Parents in the South-East city of Enugu are currently overwhelmed with anxiety arising from a recent exposure of widespread cult membership among female students in Junior Secondary School (JSS) classes.
Parents and guardians are especially rattled by the ugly news that young girls were initiated into various confraternities after passing through initiations that involved gang rape and orgies.
The unsavoury facts came to light in the wake of a mass arrest carried out by the anti-cultism squad of Enugu State Police Command, an exercise that netted 10 students of JSS1 and JSS3, aged 14 and 15 years old. Their subsequent confessions indicated a pattern of systematic and continuous rape of over 30 girls during and after their initiation into various confraternities.
Exposed by a whistleblower
Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Danmallam, told Saturday Sun the operation was carried out after the Command received a tip-off that students of several Enugu secondary schools––namely Uwawi Girls Secondary Schools, City Girl Secondary School, Met- ropolitan Secondary Schools, New Layout Secondary School and Urban Girls Secondary School––belonged to various cult groups, especially the Viron Queen Confraternity.
According to Danmallam, the Command got from an informant a 30-name list of JSS students who were allegedly raped and initiated into cult groups.
“Anti-cultism detectives visited Urban Girls Secondary School and Metropolitan Girls Secondary School and arrested 10 of the JSS students on June 20. They are now in custody and had confessed their membership of Viron Queen Confraternity,” Danmallam disclosed.
Some of the students were identifiedasNaomiPeace,15, Ruth Nwoke, 14, Chibuogu Adaeze, 15 and Ujunwa Ede, 14. Others were Chiemerie Olisakure, 15, Akalisi Chisom, 14 and Ogbu Ebere, 14.
Details of how the girls were debauched by their abusers were explicitly stated in their confessions. The trio of Edeh, Peace and Nwoke told Saturday Sun they were introduced to the cult by a friend and at their initiation in 2017, were raped each by five different boys. “Our Parents didn’t know we are in the Viron Queen Confraternity,” they said.
Another victim, Adaeze, claimed “We didn’t know they put drugs in the drinks they gave us. From there, we were initiated and raped by six boys.”
Olisakure also added: “We were threatened not to tell anybody or our parents. The irony is that at the closing hour of the school, three of the same boys who initiated us would come with bike and take us away to have sex with us. After that, they give us N1,500, as transport fare.”
Chisom, also raped by five boys, said the incident took place at a friend’s party in a hotel where she first met the boys who introduced her to Viron Queen Confraternity and encouraged her to join. Her subsequent initiation, she claimed, involved several other female students from various schools in the New Layout area of Enugu.
She further alleged, “Some of our teachers know that we are members of Viron Queen Confraternity,” adding that: “We don’t respect our male and female teachers. Some of them used the advantage to sleep with us because we don’t want them to tell our parents. We can identify some of the boys who initiated and raped us and threatened us not to tell our parents. We have informed police officers and we hope they will be arrested”.
Some of the girls confessed to indulging in cigarette smoking and drinking beer at parties or clubs. However, they claimed their parents were not aware they had become cultists. While they heed words of advices from their parents, some of them claimed it was difficult to leave the Viron Queens or White Angels.
“We didn’t know that we are in bondage until the anti-cultism policemen arrested us in the school premises,” said Edeh.
Teachers and parents react
Saturday Sun visited Urban Girls Secondary Schools and met the Principal, Mrs O. Agu who affirmed that they were aware of the arrest of the students by the police but declined to speak any further with the reporter.
“I have a medium through which I channel my information,” she insisted.
One of the teachers who spoke with Saturday Sun on condition of anonymity claimed the arrested students were members of Viron Queens and White Angels confraternities.
“The school has a Department of Guidance and Counseling and a teacher who has been counseling students to stay away from cultism, but some of the students are not ready to change while some have changed and renounced their membership of cult groups,” she asserted.
A parent, Mr Alloy Obi told Saturday Sun: “I have two daughters attending Urban Girls Secondary School. They told me that cultism is rampant among the Junior Secondary School students. I didn’t believe them until I heard about the arrest of the students and their confession to be members of Viron Queens and White Angels.”
He called the development a shame to parents who have failed in their responsibility to know the welfare of their children. Teachers, he affirmed, “have done their best to teach them moral values.” Obi advised school authorities to look into the matter critically with a view to sanitizing the system.
“Schools’ PTAs need to start a campaign against cultism. They have to teach the children the word of God including prayer to deliver them from the power of darkness,” he stated.
In the words of Commissioner of Police Danmallam, the police are still investigating the case.The next phase of action, he added, is detectives going after those who raped and initiated the girls.