By Idris Olukoya
Epe (Lagos State), Dec. 14, 2018 (NNN) The Ibile Vigilante Group, in Epe, has arrested 120 suspected cultists and hoodlums between January and November in Epe, Lagos State.
He said that the suspected cultists were arrested in some areas of Epe, including Oke-Balogun, T-Junction, Lagos Road, Okemagba, Aiyetoro, Poka, Temu, Noforija and Papa.
“These arrests were made during the initiation of new members into secret cult groups.
“Some of the suspects were also nabbed during their usual gyration in some crime prone areas in the town and in the suburb areas of the community.
“After the arrest, we hand them over to the police for further investigations,” he said.
He said that the hoodlums were usually found disrupting peace in the community as well as invading political and other social activities in town, which led to their arrest.
Monday said that since the last few years, Epe had always been a hideout for cultists, hoodlums and kidnappers.
But after establishing this vigilante group in 2009, we have been able to reduce the activities of the cultists in the community through the arrests.
“The reduction of cult activities in the town was achieved with the support of police and other security agencies.
“The vigilante group works closely with government security agencies to ensure a peaceful atmosphere in Epe,” he said.
He, however, lamented poor funding of the group.
“The Epe Local Government pays our salary but the group has not been enjoying good welfare since the past one and a half years.
“The previous council chairman, Mr Segun Agbaje, was the one, who inaugurated our group and we enjoyed working with him as a vigilante group then.
“The group enjoyed good welfare package during his tenure but we are not getting similar treatments again,” he alleged.
He urged the current council administration to gear up support for the welfare of his members in order to discharge their responsibility effectively.
Monday said that the group lacked basic ammunition to tackle cultists, hoodlums, and kidnappers.
“We have been working with the little ammunition at our disposal, such as, machetes, knives and other local weapons, ” he said.
Monday lauded the financial, moral and physical support of traditional rulers in the area, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Epe division and other well meaning individuals.
In his response, Mr Adedoyin Adesanya, the Chairman, Epe Local Government, said that the council was aware of the complaints and would look into their demands.
The chairman complained of the vigilante group’s poor performances recently, adding that members of the group needed to be trained and retrained in order to discharge their duties responsibly. (NNN).
Edited by Chioma Ugboma/Yemi Idris-Aduloju
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