Bayelsa Traditional Rulers express concern over cult related violence, accuses politicians

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Traditional Rulers in Bayelsa State have expressed concern over the rising cases of cult related violence and killings in some communities and local government areas of the state, alleging that politicians in the state are responsible for the noticeable violence.

According to the Traditional Rulers, though those involved are known and the youths being used to perpetuate the violence are from the communities, the near relegations of traditional rulers and the issue of political godfatherism have made the cultists more powerful in the communities.

The Ibenanaowei of Oyiakiri Kingdom, King Joshua Igbagara, the paramount ruler of Okugbe-Isoko Kingdom, King Frank Okurakpo, the Amananaowei of Ofoni, Chief Onakpohor Auditor and the Amananaowei of Toru-Orua, Chief Tounaregha Felagha, in their submission during a meeting with the state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, thanked government for initiating the meeting and pledged commitment to the fight against criminal activities.

They however identified political godfatherism as a major factor encouraging cultism and called on government to caution its officials as well as increase the welfare package of traditional rulers to enable them play their roles effectively. They also thanked government for initiating the meeting and pledged commitment to the fight against criminal activities.

They however identified political godfatherism as a major factor encouraging cultism and called on government to caution its officials as well as increase the welfare package of traditional rulers to enable them play their roles effectively.

Earlier, the state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, described the meeting with traditional rulers from Sagbama among the state government efforts to scale up security in the state.

He urged royal fathers to choose willing and able members of their communities to be part of the vigilante group, which mandate among others, includes combing the forests and reporting illegal camps to law enforcement agencies.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo stressed the need for Bayelsans to learn from happenings in other parts of the country and cooperate with government by intensifying their efforts at monitoring as well as volunteering useful information to duly constituted authorities.

He directed Local Government Chairmen to hold monthly meetings with traditional rulers, noting it would contribute to peace and stability in rural communities and the state in general..

In his remarks, Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Maxwell Ebibai, expressed concern over the upsurge in cultism and drug abuse in rural areas and also called for efforts to preserve the izon language, which he noted, is fast sliding into extinction.

On his part, the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Development, Chief Thompson Amule, advised the traditional rulers against involvement in partisan politics and taking sides in community development committee (CDC) and youth elections.

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