The Role Of Public Relations In Combating Cultism In The Nigerian Institutions
Cultism in higher institutions of learning has been identified as a major threat to the peace of the students, lecturers and the entire institution community. This weapon of peaceful interruption has led to some students dropping out of school; some has performed below average while others have lost their lives due to their involvement in cult activities. Painfully, cultism has not only taken the lives of her participants but also innocent students and law abiding citizens have been victims of the violence that emanates from cultism. One of the several non-violent tools which can be used to fight and control cultism is public relations. This study examines the role of public relations in combating cultism in Nigerian institutions. The study adopted the descriptive method of data analysis where hypotheses were developed and tested using the chi-square statistical tool. The study found that the public relations agency has a vital role of information dissemination and a mediating role to play in combating cultism in higher institutions.
Table Of Content
- Title page
- Approval page
- Table of content
- 1.1 Background of the study
- 1.2 Statement of problem
- 1.3 Objective of the study
- 1.4 Research Hypotheses
- 1.5 Significance of the study
- 1.6 Scope and limitation of the study
- 1.7 Definition of terms
- 1.8 Organization of the study
2.0 Literature Review
3.0 Research Methodology
- 3.1 sources of data collection
- 3.3 Population of the study
- 3.4 Sampling and sampling distribution
- 3.5 Validation of research instrument
- 3.6 Method of data analysis
4.0 Data Presentation And Analysis And Interpretation
- 4.1 Introductions
- 4.2 Data analysis
5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
- 5.1 Introduction
- 5.2 Summary
- 5.3 Conclusion
- 5.4 Recommendation
1.1 Background Of The Study
Cultism is undeniably one of the social vices setting the hand of the developmental clock of Nigeria backwards. The unabated atrocities of secret cults in the Nigerian educational institutions and even in the wider Nigerian society continue to take tolls on the lives of young and old Nigerians. Many young people, politicians, academics and industrialists have been hacked down in their prime by the cultists. It could be in the execution of a contract to assassinate and waste the life of their mentor’s real or imagined often political enemy. Acting as hirelings, the cultists get their target in his residence or office or track him down on the way. In most cases, the murderers ‘escape,’ not tracked down because they are serving the powers that be. They do not face the wrath of the law because the event is linked to a political godfather, a sacred cow. The dismayed Enugu State Development Association (ESDA) feared in 2005 that the failure of the government security apparatus to arrest and prosecute any suspects in the numerous incidences of political murder in Enugu State showed that the government had a hand in the crimes and made speaking out very risky. More often than not, however, it is in a clash between two cult groups, the one trying to demonstrate its stronger devilish powers over the other.
The cultists strike in one Nigerian educational institution today and a reprisal occurs the next day in another institution, claiming lives in both cases. Sometimes, a chain of reactions is sparked off in many other institutions of higher learning. This depicts their synergy and network of existence and activities in a country already ravaged by underdevelopment, poverty and misery (Onoh, 2006). Widespread corruption in high places and endemic poverty in the society are precursors of cultism in the Nigerian educational institutions. Due to poor agricultural planning, leadership ineffectiveness and mismanagement, millions of Nigerians, many of them children, are starving to death. Only about 2% of Nigerians, many of them among the present and former ruling classes, control over 60% of the nation’s financial assets, while over 70% of the Nigerian population live below the poverty line (Encarta, 2005e and Umar, 2007). The cultists, mostly the youth, are merely responding to the societal contradictions in national socio-economic development.
Nigeria, with the natural potentials to be among the richest countries in the world, a paradise on earth for all, is variously rated between the 13th and 21st poorest country and 1st or 2nd most corrupt nation in the whole wide world (Eneh, 1985 and Eneh, 2006). Successive military and civilian governments have paid lip-service to the eradication of secret cults in Nigerian schools. Rather than thin out, these secret societies appear to grow by leaps and bounds, and to spread fast from the tertiary institutions of learning into the secondary and primary schools (The Guardian on Sunday, 2000 and Eneh, 2006). Only iron political will can stamp cultism out of the Nigerian educational institutions and halt the untold tolls it exacts on the lives of the citizenry. But, since the political ruling class benefits from the services of cultists, as political thugs and hired assassins, the required political will appears impossible to mop up in the country in the nearest future. Worse still, the children of the ruling class might be involved as cultists in the matter, making the case a no-go area. Therefore, the nation might as well get ready to put up with this hydra-headed social vice for a long time to come. Relying on information from literature, this paper attempts to paint the gruesome picture of the incidence and atrocities of campus cultism and to deduce its fundamental causes in Nigeria. The suggested way out of the national menace is mustering of the political will by the ruling class to eradicate it by seriously confronting its systemic root causes.
1.2 Statement Of Research Problem
During the ministerial nominee on June 22, 1999, in the senate floor; some of the screening questions bordered on the economy, education, and general decay in the educational system and cultism. The basic conditions for sustained academic culture have been eroded in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree. 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 attacked in hostels, 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 many higher institutions especially Osun State Polytechnic, Iree which is our case study through public relations communication becomes imperative.
Public relation as problems solving communication is expected to create the necessary enlightenment of the students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and awaken them to what is needed of them in an academic community like Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, especially now in all Nigerian tertiary institutions.
1.3 Objectives Of Study
The aim of this study include the following:
- To find out the extent of non-information on cultism and its dangers to Osun State Polytechnic, Iree students.
- To ascertain the extent of adequacy of actualization and encouragement of the students to support the crusade against cultism.
- To examine the adequacy of policies and programmes of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree management on cultism to the students.
- To find out if there are laws that will help student resist joining of secret cults.
1.4 Research Hypotheses
The study formulated and developed for testing, the following hypotheses:
- H0: There is no sufficient information about cultism to create awareness in Osun state polytechnic.
H1: There is no sufficient information about cultism to create awareness in Osun state polytechnic.
- H02: The implementation of stricter laws in Osun state polytechnic will discourage the students from participating in cult activities.
H12: The implementation of stricter laws in Osun state polytechnic will discourage the students from participating in cult activities.
1.5 Significance Of Study
The relevance of this study cannot be over emphasized in that the research will help to excavate the evolution and the remote causes of this problem and proffer and enduring solutions to it in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree in particular and the whole nation at large.
This study is also significant because it will awaken the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree management and other educational institutions of the importance of public relations as an effective and wonderful tool for solving any institutional problems if whatever ramifications. The study is equally significant because it will make one know the modus operandi of those secret cults nationwide. Also their names and headquarters are equally coverer by this study. The study is significant because it will show when public and private organizations acknowledged the importance of Public Relations in business.
Finally, it will clear areas people so have misconceptions about public relations and also touch and highlight what public relations is not.
1.6 Limitation Of Study
Although this study has accomplished the purpose, which is set out to achieve, one of the very limitations is that the validity of the results or findings is depending on the honest of the respondents in providing the needed information. Due to constraints of time and money, it is difficult to carry out the research extensively. This led to the limiting of the scope.
Cognizance was also taken to the fact that the academic calendar was too short and academic workload was enormous, as a result of this, no time to run around for the work
1.7 Definition Of Terms
A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public.
To fight or contend against; oppose vigorously
An organization, establishment, foundation, society, or the like, devoted to the promotion of a particular cause or program, especially one of a public, educational, or charitable character.
1.8 Organization Of The Study
The study is divided into five chapters.
- Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study.
- Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature.
- The chapter three gives the research methodology while
- The chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data.
- The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.
Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation
It is important to reiterate that the objective of this study was to examine the role of public relations in combating cultism in Nigeria institutions.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in examining the role of public relations in combating cultism in Nigeria institutions.
This study was undertaken to examine the role of public relations in combating cultism in Nigeria institutions. The study opened with chapter one where the statement of the problem was clearly defined. The study objectives and research hypotheses were defined and formulated respectively. The study reviewed related and relevant literatures. The chapter two gave the conceptual framework, empirical and theoretical studies. The third chapter described the methodology employed by the researcher in collecting both the primary and the secondary data. The research method employed here is the descriptive survey method. The study analyzed and presented the data collected in tables and tested the hypotheses using the chi-square statistical tool. While the fifth chapter gives the study summary and conclusion.
Conclusions And Recommendations
From Independence in 1960 till the early 1980s, when the economy of Nigeria was buoyant, little was heard of cultism in the Nigerian educational institutions. From the mid-eighties, when austerity measures and a number of economic reforms were introduced in the country in response to the global oil-glut of the late 1970s and the attendant dwindling petro-dollar revenue, economic stress-induced social vices, including campus cultism, multiplied. Cultism is not just related to socio-economic distress; it is a response by the youth to corruption-induced poverty in the land of abundant natural resources. Only iron political will can stamp secret cultism out of the Nigerian educational institutions and halt the untold tolls it wrecks on the lives of the citizenry, especially the youth and future generations. To stem the tide, the political ruling class has to mop up the courage and iron political will to reverse the trend. The matter has to be addressed from the top and the bottom will duly respond. The nation with its cake belongs to all citizens, and the ruling class owes accountability to those who have allowed them to occupy the public positions. Asking the citizenry to tighten their belts for reform measures to salvage the ailing economy, while the ruling class is neck-deep into corrupt practices and executive kleptocracy, will continue to court disorderly reactions from the youth. Some Nigerian leaders are dishonest and unreliable to the core: masses-oriented and people-centric only in their campaign promises, but oblivious of manifesto contract and thoroughly self-centered in their activities throughout their tenure.
This attitude ought to be reversed, if the conundrum of social vices, including cultism, must become anachronistic. Since cultism stems chiefly from the breakdown of campus traditional social norms and controls, giving rise to, among others, hunger and poor nutrition, poor hostel and recreational facilities, poor learning environment, unemployment, and economic crises, preventing cultism is a better approach than punishing it. Therefore, the government ought to initiate attacks on the conditions that breed cultism. The government can also support public relations in higher institutions to hosting awareness programmes to create an environment of knowledge amongst the students. Also the public relations should also serve as a mediating agent for the student. This can be effected by speaking up on behalf of students and making sure that victims of cult harassment get justice and the perpetrators punished for their acts.
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