I joined cult group for self-protection —Teenager

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nasarawa State Command said it had arrested 13 teenagers for alleged involvement in cultism in the Shange area of the Lafia Local Government Area of the state.

Parading the alleged cultists and seven other suspected criminals on Tuesday in Lafia, the NSCDC commandant, Mr. Muhammad Gidado-Fari, said they were apprehended for allegedly engaging in cultism, stealing, defilement, breach of trust and assault.

A suspected member of the ‘Touch and See’ cult group, Usman Yahaya, 18, said he joined the gang for self-protection and to prevent any rival from taking his girlfriend.

“This is also the only way to fight against anyone that may want to snatch my girlfriend,” he added.

The NSCDC commander said the suspects were apprehended with the support of officers of the Nasarawa Youth Empowerment Scheme and members of the public who shared information with the police.

“That is why I always appeal to the public to assist us. We need their understanding and cooperation because when you fight collectively, you succeed. We are not calling on civilians to go and fight but to be our informants,” he added.

According to him, the suspected criminals were nabbed in the Angwa Tiv area of the Lafia Local Government Area of the state, adding that all the suspects would be charged to court upon conclusion of investigation.

He said, “Eleven suspected cultists belonging to a group known as  ‘Assist’ were apprehended by the command while two others suspected members of the cult called ‘Touch and See’ were arrested in the Shange area of Lafia.

“A total of 26 suspects were arrested for offences ranging from cultism, theft, defilement, breach of trust to assault across the state,” he added.

He explained that the command also arrested a 32-year-old man, Abdullahi Hassan, for allegedly raping and defiling a 10-year-old girl in the Rimi Uku area of Lafia Local Government Area of the state, adding that another suspect was also arrested for alleged breach of trust.

The NSCDC boss said the arrests were made between December 28, 2017 and January 1, 2018.