About 1,000 members of a cult group known as the Aye Confraternity arrested in Ondo have renounced their membership of the group.
The cultists, Daily Trust learnt, were arrested through the support of the traditional ruler of Akure, the Deji of Akureland, who has been working with the youths in the state capital and with the police to rid it of criminal activities.
The Akure youths, under the umbrella of Akure Defenders, were said to have been put together by the Deji, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo.
The cultists were said to have been arrested in various parts of Akure and taken to the Deji’s palace to swear and renounce their membership of cult groups, after which they were handed over to the police.
A member of the Akure Defenders, Mr Adesanya Fayehun, said the cultists were apprehended through information on their movements.
Fayehun said, “On a particular occasion, the cultists started from Arakale car park at about 11pm. They were all in yellow T-shirt inscribed with Banana, Gun and human head logo, while their hair was tinted with yellow colour.
“On the second day, we got the hint that they were at a concert at MKO Abiola Park. So we asked the police team to wait at a location as we moved in to where we picked them one after the other. Sixteen cultists were handed over to the police immediately. So far, we have been able to hand over 1,000 cultists, since we started the group.
“Before now, there was hardly a month without reported incidents of cult-related violent clashes in our community, which usually results in loss of life.”
He said some cultists were mostly behind many kidnappings, armed robbery and murder cases in the state.
Fayehun has, however, called on the state government to provide soft loans for the former cultists to enable them start their own businesses after turning a new leaf.