieved through the intervention of Gokana Peace Ambassadors and the clergymen in the area, who went into the creeks to preach peace to the cultists.
While speaking to correspondents, one of the repentant cultists identifies as Denbesi Isaac, said they decided to lay down their arms because they were tired of hiding, and called on the state government to join efforts with the Christian community and the Gokana Peace Ambassadors to ensure adequate empowerment for the repentant cultists.
Isaac disclosed that if the boys were integrated into the state amnesty programme, it would stop them from going back to their former lives, and assured that he and his group would never return to their former lives of cultism for the sake of peace and development.
“We thank God that we are alive today. It was the preaching that the Rev. Father gave to us on the several visits he made to us that made us to change our mind. To me it is the handiwork of God.
“We are calling on the state government to include us in their amnesty programme. They should train and empower us so that we would not think of going back to our past lives,” Isaac said.