Rivers state police commissioner directs crackdown on cult hideouts, orders arrests

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Olatunji Disu

The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, has issued a directive for a crackdown on cult hideouts, including hotels, across the state ahead of a planned celebration by the Neo-Black Movement, also known as ‘Aye’ or ‘Black Axe’.

In a statement released on Saturday, the Command’s spokesperson, Grace Iringe-Koko, emphasized that the operation aims to preempt possible violence and bloodshed by rival cult groups, particularly in tertiary institutions and other parts of the state.

According to Iringe-Koko, the planned event, known as AIYE Day or 7/7, is slated to commemorate the founder’s day of the Neo-Black Movement nationwide, with a focus on higher education campuses where the group has a history of violence and criminal activities.

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“The Rivers State Police Command has received intelligence regarding a nationwide commemoration of the Neo-Black Movement’s Founder’s Day scheduled for July 7, 2024,” the statement reads.

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“The Neo-Black Movement, notorious for campus killings, inter-cult clashes, and other violent crimes, poses a significant security threat, especially in and around tertiary institutions across the country.”

The statement further warned of potential violent incidents and criminal activities associated with the event, including forced initiations, rape, and armed robbery.

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“In response, the Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Rilwan Disu psc, has instructed all Area Commanders, DPOs, and Tactical Team commanders to conduct preemptive raids on identified cult hideouts, black spots, and hotels that could serve as meeting points for cult leaders,” Iringe-Koko continued.

“The objective is to prevent the AIYE Day celebration within their jurisdictions and apprehend suspected cult members to face justice.”

The statement also called for heightened security measures in educational institutions, urging increased vigilance among educators, administrators, parents, and community leaders to report suspicious activities promptly.

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“Community leaders and local security outfits are urged to collaborate closely with the police to monitor and report any unusual gatherings or activities,” the statement advised.

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It concluded with a commitment from the Rivers State Police Command to maintain law and order while safeguarding lives and property, emphasizing zero tolerance for any disruption to the peace achieved through diligent efforts.

“We remain steadfast in our duty to uphold law and order,” the statement affirmed.

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