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Friday, July 12, 2024

A Plea To Governor Adams Oshiomhole – Disincentivizing Cultism In Edo State – By Paul Omoruyi

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Dear Governor Oshiomhole,

Undoubtedly, your name has become a household name not only in Edo State or Nigeria as whole but all over the world. You have proven that you have the interest of the Edo people at heart by the strides you have made in the last five years

Today, Edo state has a new lease of life. Benin is regaining its past glory as a dynamic metropolitan city. Although there are still more work to be done but your work is highly commendation for now.

Governor, in the wake of the recent anachronistic and barbaric killings all over Benin City by members of rival cultists, I am writing to you regarding the issue of cultism in Edo State particularly in Benin City.

As an Edolite who is concerned about the future of the Edo people and our children children, it has become very imperative to address this issue decisively and unselfishly for posterity sake.

In any society, a leader is held in high esteem. In so many ways, he is expected to be the moral compass for the people. Anything short of that is a leader that has failed his people. In that light, I want to bring to your attention “rumors” that has reached the ears of most Edo people in Benin City and in the Diaspora.

As you know, both home and abroad, the Edo communities are actively engaged in seeing Edo State develop and grow. Although it cannot be independently verified for now but there have been rumors that the government of Edo State pays different violent cult groups large sums of money monthly.  Those who claim to have knowledge of the inner workings of these payments say that the payments are made so that the cultist groups will support the government when necessary and not cause “trouble” in the state.

Among others, most Edolites are expressing grave concerns about one “Tony Kabaka” who you appointed as “Revenue Collector” in Benin City. Everyone who lives in Benin City describes him as a known “illiterate and vicious cult member” who have no value for human life. I do not know him and have never met him. But I am yet to find one person (just one person) in Benin to refute that image about the said Tony Kabaka. Someone from Benin said “Tony Kabaka militias are the hired assassins” that execute all the dirty biddings of those within the corridors of power in Benin City.

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Again, I cannot verify this but young, intelligent and well educated Edolites are constantly complaining that “Cult” members are getting jobs/positions in the State even though they do not have the qualifications or necessary skills to do such jobs. As a matter of fact, in an online forum, some Edo people say that more than 95% of the members of Edo House of Assembly (EDHA) belong to one violent cult group or the other. As a result, these different malicious cult groups have hijacked the Government House in a struggle to get their members in key government positions all over the state.

A member of one of the cult was quoted as saying “na our men full there na”, referring to EDHA

Mr. Governor, I am bringing these concerns to your attention so that it can be addressed appropriately with the future of the next generation of Edolites at heart. Obviously no one need to tell you what happens when these savage violent groups start to kill one another. It could be my brother, your brother, my sister, your sister, my cousin, your cousin, mother or father that could be innocently caught in the line of fire.

So even though we can afford to provide 24×7 security around ourselves, our relatives and immediate family members are not exempted from the mayhem of cultist nefarious activities.

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A young Edo child said “I will “join levels” (referring to enlisting as a secret cult member) if that is the easiest way to get power, jobs and fame in Nigeria”. This is the wrong message we have sent to these young folks – secret cult gives power, wealth and prestige!

In no distant time, when the books are open, the accounts are investigated and text messages of payments are investigated, posterity will judge unfavorably any government that is later found to have selfishly incentivized violent cult groups for political reasons to the detriment of the general public.

Comrade, this is a plea to you to please look into these “rumors” and investigate it accordingly if it is not already in your purview. We cannot tell our children that cultism is bad and wrong when we are incentivizing it by our actions behind the scene.

Recruitment of Edo youths into these nocturnal groups will fall drastically (if not stopped) when there are no visible social or financial benefits in it.

While in Benin, these cultists behave like warlords. But they are actually wimps and milquetoasts immediately they step outside the boundaries of Edo State. Outside of the state, we have seen them not able to function in civilized and decent environments.  So they should not be feared in any form or fashion!

Except in a failed state Governor, no group or groups should be more powerful than the government. The government can marshal all the necessary tools within its resources to call these social miscreants to order!!

Again, thank you sir for your great work. Generations to come will look at the books and assess your administration and give you your rightful place in history. Stay blessed and do not give up the fight!

Best wishes,

Paul Omoruyi (Blog www.diasporascope.com)

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