Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has said that his administration would soon enact a law that will pronounce the death penalty on cultists or anyone caught engaging in cult activities in the state.
Governor Abiodun pronounced the penalty on Tuesday at a meeting with the Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, and his chiefs at the Akarigbo Palace in Sagamu.
He expressed shock at the wanton destruction of lives and peace of Sagamu and its environs, even as he warned that the government would not fold its arms and watch unscrupulous persons run riots in any part of the State
He said: “I want to sympathize with the good and law-abiding citizens of Sagamu and of course, our referred paramount ruler and the kabiyesis and all those who have lost loved ones.
“We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that we bring any person directly, indirectly or remotely responsible for these occurrences to book. I have discussed with the Attorney General perhaps it is our disposition that allows for these occurrences of heinous crimes.
“It is well within my powers as the governor of this State to pronounce the death penalty on people and we are going to ensure that we enact that because when people appreciate and understand the consequences of their behaviours, perhaps they will begin to have a rethink.
“I have called on the Commissioner of Police, the Director of the State Service (DSS), the Commander of the Civil Defence, our AMOTEKUN Commander and all our security architecture to relocate to Sagamu for this purpose.
“We will rely on our kabiyesis because they are the closest to the grassroots, for all the intelligence support because these people are not spirits. They live within us, they are tenants in our houses.
“The last time I came here, I said any house that we arrest anybody that is connected to either cultism or kidnapping, we will find out where they live and demolish that house. And sadly, it has been very difficult for me to implement because they rent an apartment and the unsuspecting landlords who don’t know what they do give their houses to them and after we arrest them and about to demolish the house, those landlords will come and beg us that they did not know the suspects were into that business.
“I am now pronouncing that we will no longer refer to these people as cultists or any other name. We are pronouncing them as murderers and we will mete out penalty or punishments that are deserving to murderers,” he warned.
The governor said that henceforth, he would not entertain any sentiment from any quarter as the activities of the hoodlums were capable of sabotaging government efforts to bring more development to the state.
“This is an economic sabotage against our state and our people. No body should call me or my SSG nor the Commissioner of Police. I am warning parents, we are going to deal decisively with anybody caught in the act, and we will not spare anyone,” he added.
He said his government was committed to the development and prosperity of the state, and no one would be allowed to draw the state backwards.
Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi decried the incessant destruction of lives and properties in the town, saying the needed development would not come to the town when people continue to cause havoc through criminal activities.
He requested mobile Police and military formations in the area for proper maintenance of law and order.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Assistant Inspector General of Police Olusola Subair (rtd) and Consultant on Security, retired Commissioner for Police Awolowo Ajogun traced the genesis of the clash to dispute on the sharing of proceeds from a land transaction, saying eight people were killed while nine suspects arrested in connection with the incident are currently under investigation.