Background of the study
Tertiary institutions today, in Nigeria is faced with the embarrassing problem of cultism and the renewal of aggressiveness in cult activities. Cultism, is said to be the mother of crimes in tertiary institutions, and this phenomenon has negatively affected the image of our institutions, the learning quality and mental state of graduants.
According to Ogunade (2002) secret cult is an enclosed organized association of group devoted to the same cause. It is an enclosed group having an exclusive sacred ideology and series of rites centering around their secret symbols. ocultic activities are sometimes laden with blood rituals It may be the blood of an animal or that of human beings.
He claimed that during initiation rites or during rival group clashes within the University setting, there is always shedding of blood which most certainly leads to loss of lives. Cultism can also be seen as a ritual practice by a group of people who have the same ideology, membership and initiation formalities as well as their mode of operations are done in a secretive way, which have a negative impact on the entire administration and student of the institution alike. Thomas (2002) asserted that confraternities operated at no degree of violence when they emerged in the 1950’s.
Unfortunately, they were later high-jacked by military governments who were anxious to consolidate their holds on University students who might challenge their authorities.
For example viral student Unionism was perceived by military authorities as a threat to their power consolidation. Consequently, secret cults were used to neutralize student unions and their “anti-government activities”, especially those who questioned or challenged the authorities of military dictatorship. Consequently, what started as a club or some socially conscious activity, has become club of blood thirsty and blood sucking monsters who parade themselves as students.
The eradication of secret cults from tertiary institutions has become unachievable goal in spite of the government commitment to clamp down on this societal ill from existing. Against this background, this study tends to examine the causes and effect of cultism, hindrance to its extinction, and strategies to eliminate cultism in tertiary institutions.
Statement of research problem
Cultism in tertiary institutions in Nigeria has evolved over time and it’s eradication in our tertiary institutions has been met with so many blockade which has increased the concern of researchers and educationist because there are increases in the number of students that join cultism in tertiary institutions. This has in-turned affected their academic performance in school and as well led to loss of lives and properties of students and managements. Cult activities has played a significant role in disrupting academic activities in tertiary institution. This is seen when ever there is cult clash between rival groups. Hence, this necessitate this study on the causes, effects and strategies to curb cultism in tertiary institutions.
Objectives of the study
The main objective of this study is to find out the causes, effects and strategies to curb cultism in tertiary institutions. The study is specifically set out to achieve the following:
1. Examine the reason students in tertiary institutions accept to join cults.
2. scrutinize the effects of cultism in the student’s academic performances.
3. Establish possible strategies for eradicating or minimizing cultism in tertiary institutions.
The study will attempt to find out answers to the following research questions:
1. What effect does cultism have on student’s academic performance?
2. What forms of behaviour do cultists manifest that affects the society?
3. Can cultism be curbed in our tertiary institutions?
4. What should be done to curb cultism in our tertiary institutions?
Significance of the study
The study is considered significance for the following reasons.
This study will be of usefullness to students, parents or guardian, academia and the society in general.
The result of the study will enable the academic administrators to map out strategies that would help to eradicate cultism in universities.
It will also act as guideline for future researchers who may want to engage in similar study.
Scope and Limitation of the study
The issue of cultism in tertiary institutions in Nigeria has been some what disturbing, as this tends to affect both student, parent, lecturers and even the society at large. The study is limited to the causes and effect of cultism among students of tertiary institutions in Lagos state using Lagos State University (LASU) as a case study and not the whole tertiary institution in Lagos state. The researcher is very much constrained by time, fund and availability of materials.
Operational definition of terms
Cultism: is the activities or practices of a group of people with one common spiritual, religious or philosophical belief whose activities has deeply eaten to the core of the society.
Strategies: strategy is an action that is taken to attain one or more of the organization’s goals.
Tertiary Institutions: Tertiary education refers to post-secondary education received at universities (government or privately funded), monotechnics, polytechnics and colleges of education.