Oyo Government To Hold Peace Talks With Thugs, Cult Groups, Over Persistent Killings, Violence

The Oyo State Government has revealed plans to engage in talks with all ‘area boys’ (street urchins or thugs) and cult groups in the state, to foster peace.
The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun said this on Thursday, after a closed-door meeting with representatives of different militant groups, including Agbekoya, Odua People’s Congress, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, in Ibadan, the state capital.

A statement on Thursday signed by Olatunbosun said the government Governor Seyi Makinde, in collaboration with all the militant groups, is determined to proffer peaceful solutions to the unrest between area boys and cult groups, saying the time to end the bloodshed in the state is now.
According to Olatunbosun, the meeting is aimed at solving the problem from the root, adding that the state government will work closely with security agencies and leaders of the militant groups.
He said the government will mediate between warring parties in the state.
He said, “The State Executive Council is aware of the activities of cultists and cult groups in the state. We hope to hold a meeting with them.
“Oyo State Government, under the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde is determined to put a stop to this clash among cult groups and ‘area boys’. To this end, we in collaboration with all the militant groups in the state, are taking the message of peace to the den of these cultists.
“We will try to convince them to be disarmed and return to their homes peacefully. Afterwards, there will be a clampdown on activities of ‘area boys’ and cult groups who fail to cooperate with us.”
Olatunbosun said with the help of some of the militant groups, the government will reach out to cult groups.
The commissioner also assured that things will change, saying Makinde has shown sincerity in ending the fights among the warring groups.
He, therefore, urged the ‘area boys’ and rival cult groups to sheath their swords and pursue peace, stressing that after the peace talks, there will be a clampdown on cult groups and cult activities in the state.
He also appealed to parents and guardians to caution their children and wards against engaging in cult-related activities.

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