Public Relations, As A Tool For Eradicating Cultism In Nigerian Tertiary Institutions (A Case Study Of Federal Poly Nekede)

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Public Relations, As A Tool For Eradicating Cultism In Nigerian Tertiary Institutions (A Case Study Of Federal Poly Nekede)


This work/project is dedicated to God Almighty for his spiritual effort, wonderful mercies, guidance and his provision throughout the period. I say thanks and glory be to you Lord.


I wish to express our profound gratitude to all who in one way or the pother were of help to us in completing this work.

Firstly, I would acknowledge my supervisor Mr. NWAMARA, whose strict supervision and advice made this project a reality. I would also acknowledge our head of department Dr. Mrs. Basillia Igbokwe under whose leadership we concluded our national diploma (ND) programme.

Not lefting out our lecturers, most especially Mr. Victor Alozie, Miss Sheba Macham and Mrs. Linda Ikechukwu. Not forgetting my parent and sponsors who not only financed my stay in the school but stood by me throughout the ups and downs of this period.

My thanks go to the staff and management of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri for their co-operation, the staff of the polytechnic library and libraries consulted in the course of this research.


The project provides a brief historical perspective to the issue of using public relations as a veritable tool in eradicating cultism in the Nigeria eradication system. the many destructive tendencies of cultism are also highlighted alongside the   educational sub-sector, with particular reference to the tertiary institution.

The project concludes that the menace of cultism have had a huge impact in bringing about the present low quality of education in Nigerian – a situation that spells doom for the future of the country. Consequent upon the conclusion therefore, it advances a number of suggestions which could go along way to stem the ugly tide of this unwholesome trend, which has adversely affected the good quality of our education today.

Table Of Content

  • Title page i
  • Approval page ii
  • Dedication iii
  • Acknowledgement iv
  • Abstract v

Chapter One

  • Introduction
  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the research problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research question
  • 1.5 Research hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the study
  • 1.7 Scope of the study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the study
  • 1.9 Definitions of terms

Chapter Two

  • Literature Review
  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Literature review
  • 2.3 Summary of literature review

Chapter Three

  • Research Design Methodology
  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Sources of Data collection
  • 3.3 Population and sample size
  • 3.4 Sampling Techniques
  • 3.5 Validity and Reliability of Measuring Instrument
  • 3.6 Methods of data analysis

Chapter Four

  • Data Presentation And Analyses
  • 4.1 Data analysis and presentation
  • 4.2 Results
  • 4.3 Discussion of findings

Chapter Five

  • Summary,Conclusion And Recommendations
  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • 5.4 Recommendations for further studies
  • References
  • Appendices.

Chapter One


1.1 Background To The Study

Cultism is dated back to 1952, when Wole Soyinka winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize for Literature-and a group of friends at the University of Ibadan formed the Pyrates Confraternity with the motto “Against all Conventions”. The skull and cross bones were their insignia, cultivating a bohemian style that ridiculed the colonial attitudes mode of dress of the day.

This caught on among students and over the next two decades, the fraternity, a non-violent body, became established in all the tertiary institutions that emerged in post-independence Nigeria.

The emergence of campus cults as they are known in Nigeria today began with a split in the Pyrates Confraternity during the early 1970s when a breakaway group formed the Buccaneers Confraternity followed by the emergence of the Black Axe or the Neo-Black Movement. Inter-group rivalry then set in, even though skirmishes between them were limited to fist fights.

The 1980s saw the multiplication of cults in the more than 300 tertiary institutions across Nigeria as new groups such as the Eiye, Vikings, Amazons and Jezebel emerged, bringing with them more intensely violent rivalry. By 1984, when Soyinka initiated the abolition of the Pyrates Confraternity in all tertiary institutions, the phenomenon of violent had developed a life of its own.

By the mid-1980s, reports had it that some of the cults have been co-opted by elements in the intelligence and security services serving the military government such that they were used as foils to the left-wing student unions which, along with university teachers, were among the only remaining bastions of opposition to military rule. Cultism includes the activities of secret cults or societies that are very rampant in our institutions of learning today. The founding fathers of such societies do not have the mind of carrying out evils but as a pressure group that can monitor and defend the interest of the immorality of students’ populace without violence. But the activities of the various cults seen day in our institutions are far from the above reasons.

They have constituted themselves into gangs of “never-do-well” set of people. Their mission today is to loot, kill, steal and destroy lives and properties at will. The violence associated with them is reported to be as a result of battles for supremacy among them. They have constituted themselves into a big cog in the wheel of Nigeria’s education development. Indeed, the growth and maturation of examination malpractice tendencies in our tertiary institutions have been considered as one of the direct fallouts of cultism.  Hardly a month passes these days, without reports of deaths of students or staff resulting from cult-related violence.

This has not only created an atmosphere of insecurity in our campuses, it is also diverting attention from the primary purpose of the universities which is education. At a time when funding of these institutions are inadequate, and the standard of education is said to be falling, cultism and examination malpractices tendencies are clearly a big problem for the concerned authorities.

Taiwo (2004) declared that “what we are all witnessing today in the education sector is a sad reflection of corruption in the society and the low priority placed on standardization and improvement of the intellectual custodians of our time by those in governance”. This is against the fact that most members of these cults are from rich homes and are never serious with their studies; thus prompting their venturing into examination malpractices. Whenever they fail their courses, they react violently through their cult members against the teachers in charge of their failed courses.

They operate at night and conduct initiation of new members at dawn in these institutions coming out with dangerous weapons at the middle of the nights when students who are ignorant of their activities fall victim. The recent arrest of some students who were believed to be cult members at Esa-Oke Federal Technical College serves as typical case in point.

The fire of cult terrorism on the campuses which raged on for about one year, after the half-heated spray of cult antidote by the Federal Government in 1999, has steadily intensified and burst into flames once more. In the first two weeks of August 2004, 33 students of three universities were brutally murdered in cultic butcheries, suspected to have been perpetuated by cult members among students of tertiary institutions.

1.2 Statement  Of The Problem

The basic conditions for sustained academic culture have been eroded in OAU. The institution has fallen into disrepute and the products of the institution are no more what they used to be. Cult activities are seriously affecting all academic activities.

Sometimes students are attracted in hostiles classrooms, bus tops etc. daylight and gang raping becomes the order of the day; killing of students by members of cult is no longer news, therefore the need to eradicate this problem in FEDPONEK through public relations communication becomes imperative.

Public relations as problems solving communication is expected to create the necessary enlightenment for the students of FEDPONEK and awaken then no what is needed of them in an academic community like FEDPONEK, especially now that various levels of government and the general over hand of all Nigerian tertiary institutions.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The aims of this study include the following:

  1. To know the reasons for joining cultism on campus.
  2. To examine the policies and programmes of FEDPONEK management in cubing cultism.
  3. To find out if FEDPONEK has laws that will help students resist joining of secret cults.
  4. To examine the measure the school authority has taken in cubing cultism.
  5. To study the various challenges the cultists groups have caused on the school activities.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. To what extent does non-information on cultism and its damager to FEDPONEK students have prevented school to cub it?
  2. What are the reasons for joining cultism on campus?
  3. Does FEDPONEK management have policies and programmes in place to in        cubing cultism?
  4. Does FEDPONEK has laws that can help students resist joining of secret cults.
  5. What are the various problems the cultists groups have caused on   campus?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Hypothesis One
  • H1   The non-information on cultism has cursed a lot of damage to FEDPONEK students.
  • H0   The non-information on cultism has not cursed any damage to FEDPONEK students.
Hypothesis Two
  • H2   The public relations department of FEDPONEK has been mobilizing and encouraging the students to support crusade against cultism.
  • H0   The public relations department of FEDPONEK has not been mobilizing and encouraging the students to support any crusade against cultism.


The relevance of this study cannot be over-emphasized in that,

  1. The research will help to excavate the evolution and the remote causes of this problem and proffer an enduring solutions to it in FEDPONEK  in particular and the whole nation at large.
  2. This study is also significant because it will awaken the FEDPONEK management and other educational institutions of the importance of public relations as an effective and wonderful tool for solving any institutional problems of whatever ramifications.
  3. The study is equally significant because it will make one know the modus operandi of these secret cults nation wide. Also their names and headquarters are equally covered by this study.
  4. The research will help to excavate the evolution and the remote causes of cultism on campuses and proffer and enduring solutions to it. It will awaken the management of institutions on how to use public relations to cub cultism.
  5. Students will also benefit from this work, by knowing how to resist joining cultism. Public Relations department will know how to carry out their duties to cub cultism on campus.

1.7 Scope Of The Study

This research focuses on public relations as veritable tools for eradicating cultism in Nigeria tertiary institution. However, due to time, finance and other logistics the work has been narrowed down to FEDPONEK, since it is difficult to study all Nigeria Higher Institutions, therefore, demography of FEDPONEK will be considered before distributing the research instrument.

1.8 Limitations Of The Study

In the process of research the following are the limitations I encountered.

Firstly, there is limitation imposed by lean financial resources, which expressly affected the number of visits to the selected ministries.

Secondly, given the tight schedule of the researcher, time available for the work, was also a limiting factor.

Thirdly, a lot of difficulties were encountered in the course of collecting information and data for the study; these constraints attitude of respondents and unwillingness of the parts of administrative to release, some official documents, all these hampered availability of certain information that would have helped the researcher.

Finally, the high costs of transportation, occasionally ill health were also encountered.

1.9 Conceptual And Operational Definition Of Terms.

CON:  Public- is any group or segment with which the organization has relations or interacts with in the course of its corporations or practices.

OP:  Public- the segment the organization has relations or interaction with: the workers, students and management.

CON:  Public Relations- is a deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its public.

OP:  Public Relations- Any form of techniques employed by the school authority influencing students and promoting good will and favorably reputation among its public.

CON: Tool- is anything that helps one to do one’s job.

OP:  Tool- The tools that helped the public relations to achieve their success are publicity, press agency, media relations, student handbooks, public opinion, personal communication, visit to opinion leaders and seminars.

CON: Eradicating- is a way to destroy anything completely of completely or put an end to something.

OP:  Eradicating- the techniques adopted by the school authorities to stop it are expelling of students, open confession and to champ-down cultism activities in the school.

CON: Cultism- is an association of people that come together to form a religious body having common belief, mode of worship and activities are done in an isolated and private place, because their way of worship connote evil against humanity such as using human being for rituals.

OP: Cultism- they attack students in the hostiles, classrooms, bus stops, gang raping and killing of students.

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