The Role Of Information And Communication Technology In Promoting Secret Cult Activities In Nigerian Universities

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

The Role Of Information And Communication Technology In Promoting Secret Cult Activities In Nigerian Universities


Abstract


This study investigated the role of information and communication technology in promoting secret cult activities in Nigerian universities. Specifically, the study investigated whether mobile phones is used in disseminating information of secret cult activities in Nigeria universities and examined how the internet promote secret cult activities in Nigerian universities. A total of 150 responses were validated from the survey. The study adopts the technology acceptance theory. From the responses obtained and analysed, the findings reveals that how the internet promote secret cult activities in Nigerian universities include: cult activities and schedules are promptly distributed to members using mobile phones, cult activities are now easily monitored by members, nocturnal meetings are arranged easily through the mobile phones and targeting and coercing new students into joining secret cults are done easily using mobile phones. The study also found out that how the internet promote secret cult activities in Nigerian universities include: by showing the glamorous side of cultism, aids the easy link up to cultists group, using of films and pictures of glamour to show the perceived benefits of cultism and aids peer pressure. The study recommended that constant campaigns against cultism should be encouraged through the use of social media during their sessional orientation programmes as they help the university community effectively sensitizing and conscientising its staff and students against the ills of cultism, while structuring their focus on their social reality on campus, using the digital platforms. The study further recommended that students should be encouraged to use their mobile phones appropriately and report suspected or detected cases of cult activities to school authorities.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

In 1952, Oluwole Akinwande Soyinka and six others, known as the magnificent seven, founded the pyrate confraternity at Ibadan University College, which is now regarded as the birthplace of Nigerian campus secret cults. While the organization was created to improve social life on campus and to create a structure that would allow discipline, orderliness, and orientation to laudable national goals to be achieved, this pristine pure cult spirit became disoriented over time. The numerous breakaways made it difficult to track the earlier goals, and violence took over. According to Ogulana (2013), hidden cult practices pose a danger to academics, social life, and, most importantly, the wellbeing of people living in the university community and environs. Armed gangs prowl the hostels, schools, and lecturer’s quarters, causing pain and casualties as they please, and often with a ferocity more akin to jungle warfare. These desperate ruffians fill the minds of innocent students and lecturers with fear. In Nigeria, the university population is increasingly becoming a training ground for practitioners of various societal ills such as petty theft, criminality, rape, female trafficking, drug abuse, examination malpractice, and so on. The entire university world has quickly devolved into a battlefield, with young people being killed, maimed, and exposed to deadly weapons. Since the participants are veiled in secrecy. Since it is always difficult to distinguish participants, cultists are discussed in hushed tones and with apprehension.

Administrators, lecturers, and other students on campus are in grave danger from the numerous cult groups. Several management techniques have been implemented to combat cult practices, but they have not achieved the desired results (Oladunjoye 2011). In Nigeria, information and communication technologies (ICT) have been widely adopted, and the use of mobile phones has grown in popularity, especially among the youth. ICT has had a major effect on curbing cult practices in various tertiary institutions, according to Osoba(2011). Cult members used to work manually until the introduction of ICT. Bizarree and grosteque were pasted in strategic locations, and meeting notices were made with signs and unique symbols that could only be deciphered by initiated participants. Recruitment drives were conducted in a crude manner, including all sorts of coercion and deception, as well as a dispute of venues that often resulted in cult clashes. Non-members also fear sailing nights because they might not be aware of the planned venue for such an unwholesome gathering.

According to Onah (2013), cult members can easily disseminate details to their members via cell phone, either for an emergency meeting or for members to ‘fly safely.’ Cult meetings were often held at a certain time of the week or month at the ‘empires’ before the advent of cell phones in Nigeria, but when there are emergency meetings, the details can only be conveyed to members by signs and symbols. The majority of signs and symbols are unfamiliar to non-initiated participants and can be frightening. Students will usually be frightened out of their seats to allow for an emergency meeting. It is now possible to disseminate information using cell phones. Membership forms were collected or sent out to would-be members in such a strange way before the advent of modern information and communication technologies in Nigeria that it was kept in utmost secrecy, but today registration can be done on-line. Cult feasts, such as the “black night,””feast of Barancuda,” and others, are often registered for attendance online. Scale movement of cult members can be avoided to some degree because members can now travel independently and gather at specified locations without much regard for non-members.


1.2 Statement of Problem

Cult abuse has claimed many lives and ruined many properties (Mgbekem 2004). Young undergraduates who are expected to be potential leaders have been victims of cultists with a short fuse (Jamiu 2008). Owing to cult practices, our youth population is slowly dwindling. Property worth billions of Naira has been lost in communities across the Niger-Delta, where cult activity has become prevalent in recent years. Communities have been depopulated as residents flee to safer locations (Adewale 2005). When there is a cult attack on campus, the peace is disrupted, and academic activities can be suspended for a period of time. Academic operations in these organizations have been brought to a halt several times due to cult activity. Cults on college campuses murder, maim, and rape fellow students and even lecturers. Lecturers are threatened with giving cultists that don’t show up to class undeserved grades (Opaluwah 2009). In fact, cultism appears to put some lecturers on edge, as they may not want to be the next target of the cult’s unwholesome activities. Furthermore, politicians who seek influence by force use cultists as political thugs to intimidate rivals and exploit the democratic process.


1.3 Objective of the Study

  1. To investigate the use of mobile phones in disseminating information of secret cult activities in Nigeria universities
  2. The examine how the internet promote secret cult activities in Nigerian universities

1.4 Research Questions

  1. How can mobile phones be used in disseminating information of secret cult activities in Nigerian universities
  2. How do the internet promote secret cult activities in Nigerian universities

1.5 Research Hypothesis

The following null hypothesis will validate this study:

  • Ho: Information and communication technology has no impact in the promotion of secret cult activities in Nigerian universities.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This research would benefit individuals, teachers, parents or guardians, the educational system, and society as a whole. It will also serve as raw data for prospective researchers who may want to conduct a similar analysis.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study aims to assess the role of information and communication technology in promoting secret cult activities in Nigeria universities. The sample respondent will be staffs and students of cross river state university of technology (CRUTECH)


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Finance, time constraint and lack of research work were major challenges the researcher encountered during the course of this study


1.9 Definition of Terms

Information:

Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of “What an entity is” and thus defines both its essence and the nature of its characteristics.

Communication:

The act of developing meaning among entities or groups through the use of sufficiently mutually understood signs, symbols, and semiotic conventions.

Cult:

Cult is a social group that is defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or by its common interest in a particular personality, object, or goal.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the role of information and communication technology in promoting secret cult activities in Nigerian universities. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the role of information and communication technology in promoting secret cult activities in Nigerian universities. The study was specifically focused on investigating whether mobile phones is used in disseminating information of secret cult activities in Nigeria universities, and examining how the internet promote secret cult activities in Nigerian universities.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 150 responses were validated. And the enrolled participants are all selected staff and students of cross river state university of technology (CRUTECH).


5.3 Conclusions

In the ‘dark-ages’ the cult members were even more respected than most school administrators. They threaten lives of innocent staff and students, they unleash terror to the academic community, they converge at will and can even disrupt major school activities. It was difficult to apprehend members coupled with the fact that there are several gory stories of cultism like drinking of human blood using human skull to drink, exaggerated stories of initiation rites, the ritualistic aspects of the group and several other stories. This to a reasonable extent made school administrators to trend with caution all issues relating to cultism. With the introduction of ICT, enough confidence has been built among staff and students. Information flow is now easier and faster, the social media and other internet applications give enough information concerning the various cults such that the beauty of cultism which is the secrecy is now lost.
In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  • How the internet promote secret cult activities in Nigerian universities include: cult activities and schedules are promptly distributed to members using mobile phones, cult activities are now easily monitored by members, nocturnal meetings are arranged easily through the mobile phones and targeting and coercing new students into joining secret cults are done easily using mobile phones.
  • How the internet promote secret cult activities in Nigerian universities include: by showing the glamorous side of cultism, aids the easy link up to cultists group, using of films and pictures of glamour to show the perceived benefits of cultism and aids peer pressure.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings the researcher recommends that;

  1. Constant campaigns against cultism should be encouraged through the use of social media during their sessional orientation programmes as they help the university community effectively sensitising and conscientising its staff and students against the ills of cultism, while structuring their focus on their social reality on campus, using the digital platforms.
  2. Students should be encouraged to use their mobile phones appropriately and report suspected or detected cases of cult activities to school authorities.
  3. The phone numbers of the university security officers as well the school administrators should be made handy to students.
  4. Closed circuit televisions could be installed strategically in the school and connected to other mobile devices.
  5. School administrators must have up to date information concerning the use of certain applications on the mobile phones and must also visit the internet regularly.

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