Catch Them Young Initiative in Nigeria tertiary institutions is concentrated on using creative strategies, storytelling approaches, tutorial patterns, school fathers/mothers to lure young freshers in Nigeria tertiary institutions to premarital sex, illegal business, drugs, cultism, domestic works, sex-work business among others under the shadow of showing them what campus life entails, jeopardising their main motives or reasons of being on campus.
The initiative had been in existence for years and not with a plan of leaving very soon as so far many satellites directly engaged in by staying behind on campus after the second-semester examinations has ended with the odds of catching the new intake first before other students resume.
There was an excitement in the air as their admission into tertiary institutions were displayed on a Jamb cap with parents watching their festive display with the belief of them taking the next step in life.
Few weeks after the announcement of admission on JAMB portal, all their school properties are ready as they await the resumption date to take a long journey to universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.
Remember the son and daughter of whom you are; I do not have eyes over there, be careful, attend classes and respect your lecturers and your senior colleagues. These and more are major notions and popular lyrics of most parents immediately the song of God has done its crescendo every day in their apartment. They are resuming as a haven of lecture theatre, registration, fellowship amidst supplementary activities, but waiting to be hijacked by ‘CATCH THEM YOUNG GANG’.
The Catch Them Young Students will organize programs for new students to give them exposure with many trooping in every day, hours, minutes, and seconds exchanging numbers, picking school mothers, fathers, visitation, and other activities in their first semester turning most of them into sex partners, smokers, cultists, and big girls.
However, as many satellites indulge in the habit of luring some of these innocent fresh students to premarital sex, drugs, cultism among others, some organization and churches were to be luring them to the things of God and how to be financially standard and be useful for themselves and the world.
Research has shown that 70 percent of newly admitted students fall into this trap as many of them will be attending the organize program until they realize examinations will start tomorrow, contributing to mass failure which gave birth to suicide.
In the bid to ascertain and find out how students perceive this concept, this reporter conducted an interview among students of Adekunle Ajasin University and was able to get responses from a few.
Olakunle Damilola Gladys said catching them young was just like a term used to catch fresh students in tertiary institutions and it was a desire to train and guide freshers on the universities campuses in ensuring they do not go astray or mislead.
“Today, you will see different fellowships, bodies, and organizations on campus during the first week of resumption, assisting new students with registration, accommodation, and all, setting them on the right track and it is an opportunity to have them as a member”.
According to Damilola, “Reverse was the case these days as we all misinterpret and misuse the word. The latest trend on different campuses is for staylites to extort the fresh students, financially and play on their innocence because they feel since they are newbies, they do not know what’s up in the university yet, in the guise of assisting the other gender, collect their number, make a follow-up, invite them over to their house and we all know where the rest will lead to”.
Furthermore, she opined that the real catch them young was mainly to assist freshers before they get used to the campus life.
In the same vein, a student who spoke on anonymity affirmed that it was just an avenue for the staylite to enlighten the fresh students about the do’s and don’ts of the institution as well as helping them when needs arise.
Adeyefa Tolulope (Elite) in his own notion asserted it was a very good idea to guide and mentor the new intakes who found themselves in new environments. He pointed out that various Christian fellowships, Muslim Body, organizations (Enactus, JCI, Helping Hands Foundation) are viable channels carrying out such roles, as you can see them around the campus.
TannihTee in AAUA said catching them young is of a different perspective. Many people do it for selfish interests and to satisfy their lust, some people for political reasons and others for promoting their organisation.
According to her, “The people who do it for selfish interest are those who walk up and down the street looking for freshers they will date for some time, collect money from them and satisfy their sexual urges”.
She added that some churches do catch them young to gain more members to their church.
“It is not good and it is a way of distracting young minds students from focusing on their academics,” said Semilore in AAUA.
The word now is for satellites to protect their good image from the eyes of negative viewers, who may look at their good appearance with an ugly fiendish eye, and ruin their positive qualities with their chemical infested tongues.
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.