Hundreds of cultists and their gang leaders from Ikwere and Obio Akpor Local Government Areas have accepted the Rivers State government amnesty.
They enlisted for the amnesty programme on Monday, as the three-month grace period given by the Rivers State government for them to accept the offer or face the wrath of the law nears conclusion.
Notably among them were two gang leaders, known as Italian and Gunboat, who had earlier been declared enemies of the state for refusing to accept the state government’s amnesty programme.
The situation was rowdy at some point, as cultists and suspected criminals from Ikwere and Obio Akpor communities of Rivers State arrived for the amnesty programme granted by the state government.
The committee had to resort to the use of camera lights as daylight begins to fade away, made worse by a cloudy atmosphere due to rain.
Granting pardon on behalf of the Rivers State government to the cultists, the spokesman for Governor, Ken Chinda, warned Justice Amadi also known as Italian and others who joined the queue in an event that lasted till nightfall, to stay away from criminality henceforth.
Vowing to desist from criminal activities, as he received his pardon, Justice Amadi said: “From today, I am no longer Italian, call me by my name Justice”.
The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ikwere Local Government Area, Samuel Nwonosike, warned the repentant gang leaders and cultists that “anyone that goes back to crime will face the full weight of the law”.
“Everyone who has accepted amnesty today are pardoned of their former acts of criminality by the state, but anyone that goes back to crime will be made to face the law,” he warned.
In the end, all those who accepted pardon were advised to stay out of trouble.