The Oyo State Government has revealed that it is set to engage in talks with all area boys and cult groups in the State, to foster peace.
The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun said this on Thursday, after a closed door meeting with representatives of the militant groups, including Agbekoya, Odua People’s Congress, Vigilante Group of Nigeria among others in Ibadan.
Olatunbosun said the State government, in collaboration with all the militant groups is determined to proffer peaceful solutions to the unrest between area boys and cult groups, saying the time to end bloodshed in the State is now.
Speaking further, Dr. Olatunbosun said the meeting aims to solve the problem from the root, disclosing that the State Government will work closely with security agencies and leaders of the militant groups, to meet with the cult sects and mediate between warring parties in the State.
He said “the State Executive Council is aware of the activities of cultists and cult groups in the State. We hope to hold a meeting with them”.
“Oyo State Government, under the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde is determined to put a stop to this clash among cult groups and area boys. To this end, we in collaboration with all the Militant groups in the State, are taking the message of peace to the den of these cultists”, he said.
“We will try to convince them to be disarmed and return to their homes peacefully. Afterwards, there will be a clampdown on activities of area boys and cult groups who fail to cooperate with us”, he said.
Olatunbosun who underlined that through the help of some of the militant groups, the State Government will contact members of each cult group, also assured that things will change, because the State Governor has shown sincerity in ending the fights among the warring groups.
Dr. Olatubosun therefore admonished the area boys and rival cult groups to sheath their swords and pursue peace, stressing that after the peace talks, there will be a clampdown on cultists and cult activities in the state.
He also appealed to parents and guardians to caution their children and wards against cultism.