Curbing the Menace of Cultism in Nigeria Tertiary institutions

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Student’s crises on campus are becoming more ferocious and dangerous than hitherto. The intrusion of secret cults into student unionism and campus life has brought this change.

Although public expectations from our universities have altered significantly over decades in response to those changes that have taken place in society itself. The proliferation of secret societies and cultism has remained a most powerful instrument of retrogression. In recent times, the university community and indeed, a great number of the Nigerian society no longer live on total oblivion of the nature and activities of cult groups in Nigerian universities and other institutions of learning.

The havoc being caused by these violent cultist activities in our universities and other tertiary institutions has become a source of worry and concern to so many students, lecturers, parents, guardians and the government at large. There are now incidents of cultist activities on our campuses with oath- taking and Blood sucking ceremonies, cases of Burglary and House breaking, raping involving sons and daughters of lightly placed members of the society under the influence of drugs, such as cocaine. Indian hemp and so on, dangerous weapons such as guns, swords, spear, axes, knives, explosives, are reported to be freely used by these secret cults member.

Thus, there existed in the universities now a legion of these ocultic groups such as the Pyrate Confraternity, Eiye Fraternity, Buccaneers, the Black Nationalist of Ife, the Black Cobra of Ife, Axe Black Night, Black Berret, Green Berret, Vikings and so on. A university environment which should thrive through exchange of intellectual and moral ideas suddenly becomes a battle field where violent cultism looms large.

It is generally accepted that campus cultism is a social problem and as such needs the corporate action of all and sundry in the society to curb its menace.

However, a publicity campaign launched by some university authorities against cultism is already working as they have been reports of open confessions and renunciation by cult members. Such pious declarations and call for forgiveness by erstwhile cult members however is not the magic wand to vanish this cankerwam. The activities of non-governmental organizations like the natural Anti-cult movement, the evolution of federation of parent against campus cult (FEPAC) and the United Network of Institutions and Schools Against Campus Cults (UNISACC) are all recoding success in promoting anti-cultism in tertiary institutions, what is required, in addition is the determination of purpose and sincerity of the collective will of the society to address the issue. There is the need for a total re-evaluation of roles and values and indeed an over haul of the curricular of our tertiary institutions. For instance in 1994, a high powered federal government officials, University administration and law enforcement agents met, examined the problem of secret cults in all its ramifications, and came out with what were believed to be far-reaching recommendations for stamping out cul tism in the tertiary institutions, some of these include the RE-EXAMINATION OF JAMB ADMISSISION procedure to enable individual universities to further screen students. This policy has been implemented by all universities, as result introduction of the post Jamb entrance examination by the federal ministry of education. Other remedies proffered for the eradication of cultism in our university campuses includes: that government should improve the deplorable social and infrastructural conditions in the campuses of higher institutions in the country that, there is high need for adequate funding of higher institutions in the country to ensure effective teaching and learning.

Also the school authorities should maintain open door policy in dealing with matters concerning students, they should guarantee peace and security in our campuses. From the above points therefore, the student must play their roles effectively. They must report all cases of suspected cultist to high authorities, the authority should reciprocate such magnanimity and courage by showing the villains the way out, possible prosecution against such apprehended cultist will act as deterrence to others.

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