Traditional Rulers and leaders of thought in Ugep Local Government Area of Cross River State last week rose from an emergency meeting with a charge on the Nigerian Police to thoroughly investigate, arrest and prosecute those found to be responsible for the cult related killings in the area.
The charge was conveyed in a communiqué issued at the end of an exhaustive meeting of traditional rulers and elders of Ugep held at the palace of the Obol Lopon.
The communiqué which was made available to TNN in Calabar and signed by prominent sons and daughters of the area, including Chief Wilfred Inah, Rt. Hon Mfawa Ofegobi, HRH Slyvester Oka Ojong, among others, condemned in strong terms the uncontrolled activities of cult groups that recently claimed the lives of two indigenes- Benjamin Njom and Jude Irogbue Jrn.
It banned all cult activities in the area, just as it resolved to hold clan heads and village heads responsible for the failure to expose cultists in their respective domains.
The communiqué, however, called on the Obol Lopon of Ugep to terminate the appointments of the present security men in his palace with effect from 1st September, 2017 and engage the services of reliable retired military and police personnel as well as obtain the services of government security agents who are usually made available to traditional rulers of his standing free of charge.
The communiqué reads in part: “After an exhaustive meeting of traditional rulers and leaders of thought which lasted for several hours at the Obol Lopon palace, we have decided to also dissolve the executive of Ugep Development Council with effect from 1st September and thanked members for the services they rendered to the community during their tenure in office.
“We have decided to also restore the time-honoured dignity of the stool of the Obol Lopon of Ugep through absolute respect for the defence of the stool by indigenes and through dignified behaviour and necessary consultation by occupant of the stool''
The communiqué also resolved to modify the dress code of the Obol Lopon of Ugep to accord with modern trends which emphasize adjustment to suit occasions.
It urged self-restraint in giving publicity to events that not only portray Ugep Community in bad light but also have the potential for exacerbating tensions in Ugep and reducing the community's chances of receiving the benefits it deserved.
It urged the Obol Lopon to keep his doors open to receive advice from indigenes in advantageous positions in order to enhance the growth and development of Ugep Community.