It is the end of road for secret cults and groups perpetuating violence in Akwa Ibom State as Governor Udom Emmanuel has signed into law the Cultism and Other Violent Behaviour (Prohibition) Order, 2020 proscribing their operations in the state.
Accordingly, defaulters of the Order shall be prosecuted in accordance with the Offensive Weapon and Violent Behaviour (Prohibition) Law, 2004, or any other enabling law .
Governor Emmanuel, endorsing the new law in an emergency Executive Council Meeting at Government House Uyo, Monday, declared the proscription of over sixty cult groups in the state, with effect from March 16, 2020.
Reiterating his administration’s commitment to maintaining the state’s record in safety, security and investor-friendliness as well as ensuring a future for the Akwa Ibom youth, the state Chief Executive said the new law has been expanded to cover components not covered in the previous law.
He declared the revocation of the Cultism and other violent Behaviour (Prohibition) Order, 2018. stressing that the state government will stop at nothing in combating cultism related activities.
“In exercise of the powers conferred on me by Section 70 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap. 38, Vol. 2, Laws of Akwa Ibom State, 2000 and all other powers enabling me in that behalf, I, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria do hereby make the following – order 1. (1): the cults, societies and groups listed herein are hereby declared unlawful and forthwith proscribed in Akwa lbom State”.
He listed the proscribed cult groups to include Vikings, Black Axe, KKK, Buccaneers, Mafias, Luttox (Junior Black Axe), Debam, Dewell, Icelanders, Red Skins, Pirates, Amoc, Akwa Marines and Utoto Groups (419).
Other proscribed cult groups listed as predominant in secondary and primary schools include The Luttox, the Red Skins, St. Stephens, Sept 11 Group, Secret Sons of Satan, King Cobra, J.V. (Junior Vikings), Bats, Predators, Black Ladies, Black Cross, Scavengers, Skylolo, Sons of Nights; Blood Brotherhood, Junior Buccaneers, White Angels and Musket.
The Governor furthermore announced that, ” the underlisted cults, societies and groups whether outside or within tertiary institutions, secondary or primary schools are also prohibited.
” Daughters of Queen Amina, Lion, Leo Lion, Neo Black Movement of Africa, Temple of Eden, Daughters of Jezebel, Amazon, Black Brazier, Barracudas, Black Beret, The Dragon , Blood Suckers, Scorpion, Black Eye, Eyie, Sons of Nights, White Angels, Yellow Ribbon , Python, Black Sword, Supreme Dred Lock, Black Heart, Black Dagger, White Brothers, High Mafia, Street Mafia, Family Mafia, Supreme Red Skin, Italian Mafia, Separate Brothers Confraternity , Clansmen.
“Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of the Order, any society or group by whatsoever name whose activites are found to be consistent with the activities of a cult shall be considered and treated as such under this Order”, the Governor stated.
Addressing Government House Press, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko said that the 2020 law as promulgated is more comprehensive and overrides the 2018 prohibition.