The Suspect, Sunday Sun gathered, was arrested at 11.10 pm in a classroom while he was presiding over a meeting of a cult group known as Majiyagbe Fraternity by officials of the Peace Corps attached to his school after a tip off.
Friday who allegedly founded the notorious cult group, which is believed to be spreading across secondary schools in the state was detained for three days in the custody of the Peace Corps. He was said to have confessed that he founded the cult group to defend himself.
One of the officials of the corps who arrested him said it took the concerted efforts of men of the corps to get him arrested as he made strident efforts to escape, including the use charms. The suspect confirmed this much in his confession later. “I didn’t know how they got me arrested. I had a mark on my hand which would have aided my escape. I also said some incantations to escape but all these failed me. So, I know that it was time to get me.”
In his confession before the state chairman of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Dr Ademola Ekundayo, the suspect revealed the motive behind the formation of the group, “I formed the Majiyagbe fraternity about two years ago when I noticed that some students from neighbouring schools were oppressing us in my school. I have suffered serious intimidation and oppression in the hands of my colleagues.
That was why I felt there was a need to organize some boys to meet and exchange powers.
“We are up to 20 in my group and we are also involved in snatching mobile phones from students and teachers of either our school or other secondary schools in town.
There is no brand of handset that we cannot steal from the people. We have stolen more than 20 handsets from students and teachers.
“The phones are always sold to members of the public at cheaper prices. We also use sophisticated mobile phones and most of the teachers cannot confront us to ask where we get the phones because they are afraid of us,” he added.
Sunday Sun gathered that no fewer than 35 suspected student cultists had been arrested in various secondary schools in Osogbo, the state capital in the last three months, a feat which the State Commandant of the Corps, Paul Ayinde attributed to the relentless effort of the Chairman of the state chapter of PTA, Dr Ekundayo, to rid the schools in the state off cultism and cult-related activities
Ekundayo who assumed the office less than a year ago set up a committee that moves round the state to monitor the activities of secondary and primary school students in all the public primary and secondary schools in the state following the prevalence rate of cult-related activities in public secondary schools in the state.
Friday listed his other colleagues in the Majiyagbe fraternity to include one Babalola Wasiu, a student of St James High School, Osogbo. He said other members of the group include non-students who disguised as students whenever they wanted to go on operation.
According to him, members of the group met at least twice daily at CAC middle school, adding that “we gain more members on daily basis and those who we approached to join us but who declined were always dealt with decisively. We have taught so many of them lessons and they can never forget in their lives.”
The suspect said he lives with his mother at Asubiaro area of Osogbo, while his father lives in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
He alleged that a teacher in his school simply identified as “Alfa” was aiding them, adding that “I would have mentioned the name of the teacher but we have made an oath not to expose ourselves and anybody who does so will surely die within the next seven days.
“Alfa often takes us to the burial ground close to the school and after holding our meetings at the burial ground, he would give each of us banana. We have met at the burial ground twice where he gave all of us banana to eat.”
Asked whether the banana was gotten from the burial ground, Friday said “I don’t know where he got the banana from, but after the meeting he would give us and all of us would eat it. This may be to boost the covenant we had all made.”
Items recovered from the group were catapults, stolen phones, wrist bands, charms, axes, Indian hemp, broken bottles among others.
The state commandant of the Peace Corps, said that the corps would rehabilitate the suspects. The commandant who disclosed that the corps was on the trail of the accomplices of the suspects, also confirmed that some teachers were aiding the students in their illegal activities, saying that the ages of the arrested students fell between 12 and 15.
He listed schools where cultism is highly pronounced in the state to include St. James High School, Osogbo; CAC middle school, Osogbo, Ifeolu Middle School, Osogbo and AUD High School, Osogbo.
The chairman of the state chapter of the PTA, while commenting on the development said his association had made a proposal to the state government on the stoppage of the use of mobile phones by all public secondary school students in the state, adding that the committee set up by the association would continue to move round the schools in the state to ensure total eradication of cultism in the state. (Sun News)