CULTISM is a major challenge ravaging our tertiary institutions today. Cultism in Nigeria tertiary institutions dates back to Professor Wole Soyinka’s College days, when he organized a cult group named Pirate confraternity with the help of some friends of his. Their aim of forming the cult group was to bridge the gap created by ethnicity and tribalism, but along the line our youths hijacked this purpose and started doing it for negative agenda. This brings us to the question, what is a cult? A cult is a group of persons who indulge in certain practices and holds strong beliefs. These practices and beliefs are secrets known only to their members and they are ready to defend them with their last breath. Cultism on the other hand is the devotion and dedication to activities and practices of a cult. Those that indulge in cultism are known as cultist.
Cultism is most rampant in our campuses these days as a result of oppression of non-cultist by cultist, the crave for power and popularity by students, pressure from peer groups and the need to feel secured.
The consequences of cultism on individuals are:
• You may live in perpetual bondage and fear. This is because cultists are always watching their backs because rival cults are always at ‘war’.
• Cultists are always destructive, merciless, stubborn and wicked; so a well mannered individual that indulges in cultism will automatically transform his good behavior to an ill behaved person.
• Most cultists have no regards for moral and values. As a result of one belonging to a cult, he/she will lost respect for that which is morally right, e.g. respect for elders.
• Premature death may occur because cultist are liable to die young.
• Possible expulsion from school.
On the effect of cultism on campuses, cultism has led to the outburst of mayhem in our campuses in the past. These unjustified occultic violence has led to the mutilation and even killing of students. It sometimes lead to the incarceration and expulsion of both guilty and innocent students, therefore reducing the number of graduates from our tertiary institutions.
In some cases, these occultic violence had led to the lost of school infrastructure and these infrastructures are necessary requirements for impacting knowledge; as a result of this the learning process is hampered, thereby comprehension is not completely derived. The vandalization infrastructures require huge funds to replace them. In replacing them money meant to be spent on improving the schools facilities are diverted into replacing destroyed equipments/facilities, in turn reducing qualitative and quantitative learning. Students are openly harassed and beaten up as a result of turning down advances of cultist. Lecturers are publicly attacked and disgracefully treated by cultist. Because they insisted on grading cultist on merit.
Even school staffs are afraid to carry out their duties as a result of the activities of cultist. This has led to producing half-baked graduates and the provision of low quality education. Some undergraduates have even opted out of school as a result of occultic activities. These activities had in turn influenced the decision of some 0’level graduates to be very choosey when it comes to making a choice on which school to attend.
To eradicate the act of cultism or reduce it to the bearest minimum, the dangers of indulging in occultic acts should be properly emphasized during the orientation of fresh students. Security should be increased within and around our school premises to checkmate the carrying of arms and illegal weapons into our campuses. The high cost of education in the country should be reduced because poverty and lack of funds are part of the reasons why some youths are in cultism. Religious organizations should organize youth programmes that centered on the effects of cultism.
Parents should monitor the wards to ensure that they are not negatively influenced by peer groups. Our tertiary institution should establish tribunals that would ensure that cultist are properly tried and sentence when caught.
The havoc of cultism in our campuses is very enormous and if not properly checked, it would transform into something else and would render our campuses insatiable’.
Fasan Yetunde Eniola