Social Problems Associated With Secret Cult Activities In Tertiary Institutions In Cross River State

Social Studies Project Topic

Social Problems Associated With Secret Cult Activities In Tertiary Institutions In Cross River State


Abstract


This study social problems associated with secret cult activities in tertiary institutions in Cross River State, Nigeria. The population of the study comprised all the 811 lecturers and 13,533 students in all the tertiary institutions in Cross River State. 372 respondents made up of 170 lecturers and 202 students were used as sample. The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire titled ‘Campus Cult Social Problem Questionnaire (CCSPQ)”. Four research questions and two hypotheses guided the study. The research questions were answered using mean and standard deviation while ‘t’ test statistics tested the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The major findings show that factors leading to student cultism include adolescent’s developmental problems, ban on student’s unionism, societal corruption and inadequate use of counselling services. The social problems include spending extra years before graduation, stealing, disruption of social/recreational activities, untimely death and termination of Educational career. Measures for controlling cult activities include encouraging students to join religious groups, prohibiting the sale and consumption of intoxicating drugs, using guidance/counsellors, humiliating publicly cult members and legal action against them. Based on the findings, recommendations for implementation include government taking tougher measures on student cultists and university authorities beefing up the security department and equipping them adequately


Table of Content


Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Research Objectives
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Research Hypotheses
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitations of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organization of the Study

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Review
  • 2.1.1 Concept of Cultism
  • 2.1.2 Campus Cultism
  • 2.1.3 Concept of Social Problems
  • 2.1.4 History of Cultism in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions
  • 2.1.5 Prevalence of Cultism on Campuses
  • 2.1.6 Causes of Cultism in Nigerian Higher Institutions
  • 2.1.7 Effects of Cultism in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions
  • 2.1.8 Solutions to the Menace of Campus Secret Cults
  • 2.2 Theoretical Review
  • 2.2.1 The Behavioural Theory
  • 2.2.2 The Social Learning Theory
  • 2.3 Review of related Empirical Studies

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Instrument for Data Collection
  • 3.5 Validation of the Instrument
  • 3.6 Reliability of the Instrument
  • 3.7 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.8 Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis
  • 4.2 Hypotheses Testing
  • 4.3 Discussion of Findings

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Summary of Findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Criminal activities occasioned by cultism are not limited to Cross Rivers State, Nigeria. Cultism has become a universal phenomenon. It exists both in underdeveloped and developed countries. Insome countries, they are known as peer groups, organized crimes, and street gangs groups, among others. For instance, Howell and Moore (2010, p.2) disclosed that: The first gang-like groups began to emerge immediately after the American Revolution ended in 1783, but they were not seasoned criminals; only youth fighting over local turf. The beginning of serious ganging in New York City would commence a few years later, around 1820, in the wake of far more largescale immigration. The gangs that emerged from this melting pot were far more structured and dangerous. The third wave of gang activity developed in the 1950s and 1960s when Latino and black populations arrived en masse.

Most gang groups metamorphosed to cult organizations with a strong network as the case in Rivers State. They engage in nefarious activities against their rival members and innocent citizens in their area of existence. Cult members are young people who are knitted for antisocial behaviour, criminal activities, among others. Hence, Adewale(2015) viewed cultism “as a ritual practice by a group of people whose membership, admission, policy and initiation formalities” are unknown. Their modus operandi is done in secret and kept secret by their members. Oruwari and Owei. (2006,p.5) revealed that: Historically, cults in Nigeria were for the adults in the communities and they were part of the traditional religious systems. Although their activities were enshrined in secrecy, the members were known and revered by everyone in the communities, e.g.the Owegbe cult of the Benin kingdom and the Ogboni cult of the Yoruba land. These secret associations still exist and are powerful in assisting their members to gain political, social, and economic recognition in the country.

Similarly in Rivers State, before the emergence of the present cult groups, there were traditional cult groups like Oboni, amanikpo, Nwantam, among others in various ethnic extractions. At the same vein, before Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, violent criminal gangs in the city of Port Harcourt. These gangs were known and called Panikers. They were limited to their areas. They install fears on their victims for sexual or economic gains. However, as the number of dropouts from universities who were members of confraternity increased in the late 1990s and 2000s, they resorted to re-establishing cultism in Calabar. Cross Rivers State became a hotbed for the recruitment of cult organizations. Agbedo (2019) revealed that “there are over 50 cult groups in existence in Rivers State, the Deybam, Deywell/Icelander and Greenlander have been blamed for some of the notorious violence recorded in the state of late.”

Initially, the essence of forming local gang groups was to facilitate local drug peddling, which was aimed at making money. Over time, these groups began to contend over who controls drug business in the city of Port Harcourt, particularly in Diobu, Abonnema Wharf, and Port Harcourt Township. This collaborated with Rabasa, Boraz, Chalk, Cragin, Karasik, Moroney, O’Brien, and Peters (2007, p.245) assertion that the drug traffickers fight themselves, “as they vie for control of drug processing centers and transit routes that are used to smuggle drugs, weapons, and gasoline to support their respective agendas.” However, in 2003, these cult groups were integrated into the political landscape in Rivers State. Shaxson (2007, p.200) cited in Ogele (2020, p.8) noted that:

It was ahead of the next election in 2003, once civilian politics were properly embedded, what matters began to run out of control. In the run-up to those elections, Peter Odili, the wealthy and flamboyant governor of Rivers State and one President Obasanjo’s strongest supporter, employed Asari to intimidate opponents. Asari eventually split with Odili, and his men fought a bloody battle with the Niger Delta Vigilante, another militia led by the feared warlord Ateke Tom.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The fundamental problems of cultism are the uncertain and unsafe atmosphere in our campuses even to the activities of members of secret cult these manner of operation is both sinister and Bizerte living behind them a trial of what destruction most distressing of the problems is the state of killing in our campuses in recent times, many lives have been terminated, permanently in spite of measures put in place by the various arms of government and school authorities aimed at combating the ugly trend of cultism, the phenomenon on our campuses has refused to be eradicated. The detail of the wide spread of violent activities called cult group had been cured on national television and radio as well It has become a major problem for the Law Enforcement Agencies in both small and bigger cities in Nigeria, basically in Cross Rivers cult activities had led to wanton destruction of lives and properties. Innocent students were attacked by a cult group beating and taking their valuables.


I.3 Research Objectives

The main Objective of this study is to investigate the social problems associated with secret cult activities in tertiary institutions in Cross River State. Specific objectives include to:

  1. Examine the factors that lead to students’ cultism in tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State.
  2. Investigate the social problems associated with campus cult activities in tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State.
  3. Assess the the influence of institution type on campus cult activities in tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State.
  4. Examine the measures can effectively control campus cult activities in tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study;

  1. What are the factors that lead to students’ cultism in tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State?
  2. What are the social problems associated with campus cult activities in tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State?
  3. What is the influence of institution type on campus cult activities in tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State?
  4. What measures can effectively control campus cult activities in tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The result of this study will benefit university authorities, parents, counsellors, researchers, government and corporate bodies. This study will be beneficial to the university authorities in the various institutions to assess their shortcomings in their bid to check this menace. It will also help students to take a more rational decision concerning joining/associating with campus cultists. Parents will also benefit from this study because it will provide them with greater knowledge on the level of involvement and viciousness of the operations of the campus cultist problem. Such improved awareness will enhance their advisory role performance to their wards vis-à-vis the consequences of associating with cultists. Parents will also become more co-operative with the appropriate authorities in the handling of issues of secret cults in schools. The findings of the study will be beneficial to the academic community as a whole, since it is a research effort and reference material. Based on the results othe study, the Federal Government will be able to appraise their altitude and reactions to incidents of campus cultism in tertiary institutions in promulgating Decrees in planning and formulating Education Policies and providing adequate study equipment and environment conducive for teaching and learning as well as recreational facilities in the university campuses which in turn necessitate the attainment of school objective. This will help to establish a firm and cordial relationship among the students and lecturers in other to minimise social and emotional conflict arising from frictions and bickering in order to jointly attack a common problem.

The study will be beneficial to the students because when there is peace and harmony in the school, effective teaching and learning will take place. This will enhance high performance of students in examinations. Further, the findings bring out the ills of cultism and its effect on students, the learning process and the communities, thus creating awareness in the minds of all stakeholders in education; ministry of education, other educational agencies, and galvanizing them for positive action to end the menace and create awareness for change of attitude and behaviour.


1.6 Research Hypotheses

  • Ho1: There is no significant difference between the mean scores of lecturers and students with regards to the factors that lead to students’ cultism in tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State.
  • Ho2: There is no significant difference between the mean scores of lecturers and students with regards to the social problems associated with campus cult activities in tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study will be limited to the tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State. The content scope will include social factors leading to students’ campus cult activities, social problems associated with campus cultism and measures that can effectively control/reduce campus cult activities.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

This study is limited to tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State. The researcher was constrained by several factors which ultimately determined the extent of this study. These factors include finance, availability of information and the time allocated for the completion of this research work.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Crime:

An unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority.[1] The term crime does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,[2] though statutory definitions have been provided for certain purposes.

Gang:

A group or society of associates, friends or members of a family with a defined leadership and internal organization that identifies with or claims control over territory in a community and engages, either individually or collectively, in illegal, and possibly violent, behaviour.

Antisocial Behaviour:

A behaviour that is defined as the violation of the rights of others by committing crime, such as stealing and physical attack in addition to other behaviorus such as lying and manipulation.

Violence:

“the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy”.[1] Other definitions are also used, such as the World Health.

Firearm:

Any type of gun designed to be readily carried and used by an individual.[1][2][3] The term is legally defined further in different countries.


1.10 Organization of the Study

This study is categorised into five chapters and these include

Chapter one: background to the study, statement of the research problem, research objectives, research question, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study as well as definition of terms. Chapter two is classified into conceptual, theoretical and empirical reviews. Chapter three is the research methodology. This chapter comprises of the research design, population of the study, sample size and sampling technique, source and method of data collection, instrumentation of the study, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of Findings

That factors leading to students cultism are adolescents developmental problems, ban on students unionism, societal corruption, inadequate use of counselling services, quest for power, unqualified academic qualification, gender associated power, poor home brought up, sponsoring of secret cult and children of elites wanting to maintain links. Social problems associated with secret cult activities are spending extra years before graduation, falsification or mutilation of official records, destroying facilities, stealing, disruption of social/recreational activities, public being restrained from movement, avoiding night lectures/prep by students, untimely death, and termination of educational career. Measures for controlling cult activities are disciplinary of wards, encouraging students to join religious groups as well as extra-curricular activities, prohibiting the sale and consumption of intoxicating drugs, referring cult members to guidance counsellors, censoring press and literature publications on cult activities, torturing and humiliating publicly cult members, convicting members, making academic program more rigorous, and using high percentage of class attendance for examination.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on the findings, it is concluded that: campus cults are motivated by some factors associated with adolescent, extension of societal corruption, lack of adequate counselling service, sponsorship of secret cults by some individuals/old standing members. Activities of campus cults also adversely have some impact on some education parameters. These include lecturers, students, facilities and human activities in the university. The volatility of students is aided by the deterioration of the higher education institution in terms of infrastructure, academic standard and quality of students that is to say if students have good academic environment, the tendency towards crises would be reduced. As regard to the control measures of campus cult and their activities, there is need to refer them to guidance and counselling unit, registering all societies in the university, organize periodic counselling for all students, caution, suspension, expulsion, public torture and jailing members who are caught. There is no significant difference between the mean responses of lecturers and students with regards to the factors that lead to students’ secret cultism in tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State. There is no significant difference between the mean responses of lecturers and students with regards to the social problems associated with cult activities in tertiary institutions in Cross Rivers State


5.3 Recommendations

Recommendations Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made:

  1. Parents should learn to love and discipline their children at home from childhood. Parents should also support university and government authorities in their efforts to check the menace of campus cults.
  2. The university authorities should beef up the security department and equip them with modern/sophisticated tools and also uphold the truth and be more sincere when handling campus cult issues.
  3. The university authorities should allow all clubs and societies in the university to register with them and highlight their objectives.
  4. At the beginning of every session, the guidance and counselling department should be assisted to organize an elaborate orientation programme for all new students; and during this programme, the ills of cultism should be spelt out and students cautioned not to identify with them.
  5. Lecturers should make attendance to lecture compulsory and also take record of class attendance of students who fail to meet up the minimum percentage of attendance should not be allowed to do the examination, this will help to check other students.

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