Cult war in Nigerian universities: Turning the Ivory tower to battle field

By Salome Okoli

Cult war in Nigerian universities has become an evil that does no one any good; students are dying, parents are in sorrow and institutions appear helpless, but ever strategizing for panacea to contain the anomaly.

The unabated incidence and unrelenting activities of secret cults in the Nigerian educational institutions have wrought incalculable damage on the lives and psyche of Nigerians. As at about 1999, over 56 secret cults existed in the 133 higher institutions of learning existing in the country at the time.

Some secret cults or confraternities on campuses in Nigeria include Black Axe, Buccaneers, Eiye, Bargger, 2 2, among others.

In 2017, Pulse.ng chronicled 7 ways to know a student belongs to a cult group which include Scars, Spontaneous decision, Nicknames, Lingo, Clique, Dress code and handshake.

Cult war is undeniably one of the social vices setting the hand of the development clock of Nigerian universities backwards. The unabated atrocities of secret cults in the Nigeria educational institutions and even in the wider Nigerian society continue to take tolls on the lives of young and old Nigerians.

All over the world, universities are regarded as the citadels of learning. This also applied to the Nigerian University until recently when as a result of incessant secret cult activities, the centres of learning has became the centre of violence.

At Obafemi Awolowo University Black Axe and Buccaneer clashed, leaving two persons dead and others injured. It was gathered that the rival cult groups were fighting over a lady who was snatched by the Capone of the Black Axe.

The OAU university massacre was a series of shootings and murders which took place against students of Obafemi Awolowo university in Ile-ife, osun state, Nigeria on Saturday, July 10,1999. It resulted in the deaths of five people and left level others injured, all of whom were students of OAU.

It was perpetrated by an organized death squad of 40 members of Black Axe confraternity Branch at the University. They invaded the Awolowo hall of the university at around 4:30a.m clad in the black trousers and black t-shirts, their faces hidden by masks; they carried and made use of shotguns and hatchets against students.

A student of Lagos State University was killed as at about 6:47a.m on March 09,2013 after the Damino Damoche, the final year student of the Lagos State University, Ojo was killed by suspected cultists in front of the institutions gate. Another student was on Thursday, murdered by suspected cultists on reprisal attack.

Although the deceased identified as Karim Abiodun was reportedly not a student of LASU, but he was alleged to be a member of Buccaneer confraternity, whose members were said to be at war with the Eiye confraternity.

Cultism and many other social vices are related to economic distress arising from corruption-induced poverty. To stem the tide, the political ruling class needs to reverse the trend. The government ought to initiate attacks on the conditions that breed cultism. Unfortunately, the political ruling class engages the services of cultists, as political thugs, bodyguards and hired assassins, making it impossible to muster the required political will. Therefore the country may put up with pervading cultism for a long time to come.

Effects of cult war in Nigerian universities, students do not spend time in their education anymore, thereby going into cultism for the purpose of vengeance to other students. Cultism has become a-by-force law in most universities in Nigeria. In other to curb it, public enlightenment programs should be set up in our universities in order to stop cultism and parents should learn how to nurture in the fear of the Lord.

Cultism in Nigerian Universities have different negative effects on both the students and nation at large, some of these effects include: endangering the lives of students, riot and strike in the university at all times, insecurity, death of innocent students, crisis in the university and many more.

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