The Commissioner of Police in Anambra, Chris Owolabi, said about 90 per cent of cult-related deaths in the state are not documented.
Mr Owolabi disclosed this during a Peace/Security Summit, organised by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), in collaboration with the state Police Command at Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka, on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the summit had, as its theme: “Importance of Safe Society and the Roles of Nigerian Students and Youths in the Security of our Campuses”.
Mr Owolabi attributed the non-documentation of most of the cult-related deaths to the fact that most parents and guardians of the deceased would not want such cases investigated.
“Cultism can be identified as the mother of all the crimes being committed by the youth and it is unfortunate that many lives are being lost.
“We are advising our youth in the country, particularly students, to eschew all forms of vices capable of jeopardising their future.
“Parents should also take issues of cultism seriously by inculcating good moral values in their children as well as monitoring their movement, because most cultists are groomed in higher institutions.
“We urge students in various higher institutions to be brave enough to release timely information to security forces in their various institutions,” he said.
The police commissioner, who was represented by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations in the state, Emmanuel Ogbuanya, also decried what he called growing consumption of illegal drugs.
According to him, the consumption of illegal drugs has landed most youth in trouble, including death.
Also speaking, Vice-Chancellor of NAU, Charles Esimone, regretted that lots of lives and future of students had been truncated, owing to the nation’s growing security challenges.
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Mr Esimone, who was represented by the Dean of Student Affairs, Nonso Achebe, advised students to be security conscious and take security of their lives and environment seriously.
In his remarks, the Convener of the summit and Senate President, NANS, Chuks Okafor, said that the current security situation in the country had prompted the summit.
Mr Okafor attributed the high rate of crimes among the youth to the rise in consumption of hard drugs, urging the youth to shun the act.
He urged Nigeria’s leaders to organise a national summit where the nation’s problems would be discussed and addressed.