Rehabilitation Of Ex-Cultists In Tertiary Institutions

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

Rehabilitation Of Ex-Cultists In Tertiary Institutions


The issue of cultism in our higher institutions of learning is such that has reached an alarming rate inspite of the concerted effort being mobilized against it by the government, institutions authorities, parent and students themselves.

Therefore, this research work examine the perception of students, lecturers and the society towards this menace.

It goes a long way to assess how students view or consider the menace in a diversified and interogenious society like the institution of higher learning.

The research uses discussion format as the instrument of the fact finding. However the facts gathered reveals that our institutions authorities and the students themselves have a positive altitude towards National building, else the menace may remain a barrier to the attainment of same.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Cultism and its attendant problems have assumed a threatening dimension in recent times in the Nigerian society. More disturbing is the fact that cultism cuts across all facets of the society, including the educational institutions in the country. The immediate consequence is that the Nigerian universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and secondary schools have become centres of violence, instead of centres of learning that they were hitherto known for. Indeed, some scholars like Gimba Abubakar (2002) commenting on the deteriorating standards of tertiary education referred to cult activities in the universities as offering Bachelor of Science in violence and Master of Administration in cultism.

This situation prompted Eneji (1996) to have remarked that almost every passing day, there are new stories of devilish acts perpetuated by secret cults on campuses. He added further that from the universities to polytechnics, colleges of education and other tertiary institutions of learning come stories of violence, torture and unwarranted intimidation executed by members of secret cults.

It is common place to see that most Nigerian newspapers and magazines have become bulletin boards for reporting the daily exploits of members of secret cults. In fact, tertiary institutions are now breeding ground for cultists operations. Within the framework of cultism, justice is replaced with Jungle Justice, peace by tales of horror, love by brutality. Intimidation, tortures and extortions abound and morality seems to have been driven into outright decadence. In the same way, academic excellence has been relegated to the background. Unfortunately, all efforts to tackle the social menace, cultism in Nigerian tertiary institutions, especially in Delta State have defied all solutions. The efforts of the Government and the managements of this citadel of learning are like putting off the fire without identifying the sources of the fire.

Cult clashes in Delta State tertiary institutions have often led to the destruction of lives and property, brutal rapes, maiming and kidnapping. They have been a major threat to the effective pursuit of academics in the institutions of higher learning in Delta State and beyond.

The ravaging problem posed by cultism brings to the fore the numerous social problems that characterize modern and traditional societies like ours and this culminate to efforts by sociologists and other related professionals coming up to proffer solutions to the unpleasant socio-cultural conditions which tend to have unpleasant consequences for humanity.

Taking a clue from the above analysis, cultism could be well described as a social menace due to its associated morally questionable conducts murder, prostitution, rape and sexual harassment, armed robbery, etc.

Cultism as manifested in secret cults is a set of practices, beliefs or ideas whose essence is known only to members and exclusively admired and dependent upon by many, even to the extent that members would want to lay down their lives. It is this doggedness of members that reinforces the importance of and awe of the group, especially among non-members.

Honestly speaking, cults membership involves close group membership such as the Ogboni secret cult among the Yoruba of the South Western Nigeria, now the Refined Ogboni Fraternity, Ekpe secret cult among the Efiks of the Southern part of Nigeria, Asigidi found in the Benin Area of Edo State, etc. with their different ways of carrying out their activities in their area of jurisdiction. The most disheartening thing is that what is happening in the larger society has been transferred into the tertiary institutions in Nigeria and the Delta State axis in particular.

This social dynamism has caused a social disorganization, intellectual stagnation, and a crimogenic society where anxiety and fear of the unknown stand in the way of capacity building and national development.

The quest to curb the attended problem of cultism has led to the identification of several causal factors such as government ineptitude, poor family background, staunched self development and social disorganization in all facets of life.

In the past different efforts have been made by government, non-governmental organizations and managements of tertiary institutions to bring order to cultists activities on campuses. However, all these strategies adopted by these responsible bodies have proved moderate success as cultists activities in Delta State tertiary institutions have become more sophisticated and unpredictable with the glaring challenge of rehabilitating those ex-cultists who renounced their membership in their different cults.

The issue that captures the minds of sociologists and other professionals is whether we should fold our hands and pretend not to see these promising youths who have renounced cult membership rot away, or should we ignore those ex-cultists to their fate?

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Ex-cultists in tertiary institutions suffer some psychological setbacks in relation to their fellow students on campuses. Initially, at the time of initiation and active participation in cult activities, they were on top of the world. They were terrorists to their schoolmates and victims but with the new change of status as ex-cultists, their power and influence begins to dwindle. They sometimes feel alienated from their old friends and sometimes feared to be victimized by opposition camps and even their former cult members.

Some of the envisaged problems faced by ex-cultists are given below:

  1. They are unable to think critically and logically.
  2. They are sometimes prey and victims of cults members and opposition camps.
  3. They suffer from fear due to impaired thinking and consequently anxiety of the unknown.
  4. Inability to do well in academics and other areas of life due to threats from former cult members.
  5. Loss of respect and identity among their school mates.
  6. Inability of school management to cater for their traumatic and psychological problems.
  7. They suffer from emotional stress.
  8. They are unable to be well re-integrated into the academic community.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of rehabilitation programmes on the self sustainability of ex-cultists, in tertiary institutions

1.4 Objectives of the Study

  1. To investigate the extent to which self awareness programmes offered in the campus impact on the rehabilitation of ex-cultists.
  2. To assess how the Vocational training offered in campus impact on the self sustainability of the ex-cultists in Nigeria.
  3. To explore the extent to which the attitude of the ex-cultists towards the programmes offered in the campus impact on their rehabilitation.
  4. To establish the extent to which the aftercare support impacts on ex-cultists rehabilitation

1.5 Research Questions

  1. To what extent can self awareness programmes offered in the campus impact on the rehabilitation of ex-cultists?
  2. How does the Vocational training offered in campus impact on the rehabilitation of the ex-cultists in Nigeria?
  3. To what extent does the attitude of the ex-cultists towards the programmes offered in the campus impact on their rehabilitation?
  4. To what extent does the aftercare support impact on ex-cultists rehabilitation?

1.6 Assumptions

The following assumptions are developed to enable the researcher to critically examine the subject matter:

  1. Low academic performance is directly related to ex-cultist membership of secret cult.
  2. Aggressive behaviour is directly related to membership of secret cults.
  3. Individuals from defective family background are more prone to membership of secret cult.
  4. There is relationship between the rehabilitation efforts of school management and ex-cultists in tertiary institutions.

1.7 Scope and Limitation of Study

This study is carried out within the confines of tertiary institutions in Delta State. The choice for this boundary is due to the fact that the situations in Delta State University Campuses located at Abraka and Oleh, Delta State Polytechnic at Ozoro, Oghara and Ogwachuku , Delta State College of Education at Agbor, and Warri and other citadel of higher learning. However, the situation is not different from other universities or colleges nationwide but due to time and financial constraints, the focus shall be at the three campuses of Delta state University situated at Abraka.

1.8 Significance of the Study

The research work is directed at contributing to knowledge in all citadel of learning. The following are the relevance:

  1. The study will show the relationship that exist between cults activities and Nigerian students.
  2. It will also indicate whether the activities of cultists on the students have been more relevant or otherwise.
  3. It shall also make recommendations on areas where necessary to improve the lots of the Nigerian students.
  4. The recommendations of this study shall be useful to counselors in all respect to students life.
  5. It shall be of immense benefit to government ministries, agencies and other non-governmental organizations involved on the intervention and prevention of cultism in Nigerian universities and other colleges of learning.
  6. It shall also be used for the rehabilitation of ex-cultists who have renounced their membership of secret cults.
  7. This study shall also be an eye-opener to fresh undergraduates in higher institutions.
  8. The study shall also serve as a guide to psychologists who are involved in the rehabilitation of ex-cultists.

1.9 Research Methodology

This encompasses the sources of data and data analysis.

1.9.1 Sources of Data

The data for this study shall be collected from primary and secondary sources. In the case of the former, the researcher shall randomly distribute 30 Questionnaire to the three campuses of Delta State University, Abraka.
In each questionnaire, 20 questions shall be asked and the questionnaire shall be collected the same day. On the other hand, secondary sources of data shall be based on unpublished and published documents, journals and related literature which shall be sought from the library, and internet.

1.9.2 Data Analysis

The data collected shall be presented orderly for proper analysis. The completed and answered questionnaire shall be analyzed using the quantitative research method.

In addition, this document and relevant literatures shall be well analyzed in concomitant with the data so collected.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion of the Study

The first objective was to investigate the extent to which programmes offered in campus impact on the rehabilitation of the ex-cultists in Nigeria. It was that found that 76.6% of the ex-cultists felt that formal education had no impact on rehabilitation of the ex- cultist. This can be explained by the fact that formal education of primary and secondary levels school only imparts general knowledge on individuals and not skills, expertise and experience. Formal education at either college or university in needed to equip one with skills and knowledge to the write-collar jobs starting formal enterprises.

In the assessment on how the Vocational training offered in campus impact on the self- sustainability of the ex-cultists in Nigeria, the study found out that only 15.7% of the ex-cultists felt that vocational training has impact on rehabilitation of the cultists. It is therefore important to reform the entire programme touching on vocational training so that it can adequately address the needs of the ex-cultists.

The third objective was to explore the extent to which the attitude of the inmates towards the programmes offered in campus impact on the rehabilitation of ex-cultists in Nigeria.

According to the findings, 81.6 % of the respondents did not approve of the courses offered and therefore did not like them at all since they were chosen by campus authorities for them. By the time of release hence, they still did not possess the skills required and also the knowledge to assist them get employed or start their own enterprises for their self sustenance. It can therefore be deduced that the attitude of the inmates had impacted negatively on the general welfare of the ex-cultists.

The fourth objective was to assess how the campus environment impacts on rehabilitation of ex-cultists in Nigeria. The study revealed that, 79.5% of the respondents rated the campus conditions as poor and only 12.5% saw the conditions as good. Such conditions can never allow free learning as the inmates spend most of their time trying to survive therefore, they learn less than expected in such circumstances. Upon release, the skills and knowledge they carry with them are not sufficient and therefore impact negatively on their general well being as far as their sustenance is concerned.

The last objective aimed at establishing the extent to which the aftercare support impacts on ex- cultists rehabilitation in Nigeria. The study established that all the 11 (100%) ex-cultists who received support felt that the support had assisted them to sustain themselves and their dependents.

The ex-cultists cited lack of capital to start up their own enterprises, lack of tools and materials and training are the greatest challenge they face. All (100%) the ex-cultists recommended that the government should provide tools to enable carry out their trade after release. In addition, all recommended that the ex-cultists should be provided with start-up capital and be offered market-oriented courses.

The tailoring course was undertaken by 34.8% of the cultists while 30.3% of the ex-cultists undertook a carpentry course, this is probably because they are the easiest courses to learn as they require very little education and also, they are the most available courses in the facility. Electrical wiring, number plating requires secondary education as a prerequisite which majority of ex-cultists did not have. The significant number of vocational courses undertaken confirms findings of a study carried out by Muteti S. (2008) which indicated that there was some decline in the number of campuses providing formal education and increase in provision of vocational training in the same. Out of the 109 ex-cultists who took vocational training 89.9% sat for Government Trade Test. It is quite commendable for certification increase chances of employability or award of contract leading to self-sustenance of the ex-cultists upon release and also opens up opportunity for one to advance or further skills learned and tested while still serving their sentences.

5.2 Recommendations of the Study

Formal education programmes in campuses should be carried out to the highest level and should be made mandatory to those inmates who have never been to school or have dropped out at primary or secondary school so that they provide a link or bridge to college or university. This way, they will in the long ran enhance acceptability back into their communities and self or formal employability of the ex-cultists.

The campus service Inspector General should come up with a clear training policy which will ensure that proper structures are in place for the proper training for all the inmates. This will see to it that the ex-cultists exit these institutions with proper skills which can help them secure employment or become self employed for self sustenance. This will have a lasting effect of reduction in crime rate and spurring development in the country.

Cultists should be allowed to make a choice of the vocational training programmes they want to undertake while in campus. This is because they would choose the programmes they have passion for and are likely to gain more skills and knowledge and benefit a lot from such programmes even after released from campus. This will in turn ensure that they are self sustaining and able to support their families and contribute to development projects within their communities instead of being viewed as a liability or burden which will eventually drive them back to crime.

The Inspector General of campus Service should ensure that the campus conditions are conducive for proper and full implementation of the rehabilitation programmes to the inmates, more learning facilities should be provided and even more well trained professionals to train the inmates. This will ensure that the programmes provided to the inmates are better learned and understood and making them more skilled and employable. Easing of the facilities will also reduce congestion as the rate of recidivism will be lowered as the rate of absorption of the ex-cultists in the job market will be high.

The after- campus care programmes through the cabinet secretary for and national coordination should be well structured and better organized and proper inventory for all those going through it kept besides, proper follow up, referral and support should be provided. The aftercare service should include provision of capital for the ex-cultists to start up their own enterprises, tools and materials for their trade.

Proper rehabilitation programmes in formal education, vocational training and aftercare support should be professionally done to enhance rehabilitation of the ex-cultists. The programmes must also be modern, provide practical exposure, be market focused and need based so that the ex-cultists can easily be absorbed into the job market and also be able to set up their own enterprises for their self sustainability.

The campus service should also embrace ICT since this is the way to go and this is a sure way of self employment for the ex-cultists.

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