The amnesty programme of the Rivers state government has achieved appreciable success with hundreds of cultists denouncing crime and criminality with arms and ammunition recovered in various local government areas in the state.
This is according to the Special Adviser to the Governor of Rivers State on Amnesty, Kenneth Chinda.
The Special Adviser and his team were in Ikwere Local Government Area where hundreds of cultists and suspected criminal assembled to surrender their arms and ammunition as well as denounce their criminal tendencies.
Ikwere Local Government Area of Rivers State, South-South Nigeria, known for its rich arable land, had been ravaged by cultist activities over the years.
But the decision by the cultists and suspected criminals appeared to be a sign that all that may soon change.
The residents of the community were in joyous mood, shouting, singing and chanting, as the cultists announced their arrival.
One after the other, leaders and members of the various gangs surrendered what appeared to be arms and ammunition and denounced their alliances.
Although two notorious gang leaders known as Italian and Gunboat refused to show up for the exercise, the caretaker committee chairman of the local government area, noted that this was an important occasion and also a serious matter.
He decried the havoc that cultism and other criminal activities have caused the communities and declared that it was indeed time to put a stop to the menace.
To drive home the seriousness of the matter, elders of the community also made pronouncements, pledging more support for efforts to rid their communities of crime.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Amnesty, Kenneth Chinda, added that government would do everything possible to sustain the peace in the communities.
He urged the repentant cultists never to go back to the world of crime and violence.