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Cultism: A monster on campus

04 January 2016, 14:14 Khalil Ibrahim Lawal

It is considered a detrimental practice. It is a subject with much controversy and deemed inappropriate, unnatural by the laid down principles and tradition of higher institution. Yet today it is very much practiced in virtually all long existing institutions.

The issue of cultism is the most widespread problems facing tertiary institutions in the country. People believe in the idea that campus cultism originated from the wider society. The truth remains that most of our adults belong to different confraternities and sororities like “Ogboni”, “Agba Osugbo”, “Awofunfun” and many others.

It has come to the magnitude that there is no institution of higher learning in the country that has not experienced the menace of cultism at one time or another. In the same vain, cultism can also be referred to as secret cult which simply means a group of people who share a common cause and whose mode of meeting and agenda are not open to the public. In other words, students cultism is a secret association backed up with the spirit of criminal opposition to the laid down principle/tradition of the institution.

The first cult activity in history was reportedly perceived during the colonial era. This morphed to the formation of black axe, aimed at fighting for the interest of blacks. The entire story has changed.

Cultism, as adopted in the various higher institutions, is used in doing something different from what it was established for. It is true that many students indulged in cultism for different reasons like fighting for perceived injustice in their campuses against their members. Some engage in cultism in order to satisfy their desires, aspirations and need.

Some students, most especially the female students join cultism to protect themselves against any lecturer or student which may like to victimise them, while some male students join to secure their female friends. Also, some students join cult for popularity or status symbol. They want to make name and to be regarded as influential people. They believe once they join a cult group, they will be able to achieve greatness and influence decisions on campus as well as dictate during the student union and students’ representative elections.

Some students also join cultism for reasons based on past negative experiences at the family level. Some to ‘diffuse frustrations’ from the family, school and society. Yet, some for financial assistance, while other do so to hide their weaknesses in academic field. Other reasons why students engage in cultism might be triggered by parental and family background, because parents who are member of secret cult or once a member may not see anything wrong in their children’s involvement in cultism.

Unfavourable learning facilities, environment and inadequate welfare programmes for students can also encourage students to engage in cultism. Inadequate religious and moral instructions and education can encourage students to embrace cultism.

The menace and the aggressiveness of cult involvement in violent cult activities can lead to arrest by the police, rustication or expulsion of students and at a wider level, it can lead to closure of the institution for some time. On the measures to redress this ugly trend on Nigerian campuses, awareness and sensitisation campaigns should be embarked upon by the government at all levels, non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

School authorities should show their readiness and determination to eradicate cultism. Seminars should be organised regularly on the ills of cultism by various stakeholders.

Parents should pass on moral instructions to their children and wards, while religious and moral institutions like mosques and churches should live up to the responsibilities.......Say no to CULTISIM! for it is indeed a detrimental practice, not just in higher institutions but in society at large. 

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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