By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The battle against cultism and other vices may receive a boost in Lagos as the Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV), Lagos chapter and the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria ( CRAN) have resolved to partner in addressing the worrisome dimension the crimes have assumed in the state.
The groups reached the agreement during a courtesy visit by the executive members of the former to members of CRAN at its secretariat in Oduduwa, Ikeja GRA area of Lagos.
Chairman of POCACOV, Mr Henry Bassey, who led the team explained that POCACOV was an initiative conceived by the present Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu , out of the desire to nip crime in the bud through the principle of Community Oriented Policing.
He said POCACOV as a campaign and advocacy group, became necessary as evidences had shown that cultism and other vices had left tertiary institutions and were gradually penetrating all spheres of human endeavours, with the involvement of artisans like auto mechanics , traders , commercial bus drivers and traders, among others.
The aim of the advocacy group according to Bassey, ” is on four Thematic Areas viz: To sensitise members of the public on the dangers of belonging to cult groups; to reawaken the security consciousness of the public; to inculcate moral values in our youths and re-awaken that of the adults and to educate relevant stakeholders such as traditional rulers , town union presidents, political class, transport unions market leaders, Youth leaders, among others.
Lending his voice to the Chairman’s assertion, POCACOV’s Vice Chairman, Mr Ahmed Abass, informed that the Lagos chapter would be officially inaugurated on February 25,2020, and therefore urged CRAN , as a body that had been in the fore front of crime fighting , to join hands with POCACOV to deliver its mandate
Responding, President of CRAN, Mr Odita Sunday, assured the visiting team of the association’s support, noting that the long term benefit would be of advantage to Lagosians in particular and Nigerians in general.
As part of the association’s task of giving back to the society in that regard, he disclosed that every June 26, which is the World Drug Day, it joined the rest of the world to sensitise youths on the dangers of drug abuse.
The association’s President said cultists needed to be rehabilitated and counselled but lamented the state of the nation’s correctional centres.
He commended the group for selecting professionals from different professions that were relevant to the initiative, expressing optimism that it would deliver on its mandate, thereby creating a safe haven for all.