By Chukwuemeka Opara
Abakaliki – The Ebonyi government has vowed to publish the names of all identified cultists in the state, including those of public officers in the state’s government.
Sen. Emmanuel Onwe, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, who made the disclosure on Tuesday while addressing newsmen at the end of the state Executive Council (EXCO) meeting, noted that such was the governor’s resolve.
Onwe said that the governor did not have to be in power for long for people to know that he was a man of total resolve.
“He is a man that does whatever he says, he will do as intelligence reports reveal that cult membership in the state cuts across students, lecturers and public officers, including those in the state’s government.
“The government has a comprehensive list of cultists in the state and it will be published in the coming weeks.
“The list will definitely be published even if not in a comprehensive manner but each of them will definitely be made public,” he said.
The commissioner, however, noted that the cultists would be given reprieve by being allowed to desist from cult-related acts, denounce membership of the groups and cease the violence associated with it.
“When this fails, they will be named, shamed, prosecuted and imprisoned.
“Any of them found to be involved in the death of any citizen will be prosecuted and punished as a murderer,” he said.
He restated that cult activities had become deadlier in Ebonyi as in other parts of the country though it had been deadly in the past.
“The government has resolved to battle them to a standstill, crush and eliminate them in every nook and cranny of the state.
“It represents nothing but evil and is an avenue for a breed of people to spill blood for no reason, having no value for life.
“Nobody has ever mentioned the gains of cultism or its value to the society,” he said.
Onwe said that organisations which morphed into cultism like the pirates confraternity were not connected with viciousness or violence.
“They propagated unity of purpose to advance the just cause of students.
“The cultists in contrast are known only for vampire-like spilling of innocent blood and Ebonyi will no longer tolerate such acts,” he said.