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NGO, PIN To Empower 30 Ex-Cultists In Ogun, Begins Summit Monday

Daud Olatunji

A non-profit organization, Peace Initiative Network, has stated that it will empower between 30 and 50 repentant cultists in Ogun State. 

The founder of the group, Dr. Michael Sodipo, said the foundation would partner with the Ogun State Police Command to fully engage the ex-cultists to become useful members of society. 

PLATFORM TIMES reports that about 48 cultists renounced their membership of various secret cult groups in the Sagamu township area of the state last month. 

Sodipo stated this on Thursday while speaking at a press conference held to herald a two-day peace summit between Monday and Tuesday in Abeokuta.

 Sodipo said the summit was to provide local solutions to the local security problems facing the state.

 He explained that stakeholders would converge to brainstorm a way out of the insecurity ravaging the state. He added that PIN would train at least 30 renounced cultists in the month of May 2024 in the state. 

But the Peace Initiative Network said the foundation would train them in vocational skills such as carpentry, vulcanizing, catering services, tailoring, and hairdressing. The move was to contribute to the reduction of social vices in society.

 He said the group would monitor and establish them in their chosen vocational skills programs. Sodipo explained that the foundation was in Abeokuta to establish a project called “Creating A Safer Community” in Ogun State. 

He stressed that the foundation, founded in 2004, used sports to preach peace in society by engaging public schools in extracurricular activities. 

Sodipo, who recounted the foundation’s successes in the North, added that PIN’s engagement with some notorious bandits has drastically reduced electoral violence in the northern part of the country. 

He disclosed that on Monday and Tuesday, April 30, there would be a summit for community leaders, religious groups, and youths at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, to discuss using local solutions to solve local problems.

 He said the two-day workshop would help support insecurity and peace-building in the state. 

He said the group would also move to Sagamu and Ayetoro areas of the state for another two-day specialised workshop for young people and women on basic training in peacebuilding, early warning, and leadership skills, which would serve as a vanguard for the group in the communities. 

Also speaking, the Project Manager of Peace Initiative Network, Ola Barnaba, said there was no state in Nigeria that has a higher cybercrime rate than Ogun State.

 Barnabas noted that the Southern states have ways of hiding their problems, unlike the North, which speaks out to the world and attracts all sorts of help immediately. 

He said the state has pockets of problems confronting it but pretends everything is alright.

Earlier, Sodipo said PIN was firstly established in Kano in the year 2004 and was later brought to Abeokuta in the year 2020. 

He said the organization has expanded to Kano, Plateau, Kaduna, and Ogun States. 

According to the founder, the organization’s mission centers on empowering youths and women, providing them with tools and resources for personal and professional development.

“The programme  “Peace In Our Cities” brought about Peace Initiative Network in Abeokuta in the year 2020. PiN knows that there’s a lot of cybercrime there, so they’ve been working hard to help young people feel strong and capable, giving them chances to grow and do well.

“In addition to empowerment initiatives, PiN has implemented practical solutions to address community needs, including the installation of boreholes in underserved areas like Sabo and Ilugbo in Ogun State.

“Looking ahead, PiN has announced plans to host a summit in Abeokuta at the Cultural Center, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. This event aims to further inspire actions in 

“Encouraging different groups to talk and get along peacefully. Furthermore, PiN utilizes sports events as a platform for building friendships and bridging divides among young people from various ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds.

 “Through these activities, the organization aims to cultivate leadership, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills among youth, nurturing them into responsible future leaders.”

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