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THE GROWING TREND OF CULTISM AND GANG VIOLENCE WITHIN JOS METROPOLIS AND ENVIRONS(PRESS RELEASE August 20th, 2019.)





Lately, reported cases of cult activities and gang violence appears to be on the rise within the Jos metropolis and environs. In some neighborhoods for some example, people are now forced to retire into their homes as early as 7pm for fear of attacks, or even caught in the middle of cult and Sara-Suka wars.

Gangsterism and cult violence in Apata, Busa Buji, Alheri, Gada Biu, Congo Russia, Angwan Damisa, Angwan rogo, Angwan Suya, Rukuba road, Dilimi, Nasarawa Gwom, Gangare, Utan and a host of others is as random the way destructive wind gusts are random.You can brace yourself but still not anticipate the location or severity of the attacks and violence.

Reports indicate that gang violence and cultist activities have culminated into acts of revenge that are growing more heinous by the day. Bullets have been shot, throats slit open and young boys hacked down with machetes at their prime.  Some of these neighborhoods have also been identified with high risk of consumption and peddling of illicit drugs. Increasingly, families agonize about their children being recruited by gang and cult groups even at the adolescent ages of 12 and 17.

 This ugly trend is not only disturbing but worrisome considering that the perpetrators are mostly young people who are supposed to be the vanguards of Peace and development in our state and not to even mention that they are supposedly, our “leaders of tomorrow.” Therefore, we are compelled by this unfortunate development to issue a clarion call to communities and neighborhoods to be decisive in dealing with this monster before it consumes us all. The problem requires a collective action of sort.

The state has toiled tirelessly through the years to entrench the relative Peace we currently enjoy and therefore, any act with the potential to derail or sabotage this hard-earned Peace must be resisted by all men and women of good conscience.

While we call on the security agencies to rise up to the occasion by deploying intelligence to stamp out cultism and vicious groups that find ways to infiltrate all-too-impressionable lives, we equally sue for the cooperation and understanding of community and religious leaders, youth and women groups, as well as the media, in recognizing the fact that this is not only a security problem but a public health issue.

The task ahead of us require a multi-dimensional and sustained collaboration with all stakeholders, including NGOs at the community levels. We must send a clear message-that we will not tolerate this reckless disregard for life in our neighborhoods in the one hand, and in the other, demonstrate our collective outrage by working together to address the root causes of the problem.

 In this light, the Plateau Peace Building Agency has initiated and is currently executing a community outreach program that seeks to work closely with the affected communities to ending this growing menace.

We need your partnership and support to succeed in this campaign. We must all own the process of riding our neighborhoods of cultism, gangsterism and all other forms of crime and criminality.

The need for an effective neighborhood watch strategy has never been this urgent.

JOSEPH LENGMANG,
Director General,
Plateau Peace Building Agency,
PPBA.

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