Recently, tertiary institutions all over the country commenced their 2017 academic sessions. The school resumption culminated in the registration of new students for the new academic session. Tertiary education is an agent of change and mostly an important period of development in the lives of youths. This period is marked by dramatic physiological changes and psychological adjustments to the challenges of adolescence. There some avoidable indulgences and deviant behaviours which if students keep off from, their physical, academic, moral and social development will experience rapid progress. And one of such indulgences is cultism.
The Webster International Dictionary redefines cultism as a religious practice of worship. It is also a system of belief in rituals connected with worship of spirits and deities. This implies that campus cultism, secret society or campus gangsterism is a surreptitiously organised group that is solely responsible for violent crimes and acts of terrorism which are witnessed in our tertiary institutions. Also, there are those responsible for the violation of peaceful and descent lives in the academic environment. Indeed, to a rational being, cult groups in campus are no other than misguided students whose mastery of creating mischief, mayhem and other kinds of vicious machinations and intrigues know no bounds.
Generally speaking, students on campus join secret cult because of the feeling of insecurity and fear, their desire is to appear rugged and sound tough as well as look beyond the ordinary. In addition to this, supremacy and power tussle, especially over the other sex; the inability to make right choice of friends; and ignorance of what is obtainable in cult membership among other reasons make students indulge in cultism.
Consequently, close observation have linked secret cult members in tertiary institutions with illegal possession of fire arms, violent crimes such as armed robbery, examination malpractice, rape and drug abuse. Aside their activities in the academic environment, some of these cult groups stretch forth their criminal tendencies outside the periphery of the campus. In other words, they usually become a willing tool in the hands of politicians for thuggery and assassination. To this effect, our tertiary institutions which are meant to be social agencies established for the task of socialization and students’ development now turn to war zones between rival cult groups.
To reduce these cases of gangsterism in our academic environment, school authorities should as a matter of priority, constantly launch aggressive anti-cult campaigns with a view to conscientising students on the dangers of cultism. In accordance to this, proper penalties should be dealt out to any student found wanting in cult activities. It is therefore imperative for the government to enact or revive existing legislations on the forbiddance of cultism in tertiary institutions. Furthermore, the war against cultism should also be combated in a spiritual dimension as cultism is an offshoot of the devil. More importantly, the family, peer groups, the church and the community at large, which are the agents of social control should rise up to their task of behavioural control of the children. The students on their part should know that they profit nothing by engaging in cult activities rather they lose their individualities and liberty to a free live while at the end are faced with expulsion and rustication from school.
Undoubtedly, if these above suggestions are followed religiously, there will be minimal cult activities in our tertiary institutions this year.