A 13-year-old boy, Opeyemi Johnson, has disclosed how he was initiated into cultism and robbery by someone he respected and looked up to as ‘big brother.’ Johnson, a Junior Secondary School student of a private school in Sango, Ogun State, confessed to being a member of the dreaded cult group known as “Awawa Boys.” He said: “I was initiated into the group about a year ago. It was one brother whom I only know as Ola that introduced and forced me to join the group. Initially, I did not know it would turn out like this. Immediately I saw their ways of life, I wanted to quit but they threatened to kill me if I leave the group.”
Recollecting his initiation day, Newtelegraphonline reports that Johnson said: “It was on a Sunday evening at Abattoir, Agege. Ola took me to a dark room and ordered me to kneel down. In that room, I met other six members of the group already waiting for my arrival. The cult leader, ‘Ijaomode,’ blindfolded me with a black piece of cloth and all the six members descended on me. They gave me a thorough beating.
“After that, they gave me alligator pepper to chew and alcoholic drink. One of them stood up, drew a tattoo on my forehead and below my eyes as a sign of being a bona fide member of the group. Since then, I have been going out with them for operations. I stopped going back home and started sleeping in a shanty at Abattoir.”
Johnson was arrested after he and other members of the gang attacked and robbed passers-by of bags, phones and other valuables. The police said: “The suspect and 20 other members of the cult group were early on Sunday morning returning from a Street Carnival somewhere around Agbado Crossing, when they suddenly went on the rampage and started dispossessing passers-by of bags, phones and other valuable items.”
Johnson also explained that he went with the cult members to a carnival at Power Line, Agbado Crossing. He said: “On our way home, our ‘Capol, nicknamed Ijaomode, instructed us to start robbing anybody we met on our way. We robbed not less than 10 individuals of their belongings before we got to Fagba Junction. At this point, we saw a young girl, whom we immediately surrounded and collected all her belongings, including phones and jewelry. She later went to bring Rapid Response Squad (RRS) men who chased us and arrested me. My colleagues escaped.”
Johnson also said he had never met his father, a Congolese. He said: “My mother just told me he is a Congolese. I had made frantic efforts to see him to the extent that I had to travel to Congo alone to look for him, but I didn’t see him. Rather, I saw some of his family members who told me he had travelled out of the country. For now, I can only talk to him via phone.”
The boy’s mother, Mrs. Johnson, said she was shocked over the latest discovery of her son’s lifestyle. She said: “He is my third child. Though I had remarried, that doesn’t stop me from playing my motherly roles for him. His two elder siblings are in higher institutions. I have tried to ensure that he didn’t go astray. I enrolled him in a private school at Sango. I wondered how he got to Abattoir, Agege. I gave him and his siblings all my best.”
The victim of the gang, Naisha Akiomon, who alerted RRS operatives after she was robbed, said: “I was on my way to Balogun Market, Lagos Island when they attacked me at Fagba junction. They were about 15 boys. They surrounded me with weapons and asked me to release all my belongings. They collected N58,000, permanent voter’s card, three ATM cards, phones and other valuables from me. I had to run to the other side of the road to shout for help. Fortunately, I saw RRS operatives patrolling and I explained everything to them.”