Don Worries Over 45 Cult Groups In Varsities, Others...Urges Family, Govt To Curb It - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Don Worries Over 45 Cult Groups In Varsities, Others...Urges Family, Govt To Curb It


              •Prof. Adegbemi Onakoya



| The Daily Crucible | Tuesday, June 21, 2022

A don, Otunba Adegbemi Babatunde Onakoya, has called on Nigerians families to rise to the challenges of proper upbringing of children as a starting point toward curbing the increasing number of cult groups and the associated adverse consequences of their activities in the nation's institutions of learning and the larger society.

Otunba Onakoya urged parents and families to help their children and wards participate in wholesome life style in school and after school such as recreational activities, sports, community clubs, church groups, music, Boys’ and Girls’ brigades, scouting and cadets to keep them away from unwholesome groups and their ventures.
  
The Professor of Business and Applied Economics who is a visiting professor to Crescent University Abeokuta, Ogun State, disclosed that there are about forty-five (45) secret cults currently operating in Nigerian institutions of learning, adding that they are all equipped with an elaborate hierarchy, insignia and distinct attire.

He listed some of the most notable of these secret cults as the Black axe, Vickings, Amazons, Buccaneer, Mafia, and Dragons for the males while the female counterparts have the Temple of Eden, Frigrates, Barracudas, Daughters of Jezebel, Daughters of Eve, Pink Lady and Black Bra.

Onakoya disclosed this on Saturday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital during The Feast of Barracuda, an event that had  'Cultism, Hooliganism and Gangsterism: Consequences and How To Curb It,' The Role of the Family' as its theme.

The feast was put together by the National Association of Seadogs, Montana Deck, where Prof. Onakoya was made the guest speaker.

He noted that Nigerian educational institutions were not associated with confraternity at the beginning until 1952 when the Pyrates' Confraternity later known as National Association of Seadogs was formed by:Wole Soyinka (now Professor) Olumuyiwa Awe, Ralph Opara, Tunji Tubi, Aig Imokhuede, Pius Oleghe and Nathaniel Oyelola.

He said the ideas behind the formation of the confraternity were both patriotic and altruistic as it was not imagined as a secret cult, saying the main objectives of the seadogs were: to fight non-violently but intellectually and effectively against the imposition of foreign conventions; to revive the age of chivalry; and to find a lasting solution to the problems of tribalism and elitism. 

The guest speaker also recalled that the Eiye Confraternity (Airlords) was founded at the University of Ibadan in the 1970s with a purpose to uphold the core nature of the African culture,  a commitment to excellence and to make positive impact on the socio-political psyche of Nigeria.

Derailment

He wondered if Eiye had remained true to the vision of her founders.

He noted that there is a very wide gap between the orientation of the earliest cult organization, the Pyrate Confraternity and the present day cults. 

According to him, the change in the last fifty years has been systematic and progressively militant, with increasing use of violence in accordance with the rapid deterioration of the polity and decadence of the society.

He expressed the worry that the activities of cults is a sort of derailment from what started as a forum to awaken socio-cultural consciousness of the nation's elite to fight oppression, racism and colour discrimination that had been bastardized, due to various factors. 

He however traced the origin of cultism in Nigeria to pre-colonization era when a group of people with the main aim of seeking protection from their ancestors, conducted rituals - ostensibly to appease them.
 
Causes

He identified use of cultists as thugs and hitmen by politicians, peer pressure, parental background, societal decadence, search for protection, quest for social identity, revenge, emotional instability, toughening up, poverty and drug abuse as some of the remote and immediate factors that drive some people into becoming members of cult groups.

Consequences

The professor said that the existence of the groups on campuses has made life unsafe and meaningless to both staff and students, citing their activities to include: harassing any non-members who snatched a member’s girl friend or ‘sugar daddy’(in case of female cultism); harassing any female students who refuse their amorous advances; harassing any lecturer who insist on merit for passing examinations among others.

He recalled that on June 28, 2006, a lecturer (Seun Oyedola) was abducted and killed during a clash between cultists at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.

He also recalled that on July 10, 1999, five students of Obafemi Awolowo University were murdered during cult violence at the institution and he identified the slain students as George ‘Yemi Iwilade, the then Secretary General, OAU Students Union, Tunde Oke, a member of Democratic Socialist Movement, Efe Ekede, Eviano Ekelemu and Yemi Ajiteru.

According to him, on October 2003, three students—Kehinde Dosumu, Omotayo Suraju and Olalekan Ajao of Kwara State Polytechnic were killed in similar circumstance.

The guest lecturer also brought to memory, the case of Tony Ileogbuna, acting Head of Geology department at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, who was murdered on February 4th 2008 and Vincent Uloho of University of Benin, Benin-City who was also murdered in cold blood in March 2004.  

Four months later same 2004, Wale Adeyori and Banji of the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro, Ogun State, were killed while in September 2005, people suspected to be cultists slaughtered Bolaji Toniwa, a student of Lagos State University, Ojo.

Onakoya equally brought to memory, the unfortunate incident at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where in 1985, a non-cult student incurred the wrath of another student, who was a cult leader for snatching the latter’s girlfriend while a more pathetic case occurred earlier in 1991 when a student was beheaded at the University of Port Harcourt during a feud between cult members.

Also at Delta State University in Abraka, the activities of secret cult groups, he noted, resulted in the death of a Principal Assistant Registrar and his wife in 2002.

Continuing, he recalled also that a 300 level economics student was shot dead and slaughtered at the Dallimore area of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State in August 2002 while four years later on 8th June 2006, some cult members also invaded the University of Ado-Ekiti at 12 noon where they burnt the cadet’s office, killed three students and wounded many students and staff of the institution.

Panacea

He suggested family taking responsibility to raise their children and wards properly, reform of the educational system, government interventions, adequate national security, reformed correctional centres, sporting activities, financial literacy and agripreneur as some of the  panacea to the menace of cultism in Nigerian institutions of learning and the larger society.



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