According to researchers; Augustine Ejike (Rev. Fr.), Department of Political Science
Nwafor Orizu College of Education Nsugbe Anambra State said “Cultism is a ritual practice by a group of people whose membership, admission, policy and initiation formalities as well as their mode of operations and secret activities has been a canker worm which has eaten deep into the fabrics of Nigerian tertiary institutions and society at large”.
Ogunade (2002) secret cult is an enclosed organized association of group devoted to the same cause.
Cult activities are sometimes laden with blood. It may be the blood of an animal or that of human beings. He claimed that during initiation rites or during rival group clashes within the University setting, blood flows during which many lives are lost in the process.
Historically, cultism was said to have originated from University College Ibadan, now University of Ibadan in 1953/54, by seven idealist young students; Wole Soyinka (now Professor), Pius Oleghe, Raph Opara, Tunji Tubi, Daign Imokhuede, Olu Agunlay and Muyiwa Awe (now Emeritus Professor of Physics) formed the Seadogs Confraternity (a.k.a Pyrates).
The ideas behind the formation of the confraternity were both patriotic and altruistic as it was not imagined as a secret cult.
In a chat interview with a lecturer from department of Mass Communication, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, Mr Toyin Adinlewa opined that cultism has become unfortunate reality that has continued to rear it ugly head in not only the higher institutions of learning but also in primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.
Adinlewa stated that, curbing cultism requires sufficiently sensitizing new students of its effects to their study during their orientation program and also mounting of billboard for public awareness against their evils.
He said “Continuous sensitization of students of its evil to societal development”.
“Punitive measures should be clearly spelt out on students handbooks against anyone caught in the act.
Corroborating his point , he said anyone caught should face the management stipulated punishments so it can serve as deterrent to others.
“My university with regard to above listed measures, has done well. But the university can still improve on what they are doing currently as their is no sacrifice too much to curb this dastardly act”
In an interview with our correspondent, Chairman, National Association of Nigerian students ,Ondo chapter Akinteye Babatunde Afeez said several measures had been taken during by his administration to curb the menace, which has eaten deep into tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
“We had orientation programs in every tertiary institution in the state as well as working with the Anti-Cultism unit to advise and help them with their operations”.
Babatunde added that, cultism is not an undergraduate related matter but Nigerian youths in general .
Sharing his experienced with cultists, Adagba Promise a student of Mass communication department, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko said he once had an encounter during his National diploma (OND) program at Rufus Giwa polytechnic Owo, Ondo State, where all the money on him were extorted.
According to him ” I ran into them during their meeting at a particular joint where I was challenged of not greeting and after series of pleads , the money on me were collected”.
In the same vein, a student of Rufus Giwa polytechnic Owo, Ondo State, who spoke anonymously confirmed his encountered with them while escorting friends who came for visitation during his ND1, where they got the worsted beating of their life.
Most of the people most especially students joined cultism as a result of personal volition or out of intimidation and they failed to realize that a popular decision taken by a bandwagon is not always right.
Omosola Friday Oke , popularly know as Honour-Pen, a student of mass communication department with optimistic of serving the nation and world with the use of pen. A poet, relationship consultant and human right activist.