What is Cultism?

Cultism refers to the affiliation and activities of cults, secretive groups whose members engage in socially unacceptable behaviors. In Nigeria, particularly within tertiary educational institutions and some secondary schools, numerous cults create an unsettling environment for those peacefully going about their affairs. These groups operate clandestinely, with meeting locations known exclusively to their members, often […]

Cultism refers to the affiliation and activities of cults, secretive groups whose members engage in socially unacceptable behaviors. In Nigeria, particularly within tertiary educational institutions and some secondary schools, numerous cults create an unsettling environment for those peacefully going about their affairs. These groups operate clandestinely, with meeting locations known exclusively to their members, often conducting their activities at night.

 

Characteristics of Cultism:

  1. Members exhibit boldness, wearing expensive attire, and seek to impose their will on others.
  2. New members undergo secret initiation rituals, swearing oaths of secrecy alongside existing members.
  3. Mutual assistance is a core principle, prioritizing members’ interests over considerations of reason, justice, fairness, legitimacy, and appropriateness.
  4. Cults employ signs, symbols, and passwords recognizable only to members.
  5. Despite appearing kind and generous, members can be deceitful, hypocritical, and potentially violent.
  6. Members often carry concealed weapons, consume excessive alcohol and hard drugs, and engage in womanizing.

 

Different Types of Cults:

  1. Buccaneers
  2. Mafia
  3. Blood Suckers
  4. Vikings Fraternity
  5. Eiye Confraternity
  6. Black Eye
  7. Dragon
  8. Black Cat
  9. Red Devils
  10. Green Scorpion
  11. Black Axe
  12. Trojan Horse
  13. Scorpion
  14. Panama

Some cults are gender-based, exclusively admitting female members, such as Daughters of Jezebel, Temple of Eden, Barracudas, Amazons, Hot Brassiere, and Black Beret.

 

Origin of Cult Groups:

Cults have a long history in Africa, with the Ogboni Fraternity prominent among the Yoruba people. The Pyrates Confraternity, formed in 1952 at the University of Ibadan, aimed to resist foreign cultural imposition, work for Nigeria’s independence, address societal issues, and promote humanitarian activities. Rival cults emerged from expelled members, leading to the proliferation of campus cults from 1980 onward.

 

Reasons Why Students Join Cults:

  1. Family background, with some parents being former cult members.
  2. Economic hardship, as cults offer financial assistance to indigent members.
  3. Misconceptions about academic and social advantages.
  4. Peer pressure from friends who are cult members.
  5. Curiosity to confirm information about cults.
  6. Lack of self-confidence and the desire for affection, popularity, and protection.
  7. Unemployment and promises of future employment by older cult members.

 

Consequences of Cultism:

  1. Promotion of violence, including attacks on rival cult members.
  2. Potential for murder, targeting rival groups or perceived adversaries.
  3. Disregard for school regulations, leading to lawlessness.
  4. Disruption of school activities and distortion of societal values.
  5. Serious mental health issues, including madness.

 

Government and Society’s Stance on Cultism:

  1. Government initiatives, such as matriculation oaths and expulsion for cult members.
  2. Societal disapproval, with avoidance of identified cult members, parental restrictions, and employment challenges.

 

Preventive Measures:

  1. Parental involvement in children’s upbringing and education on acceptable behavior.
  2. Encouragement for students to join religious groups and develop a sense of morality.
  3. Provision of sports and recreational facilities to engage students during leisure.
  4. Organization of seminars to educate students on the dangers of cultism.
  5. Enhancement of the appeal of voluntary organizations to attract membership.
  6. Implementation and enforcement of anti-cult laws in educational institutions.
  7. Religious groups organizing programs against cult practices.

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