The Lagos Police Command said it has arrested no fewer than 42 suspected cultists in different parts of the state in the last two weeks.
The State’s Commissioner of Police, CP Idowu Owohunwa, disclosed this Wednesday while parading the suspects before newsmen at the State Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Owohunwa said that the suspects were arrested after he distributed the tactical operatives from the Command headquarters to different police divisions, cultism was commonly mentioned.
He said the suspects were arrested in Ikorodu, Ijora and Ebute-Metta area of the State, while 10 arms, 13 cartridges, knives and assorted charms were recovered from them.
The police boss said many persons were arrested during the raids, stressing that after thorough screening, the police found hard evidence against them to be culpable of cultism.
Owohunwa said that cultism had been identified as one of the major security challenges in the state, stressing that investigations revealed that the suspects used semi automatic and automatic shotguns to bring tears and sorrow to innocent people.
“We have decided not only to arrest cultists, but to go after the fabricators of arms to nip attacks on innocent people or their perceived enemies in the bud.
“Today, we are parading 42 suspected cultists; we intend to carry out the battle to their door steps or their enclave. We would deploy every asset within our disposal.
“We would deny them space to operate in the state. So, we are advising them to turn a new leaf or face the wrath of the police.
“We want to reassure Lagos residents that the battle to rid the state of cultists and other criminals is a promise that must be fulfilled.
“We appeal to the members of the public for their support as this battle against cultists and other criminals is a common battle,” he said.
The police boss, however, said the special squad that will deal with the cultists will be sent to the area commands.
Owohunwa said that the operatives were expected to operate optimally and not just to identify the cultists but to under-take intelligence led operations, such that the battle will be taken to their door steps of cultists across the state.
“We do not wait until the cultists strike. We want to remain steps ahead of them in order to restore peace in Lagos.
“Through the officers deployed for the operations within the first two weeks, we have made significant breakthroughs, which are worthy of notification for members of the public.
“The Lagos State Command under my watch will deny them the space in a forceful manner. I want to assure the residents that we are not going to relent,” he assured.