Lagos assembly passes unlawful societies, cultism prohibition bill

The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed the Unlawful Societies and Cultism (Prohibition) Bill 2020.

The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed the Unlawful Societies and Cultism (Prohibition) Bill 2020.

The House passed the bill during plenary session on Monday.

House Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, said the new bill also prescribed punishment for parents of cultists found guilty of cultism.

Obasa said the punishment was to further prohibit unlawful societies and cultism, including other connected purposes in the state.

“Parents of cultists found guilty of cultism in the state might be liable for punishment.

“The bill, if signed into law, will provide for the prohibition of unlawful societies and cultism in Lagos and for connected purposes.

“Though, we will also differentiate between the types of cultism in the country, so that we won’t solve one problem and create another”, he said.

Also, David Setonji, representing Badagry Constituency II, admonished parents to take proper care of their children by ensuring their compliance with societal norms and values.

“The issue of cultism has been a major challenge to us in the state. There is nothing wrong in associations coming together, but when it has to do with devilish ideas, causing commotion, that is what we are against.

“As a result, parents should learn to take care of their children to ensure they conform to societal norms and values”, he said.

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A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.