Some members of the Degbam cult group in Ubimini, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers, on Thursday embraced the amnesty programme of the state government.
The leader of the group, Mr Azunda Orji, told newsmen in Ubimini that they accepted the amnesty offer because they wanted to live a new life.
Orji said that they were tired of living in the bush and needed to be useful to the society.
Mr Ken Chinda, the Special Adviser on Amnesty to Gov Nyesom Wike, said that the state government came up with the programme to promote peace.
Chinda, who is also the Chairman of the Rivers Amnesty Committee, said that any community where cultists were operating could not have development.
“Ubimini community is a very rich community in terms of human and material resources but with the presence of secret cult activities, it will be difficult for investors to come in.
“Take a cue with the private agriculture farm in the community; it is not working because of the activities of cultists.
“What we have there, if properly harnessed, can feed the whole of West Africa but it is not working due to the activities of cultists,” he said.
Chinda said that Wike graciously approved the amnesty to re-orientate the youths from indulging in unethical activities in order to begin a new life.
“As a state government, we felt that our youths cannot continue in cultism, rape, all manner of social vices and unethical things.
“So, Gov Wike graciously granted amnesty to all those that are involved in one form of criminality or the other with a view to giving them a new life,” he said.
Chinda urged the repentant youths to forget about the past while urging others to embrace the amnesty offer.
In his remarks, the traditional ruler of Ubimini community, Chief Edi Igwe, said he was happy that the repentant cultists accepted the amnesty offer.
“We will now have peace. I thank the Rivers government for this opportunity to bring lasting peace to the state.
Six youths accepted the amnesty offer and submitted four locally made single barrel gun, one locally made pistol, one short axe as well as local charms in the presence of representatives of the Nigerian army. (NAN)