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Taming Badoo cultists

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Taming Badoo cultists

Many things are happening in Nigeria, simultaneously. Perhaps, one of the disturbing is the high rate of crime and criminality. When a nation is enmeshed under such circumstances, attaining development becomes a nightmare. That is the more reason why concerted efforts should be made to see how the ravaging and deadly attacks by the Badoo cult group in Lagos are put under tight control in the interest of all.

A litany of unpleasant cases have been ascribed to the cult group that are too numerous to mention. However, it would suffice to mention a few of them, although many of the attacks were either said to be unreported or under-reported. The Badoo ritualists were said to have first been heard of in 2016, when suspected members of the gang struck at the Oke-Ota community; allegedly raping and eventually killing a Ghanaian lady before returning to Ibeshe, where its members attacked a 60-year-old woman and dastardly blinded her daughter. Not only that, another horrific experience was relayed with the breaking of a pastor’s head with mortar; a killing pattern unique to the notorious group.

The recurring and protected incidence of cult groups is a worrisome reflection of what obtains in the larger society in terms of lawlessness, hatred and the use of extrajudicial means to settle personal scores. Before the advent of Badoo, certain groups had unleashed one form of terror or the other on Nigerians, although many people have argued that the initial rationale for the emergence of cultism, especially on campuses, was to bring about social justice and a sane society.

While sociologists and social scientists are still unable to fully unravel the main reasons why people join cult groups, many observers believe that the desperate quest for fame, power, wealth, authority and prestigious affiliation in society may actually be responsible.

Today, the negative influences of cultism remain a source of worry to many people. In their branding, ritual cult groups commit nefarious activities under the influence of drugs while brandishing dangerous weapons such as guns, cutlasses, axes, knives, swords and other sophisticated weapons. Many of them are armed with fetish objects like animal horns tied with red ribbons, chanting war songs and incantations. With the series of atrocities being committed on an increasing level by the day, there is the need to discuss how relief can come to the people and be free from reign of terror.

To begin with, there is the need for the people to be more security conscious. The reason is that cultists are no ghosts. They are most likely to be close to the residents. People should report any strange happenings to the law enforcement agents. In return, the law enforcement agents should swing into action and save situations with the use of more intelligence and intense patrol on a 24-hour basis. Proactive measures should be the focus, going by the limitations of our security agencies, in terms of inadequate personnel and equipment to combat the cultists.

Besides, traditional and religious leaders should show more concern by ensuring that criminal-minded persons do not turn their domains into dens of death and destruction. Why is Ikorodu a haven for Badoo cultists? Who are their backers? These questions and more call for thorough investigations. The use of orthodox and traditional methods to curb crime should be combined, especially now that conventional approach seems to be overtaken by the sophistication and the innovative ways developed by criminally-minded persons on a daily basis to defeat official security apparatus in the country. The Lagos State Government should announce and give reasonable financial reward to volunteers with useful information that could lead to the apprehension of members of the group while adequately protecting the identities of such persons.

Hence, our law enforcement agencies should always be on top and ensure that those apprehended for engaging in one form of crime and criminality are brought to justice without any fear or favour. After thorough investigations, those found culpable should be made to face the law. Unless people are treated the same under the law, many influential and powerful offenders would continue to evade justice and the nation would be the loser. Furthermore, carrying out jungle justice on suspected members of Badoo should be curtailed. Not only is jungle justice illegal, evidence has shown that innocent persons have turned out to be victims. While contending with the urgent task of apprehending the cultists, government would need to work harder in bringing perpetrators of jungle justice to book.

On a more enduring and sustainable way to maintain law and order in Nigeria, there is the need to reconsider removing police duties from central operations, as presently obtained, to ensure peace, boost crime prevention, guarantee effective monitoring and intelligence gathering. An arrangement whereby an Abuja-based Inspector-General of Police commands complex police activities throughout the country is unrealistic, counterproductive and unwieldy. This configuration could largely have been responsible for why policing has not been efficient and effective in the country. Police formations at the local, state and federal levels can still work independently but harmoniously in the maintenance of law and order. Without further delay, community policing should be accorded the necessary priority it deserves, not only to curb the Badoo menace, but the growing insecurity in the land.

               

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