The Commissioner, Ogun State Police Command, Kenneth Ebrimson, on Saturday said cultism remained the greatest challenge facing the state police command.
Ebrimson said this in Abeokuta when the students body in the state, led by Azeez Adeyemi, Special Adviser to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Student Matters, paid him a courtesy call.
He intimated the students’ representatives that it was important to always preach against cultism, saying that when two cult groups clashed, innocent people were often affected.
He said: “I need your assistance, I need your cooperation, particularly in the area of fight against cultism.
“That is the greatest challenge we have in this state; not armed robbery, not kidnapping, but cultism and it thrives in tertiary institutions.
“Cultism has no advantage.
“It is just a mere group of people trying to have rival supremacy over things that are not worth their lives.”
According to Ebrimson: “Cultism is the mother of kidnapping, armed robbery, drug peddling.
“Cultism is the major cause of every violent crime in the society.
“Tell me where you have seen cultists clash without wanton destruction of lives and property?
“There is no society that is free of crime.
“So I want to tell you that the police is the only friend you have.
“No matter how bitter you feel, you must locate a police station to lodge your complaints in the first instance.
“So, please, I need your cooperation and I think from time to time, we will be having this type of platform to enable us vent our grievances.”
The police commissioner commended the state government for initiating the students-police relations meeting, adding that there had never been bad relationship between the police and the students.
Ebrimson pleaded with the students to erase bad impression about the police from their minds, saying it was the duty of the police to guide and protect all citizens of the country.
Earlier, Raymond Ojo, the Global Vice President, National Association of Nigerian Students, noted that the priority of student leadership was to defend the rights of Nigerian students.
Ojo decried the indiscriminate and unlawful assault and arrest of students by the police, saying the attitude of the police should be checked and the bad eggs be fished out.
He urged the police authorities to always ensure that police vehicles were branded so that it would be easy for the public to report any officer involved in illegality.
Also speaking, Adeyemi noted that the meeting was facilitated by the state government to foster better relationship between the police and students.
The special adviser to the governor appealed to the state police command to see Nigerian students as partners in progress and agent of peace.