Did you know that cultism has killed over 13, 000 Nigerians in the past few decades?
Reports have further shown that out of the estimated proportion of those killed, 80% of the victims are between the age brackets of 18-25 years. This simply suggests that the majority of the victims are youths.
Recently, not less than 10 students have been reportedly killed by cult groups in Kogi State University, leaving many of the students wondering of who would be next on the death toll?
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As a keen observer, the cause for the incessant killings in Kogi State University can be traced to the nonchalant attitude of the various stakeholders to nip the issue at stake in the Bud as at when needed.
This has further generated into other root problems such as low academic performance, emotional instabilities, fear, etc.
Way back to its history, cultism is believed to have originated particularly in Africa as a result of African traditional system of worship, which is known for the reference of supreme beings and entities as well as ancestors.
They also believe in mystical powers of life. Hierarchy is an interesting thing in any form of religion and especially in secret cults. They tend to have a history with intimidation, threatening, killing, rape, arson, and robbery.
In Nigeria, cultism started as a movement to fight for the rights and privileges of students popularly championed by the Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka. At its inception, the movement was a noble and just cause to fight for the voiceless within the four walls of the varsity.
It became apparent later that some students cannot fit into this class thus, began the mushrooming of other groups or cults who constituted themselves into a protection group that fought and advanced the “rights and privileges” of their members including passing exams, acquiring girlfriends, accommodation, etc.That was when a noble idea began to derail till it decayed.
The effect of cultism on the learning process cannot be exhausted as both intra and inter-cult clashes negatively affect students because it often leads to outbreak of violence on the campus which leaves students wounded, maimed or killed as the case may be.
It sometimes leads to rustication or expulsion of both innocent and guilty students. There is no gainsaying the fact that when any of the aforementioned happens, the learning process, the psyche of students and the peace of the campus are adversely affected. In cases of closure, hospitalization, suspension or incarceration, the resultant effect is that learning is suspended for some period of time.
Having established the effects of cultism, there is need to fully understand its dynamics and operations in the parlance of the modern day school setting.
Cult groups on campuses come in shades. There are the hardened and the peripheral. The latter quickly shed their obnoxious affiliation once they fling the doors of the Ivory Towers behind them, barely enduring the frightening reign of chaos.
The former are career cultists who would graduate to mind-boggling dare-devilry. Whichever one, they can all be re-orientated into orderly, civilized conduct. The popular groups are Aye, Black axe, Black bra, Daughters of Jezebel, Viqueens, Kegite club among others.
In summary, the university authorities should improve facilities and living conditions on campuses so as to minimize perceived strain in the social system.
The universities should also be reorganized, funded and provided with sports facilities so as to make them attractive, involving, so that youthful exuberances of students will find a rewarding outlet in competitive sports like football, athletics and others which could engage students in their spare times.
The idea of students forming vigilante groups to monitor cultists should be encouraged and well supervised. Prompt action concerning cases of cultism is also a necessary condition as delay in taking actions against offenders worsens the situation.
It is recommended that any member of the public, no matter how highly placed, linked with the activities of cultism on campus should be tracked down and brought to book. These among host of other recommendations would help in a fight against the death messenger – cultism.