Everywhere in the world, youths are described as leaders of tomorrow and the only way they can take leadership in any country is to get education through institutions of higher learning.
But, Nigerian institutions of higher learning have been turned to theatre of war where leaders of tomorrow kill, maim themselves without fear.
There is hardly a week that cult related activities leading to loss of lives are not recorded in our tertiary institutions across the country.
The consequences of cultism on individuals are:
- You may live in perpetual bondage and fear. This is because cultists are always watching their back 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 behaviour to an ill-behaved person.
- Most cultists have no regard for morals and values. As a result of one belonging to a cult, he/she will lose respect for that which is morally right, e.g. respect for elders.
- Premature death may occur because cultists 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 leads to incarceration and expulsion of both guilty and innocent students, thereby reducing the number of graduates from our tertiary institutions.
For instance, last month, four students of University of Agriculture Makurdi lost their lives in a cult clash in the school.
The clash broke out in some of the hostels built by independent developers and resulted in the death of one student.
Eventhough the university authority swiftly intervened to contain the situation by inviting the security agencies to prevent further hostilities by the students.
The crisis escalated when four people, including a security guard working for a private developer, was killed by the cultists.
And in Kwara state polytechnic, At least 16 students alleged to be cultists in the Polytechnic were shot dead in clashes between two rival cult groups in the institution.
One of the victims was shot dead during screening of aspirants for a students’ union government election, while another victim was reportedly killed at Asa Dam Road area of Ilorin by suspected members of the Eiye confraternity.
The student’s death triggered reprisals and a renewed clash among members of the Eiye and Aiye rival groups.
A victim who lived at Agbooba was killed beside a bridge close to filling station at Oja Tuntun area of Ilorin.
Another body was found at a popular hotel, One suspected cult member was murdered at Irewolede lastweek. The deceased was chased to the area and was matcheted by his assailants.
Also in January 2016, five youths were killed in Lagos after a bloody cult war in Ikorodu. The incident took place when a fight broke out between the Aye and Eiye confraternities at around 1am during Itunmeko street carnival. Trouble started after the Eiye cult group killed two Aiye (Black Axe) members who were invited to the carnival on their way home.
The Aye cult group was said to have taken the fight to Eiye group, in anger, in the early hours of the day, killing three of its members. The cultists, it was gathered, used axes, cutlasses and guns.
However, Nigerian NewsDirect suggests that to eradicate 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 some youths are in cultism.
Religious organizations should organize youth programmes that center on the effects of cultism.
Parents should monitor the wards to ensure that they are not negatively influenced by peer groups. Our tertiary institutions should establish tribunals that would ensure that cultists are properly tried and sentenced 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 unsafe.