Cultism can be defined as the practice of activities that are associated with Secret Cults. Secret Cults are organisations whose membership and modes of operation are considered to be unconventional and known to members only.
Secret cult members pledge their allegiance to the cult, devoting themselves under oath to support and carryout the activities of the group without objection.
Cultism is one of the major vices confronting the Nigerian educational sector today. The activities of these groups have caused the deaths of many (members and non-members inclusive).
Secret Cult group are rampant in higher institutions in the Country and has become a smear on the proper development of the Nigerian youth.
The activities of these groups take various destructive forms which include:
2. Advanced fee fraud
3. Making painful inscriptions on the bodies of new members.
4. Voodo ritual practice
6. Drinking of human blood and urine
7. Taking of hard drugs
8. Holding meetings in unconventional places such as cemeteries, forests, river sides etc.
9. Indecent dressing
10. Intimidation of others
11. Armed robbery
12. Sexual assault
There are different form of initiation process they undergo.
The initiation process of Secret Cult groups are extremely dangerous and life threatening. The males are made to go through different forms of torture where they are severely beaten with sticks and matchets to test their endurance. The female intending members are usually raped by several young men. On survival of the above, both males and females are made to drink alcoholic substances mixed with blood as a form of oath taking to pledge their allegiance to the group.
Cultism In Nigerian Schools
Cultism in Nigerian schools dates back to when Wole Soyinka and a group of six friends formed the pyrate confraternity at the University College, Ibadan. According to the founder of the group, the group was formed to advocate against the discrimination and oppression of poor and disadvantaged members of the society.
The activities of the group back then were not violent. The members were brilliant students who respected the rights of others, unfortunately unscrupulous elements found their way into the group and thus the purpose of fighting for the right of all was jettisoned by the group. This led to the break up of the group into various groups and the introduction of violence into the activities of cultism.
In 1972 the Buccaneers Association of Nigeria was founded by former members of the pyrate confraternity. By the 1980s, there was cult explosion in higher institutions throughout the country.
The following are some of the common cult groups identified in Nigeria and the year they were formed.
Pyrates confraternity Formed in 1952 at the University College, Ibadan.
Eiye confraternity Formed in 1965 at the University of Ibadan.
Buccaneers confraternity formed in 1972 at the University of Benin.
Neo-black movement (black axe) formed in 1983 at the University of Benin
Eternal fraternal order of the legion consortium formed in 1983 at the University of Calabar
Supreme Vikings confraternity formed in 1984 at the University of Calabar
Outbreak Of Violence
The emergence of different cult groups led to the introduction of violence as a key component of cult activities. Right from the point of initiation, where members are tortured almost to the point of death to the exercise of their daily activities, violence is the all encapsulating factor of cult activities. Many have died, others have been maimed as a result of cult activities.
These cult groups started unleashing terror in the Nigerian universities because each group wanted to prove their supremacy over other groups on Campus.
They carry out revenge killings on rival groups, intimidate other students and lecturers into carrying out their will. There have been incidences where cult members attack their victims in broad daylight with dangerous weapons much to the dismay of onlookers.