Why Cultism Must Be Eliminated
Cultism is a practice by a number of people who come together and have spiritual believes that are extreme and their activities can be destructive, they often carry out their activities in ways hidden from the sight of common people. Cultism in the Nigerian arena is not a new thing as there are people who use diabolical, fetish and spiritual powers in their fraternities to help themselves get what they want, ‘deal with people they consider enemies’ and have some form of security around themselves. Cultism in higher institutions of learning has been of concern for a long time, but the question is why has it continued to linger? What are the factors that have helped to make it continue? Why is it important for these activities to stop in schools? It is important to emphasise why cultism must be eliminated from higher institutions.
Some causes of cultism
Power and prestige
Some students want to be known as powerful and strong, they want to have some level of connection. The thirst for the prestige that comes with being a big guy or girl having some level of influence on the campus with lecturers and students alike being afraid of them, is something that makes cultism appealing to such ones. They feel if they must be powerful and influential, belonging to a strong group or fraternity on campus is the way to go.
Some students who probably have low self-esteem might just resort to a group where they feel a sense of belonging and approval. Also, students who have parents who are cultists themselves could also get lured or encouraged into it by their parents, even making the matter worse.
Influence (Peer Pressure)
People also get influenced into cultist groups by friends and counterparts. This is why it is important that a student watches the kind of friends he or she moves with.
Unfavourable economic state of the country, cultists not being adequately dealt with as punitive for their actions, prevailing corruption, use of cultists as thugs for political operations could also promote these kinds of practices. Students who may want to fight for their right or take revenge on lecturer they consider ‘wicked’, could also get involved in cultism.
The effects, consequences and attending aftermaths of their actions continue to disturb other students, lecturers and even authorities in the campuses. By checking on some of the terrible impacts of cultist operations in schools, it will be very clear why something must be done as soon as possible and as aggressive as possible to stop the activities of such hoodlums. Below are some of the negative impacts of cultism on schools.
Loss of lives
Cultist groups in schools have their members and they also have other cultist groups that they consider as enemies, when clashes take place between these cult groups, it can lead to loss of innocent lives and the death of some of their members too. It may be that a group is trying to take revenge for one thing or the other on another group, and then they get into clash and destroy lives. To think of the disheartening experience and the pain that the parents of such students who die will go through, after spending on them and with the high hopes all dashed before their eyes is a serious thing.
When cult groups carry out their initiation rites, they have their procedures, and these could involve cutting of the body and sucking of blood for oath. This body cutting and sucking of blood could be a risk to the health of people involved in the initiation. It might be a way for disease like AIDS to be passed. This in itself is another risk which can be avoided if cultism is curbed and stopped.
Some of these cult groups involve in armed robbery activities, they can go into hostels, rooms and the likes, harass and assault students and cart away with their stuffs. It simply is oppression; they could even go on to rape other students. The very fact that they feel they have some power and that no one can probably do anything to them will make them do things that are way out of right. If students can no longer be sure of the security of their properties and lives, then by all means cultism has to be eliminated.
Students in cult groups will likely have poor academic performance and may even resort to threatening lecturers to give them scores that they do not deserve. Of course, it is only normal for their academic performance to be below expectation because their focus has been shifted from the primary purpose of being in the school. When cultist students are caught, they could even get rusticated and expelled, wasting their academic career. It is a very pitiable thing. In fact, some hoodlums are said to stay back in school for years after they are supposed to have graduated, but due to their unserious lifestyle and lack of focus, they are unable to meet up. The more of these kinds of people we have in our country, the more the crimes in the country are going to keep mounting. It is important to deal with the situation by every means possible by the government and authorities of higher institutions in the country.
Disruption of school activities
These cult groups when they begin to carry out their operations on campus, can disrupt school activities. This is an unhealthy situation for any academic community. When cultist activities are predominant in an institution, then their academic calendar will be affected.
Fear and dread
To even think of the fear and fright that students and staff on campus will have in an institution where they are aware that cult activities are commonplace. That will create a kind of insecure environment and atmosphere.
Cult activities and operations also lead to damages in the school environment. Structures, facilities are destroyed and damaged.
All of these and probably more impacts of these cult operations make it imperative to get them out of the school system in higher institutions. Of cause, this is not something that can be done just anyhow, or within a very short time, but there are deliberate, consistent measures that can begin to put in place to curb the situation.
What can be done?
It has to be a collaborative operation between the governments, school authorities, parents and students. Students have to be well oriented about the serious dangers that lie beneath cultism, the proper awareness should be given to incoming students and returning students about cultism. Measures are supposed to be put in place by University, college and polytechnic authorities to ensure that all inadequacies that can otherwise enhance cultist practices on their campuses are taken care of. Student grievances should be considered as necessary and properly treated.
It is also very important that when cultists are caught or apprehended, they are adequately dealt with to serve as deterrent to others who may be involved or who would have otherwise got themselves involved too.
Parents should ensure proper monitoring of their children as much as possible, not offensively but as necessary. There should be proper and practical checking up on their wards both at school and when they are outside school.
All bodies concerned must make it as clear as possible that cultism is not condoned in the schools. In fact, the government should take the matter more seriously, send out armed men to fish out cultist groups in schools and continue to eliminate the trend little by little until it is at its lowest level. A good atmosphere where students, lecturers and other staff have the freedom to carry out all activities without fear, intimidation and oppression is very important in advanced academic communities.