An Examination On The Causes And Implications Of Cultism And Violent Behaviours In Tertiary Institutions In Nigeria

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An Examination On The Causes And Implications Of Cultism And Violent Behaviours In Tertiary Institutions In Nigeria

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Before the mid-seventies, being offered a university position to study for some degree at any Nigerian university was a privilege. It was a triumph for both the aspiring undergraduate and his kin. Indeed, such an achievement was worthy of celebration, since there were few universities at the time, and only the wealthiest and privileged ones were accepted into the few spots open. Indeed, such an achievement was worthy of celebration, since there were few universities at the time, and only the wealthiest and privileged ones were accepted into the few spots open. That was back when universities were thought to be “Ivory Towers,” repositories for lofty values and illustrious intellectual practices (Itedjere, 2006).Today, though, the story is different because cultism has infiltrated and established itself in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions. Eneji (1996), in Adewale (2005), argues that cultism, with its associated abuse, torture, repression, and unwarranted harassment practised by cult organisations, has grown beyond institutions of higher learning to secondary schools in Nigeria. To be sure, the standard of higher education and learning is determined not only by the scope of instruction and curricular requirements, but also by the atmosphere on campus. Criminality, unrest, and poverty are serious problems in many Nigerian universities. The emergence of hidden cults in Nigerian universities is a particular aspect of such social problems. Itedjere (2006).In Nigerian culture, the concept of underground cults is not inherently recent. Perhaps what’s different is their personality and methods of service. Their backgrounds, practices, and personalities are shaped by current social issues and the social and economic conditions of the time. Many students enter cults without realizing the detrimental effects of cult membership on their academic performance. Furthermore, many students believe that cultism has a significant effect on learning, and some students believe that cult practitioners often have learning difficulties. Indeed, cult groups and their practices have been on the rise in our tertiary universities, resulting in disruption of academic programmes and activities, loss of lives, insecurity and destruction of infrastructures. Cult rituals have also resulted in the deaths of innocent students and teachers at different tertiary universities, as well as the closing of schools in some circumstances (Echekwube, 1999).

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

This disease has been plaguing Nigerian universities in recent years.

Cultism is a disease. The biggest crisis confronting Nigerian universities today, according to a study published in one of the newspapers in 1997, is cult activity. Many students have complained of attending cult groups without realizing the consequences for their education. Many people are persuaded to join underground cults by their peers in order to escape oppression. Few entered willingly because they wanted to be a part of the powerful men’s club long before they were accepted into university or other higher education institutions. Some students entered cults in order to escape academic tension, gain dominance over females, and gain influence in the society (Echekwube, 1999).The interruption of an instructional calendar, the loss of lives, the degradation of infrastructural and learning resources, and instability of the learning atmosphere are all examples of the effect of cultism on learning.

The Pirates Confraternity, established by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka and others at University College, Ibadan (now the University of Ibadan) in 1953, can be traced as the beginning of cultism in Nigerian tertiary institutions. The confraternity, also known as the National Association of Sea Dogs, was non-violent and open about its practices, with the skull and crossbones as its motto. Its key goals were to battle international conventions nonviolently yet intellectually and successfully, restore the era of chivalry, and find long-term solutions to tribalism and elitism (Adewale, 2005).Similarly, Echekwube (1999) claims that cultism has existed in our tertiary institutions for more than three decades. Whereas they were initially more deliberately focused, they have recently become disruptive and aggressive, especially after the 1980s.According to reputable sources, there are currently 53 cult groups in the Nigerian higher educational sector, according to Ekeanyanwu and Igbinoba (2007). Air Lord, Black-Axe, Black Beret Fraternity, Black Mamba, Buccaneers, Cappa Vendetta, Daughters of Jezebel, Eiye Confraternity, Green Beret Fraternity, Hard Candies, Jurist, KKK Confraternity, Knight Cadet, King

Cobra, Lucifer Knights, Mafians, Maphites, Mgba Mgba Brothers, Musketeers Fraternity, Neo-Black Movement, Oasis of the Silhouette; Ostrich Fraternity, Panama, Pirates Confraternity, Red Berets, Red Sea Horses, Royal Queens, Sea Dogs, Soko, Sun Men, Temple of Eden Fraternity, Ten Angels, The Amazons, The Apostles, The Barracudas,The Canary, The Dragons, The Frigates, The Himalayas, The Lynx, The Mafioso Fraternity, The Scorpion Fraternity, The Soires Fraternity, The Vikings, The Walrus Black Bra, Black Cats, Third Eye Confraternity, Trojan Horse, Vipers, Viqueens, West End, White Angels, and a slew of other organizations fall under this category. Until recently, enlightened or trained youths had little or no involvement with ‘cult’ except for scholarly study purposes, as it was regarded as some underground initiation rituals practiced by some primitive and barbaric community of people in the forest or in some dark areas. Secret cult membership is now seen as a source of pride, appreciation, and approval by peers, especially in the tertiary institutions of learning. Obada-Obieh (2002:29-30)

1.3 Objective Of The Study

  1. To know the reasons students of tertiary schools join cults.
  2. To examine the impact of this social issue on a student’s academic success.
  3. The know the degree to which students are involved cult members.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the causes of students involvement in cultism?
  2. What effect has cultism on the student’s academic performance?
  3. What forms of behaviours do the cultism manifest that affects the societies?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This research would benefit individuals, teachers, parents or guardians, the educational system, and society in general. The findings would allow educational administrators to devise solutions for coping with issues that will aid in the elimination of cultism in universities.

It would also serve as bare–line data for prospective researchers who want to pursue similar projects..

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The scope of this study is basically centered in Kogi State University in Kogi State

1.7 Limitation Of Study

The researcher had hoped to cover the entire country, but due to time and financial constraints, the thesis was limited to Kogi State University in Kogi State. many of the students who conducted the survey were uncooperative, and some even demanded satisfaction before finishing it, while others were extremely hesitant. Another limitation of this study was lack of textbooks, journals and articles in the area of cultism.

1.8 Definition Of Terms


Cultism is characterized as a ceremonial activity carried out by a group of people whose recruitment, entry, legislation, and initiation formalities, as well as their mode of action, are carried out in secret and kept secret, with their practices having negative consequences for both members and non-members.

Violent Behaviours:

Any conduct by a person that threats or actually hurts or injures the individual or others, or damages property, is considered violent behavior. Violent behavior often starts with verbal attacks and progresses to include physical injury over time.

Tertiary Institution:

Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education are the three types of tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Universities may be public, private, or federally funded.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the consequences of cultism in Nigeria?

Expulsion of students involved in cultism from tertiary institutions (and even secondary institutions). Please read on the Origin of Cultism in Nigeria here . Untimely death of members. Please read on the Reasons why People join Cults here . Increased robbery, kidnapping, rape and other crimes in the society.

Why are cult groups unleashing terror in Nigerian universities?

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.

What are the causes of cultism in tertiary institutions?

Quest for Social Identity. Another cause of cultism is the quest for social identity. Some students in tertiary institutions want to belong to a class of lifestyle superior to their peers. This they desire to be in order to gain more popularity, respect and admiration from opposite sex.

What are some of the female cults in Nigeria?

The female cults include, Temple of Eden, Sisterhood, Arcane angels. Hardly is there any tertiary institution which has not suffered the adverse effects of the activities of secret cults which have been characterized by violence. Eberendu (1999), Identify the following as some of the causes of cultism on campuses.

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