In just five months, 150 people were killed in confrontations between Edo cults—Gov. Obaseki

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On Monday, the Edo State Government announced that 150 people had died in the past five months in the state as a result of cult-related violence and murder.

This was revealed to reporters by Governor Godwin Obaseki not long after a closed-door meeting at Government House in Benin City with Edo State’s security chiefs.

Obaseki, on the other hand, redoubled his efforts to combat cultism in the state by announcing a prohibition on the operations of Okaigheles, or youth leaders, in the Edo South Senatorial District.

In addition to his government’s proclamation of a total fight against cultism, he mentioned that beginning tonight, a special taskforce of the security council, led by the Director of the Department of State Security (DSS), will examine all incidents in the state involving cults.

The Security Council meeting, he said, “reviewed the security situation in Edo State since January 2024 with particular emphasis on the security activities in Edo in May 2024.” He said that the meeting had just concluded.

Cultism is an enduring problem in Edo State, according to the security management report that was reviewed at our security conference. Cultism is quite common.

The associated murders with cult-related activities are what make cultism so disturbing. There have been more than 150 casualties due to cult-related causes and murder since the beginning of the year. This situation can no longer be tolerated or accepted.

Cultists and cultism in the state will be vigorously opposed, according to the Council’s resolution today. In Edo State, we have recently approved a legislation against cultism, and we intend to enforce it strictly.

Starting tonight, a special task force of the security council, presided over by the director of the department of social services, will examine all incidents in the state that are connected to cults.

We will thoroughly investigate all relevant information, occurrences, and individuals responsible for these actions.

Our team will allocate all necessary resources to ensure that no detail is overlooked.

The governor made a point of saying that the Okaigeles in Edo South are involved in cult activities, and he also revealed that the council has immediately banned the Okaigeles from Edo State.

If someone in any community falsely claims to be an Okaigele, he warned, they will face severe legal consequences.

According to him, the state government in Edo State has declared full war on cults and Okaigeles as a result of today’s security council meeting.

Assuring the governor that security agencies would enforce the State Security Council’s decision without fear or favor, Funsho Adegboye, the Commissioner of Police for Edo State, made his statements during his address.

Cultists have had a field day in the state, Adegboye said, while expressing satisfaction that the anti-cultism measure has been enacted into law.

He contended that those who participate in cult activities face severe punishments under anti-cult laws.

“No matter how high up the ladder someone is, they will be brought to justice and punished,” His Excellency has ordered.

The Okaigheles have been a source of contention for some time now; the Council has recognized their cultish nature and decided to outlaw them.

Prosecutors will pursue all charges against anyone apprehended. “The Council also decided to appoint the Director of the DSS to head a taskforce,” he continued.

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