Stakeholders in the education sector on Sunday decried the alarming increase in the activities of cultism in almost all the nation’s educational institutions.
They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Mr Femi Adesanya, a lecturer in the Department of English and General Studies, Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, Lagos, said that cultism exist in virtually all the states of the federation.
Adesanya expressed dismay that the young, old, rich, poor, male and female from different religions and cultures were involved in cultism.
“Unfortunately, most people who pretend to detest cultism are strong members and the financial strength of this group,” he said.
Adesanya noted that cultists were also in the corridors of power, saying that their sponsors were found in government, political groups, politicians, herbalists and security agencies.
According to him, this is the reason why all efforts to curb these ugly societal groups continually prove abortive.
He identified factors that led youths into such secret group to include the desire to seek spiritual shield and societal fame, financial strength, power and position.
According to him, supremacy over people around them and by extension to other human endeavours, criminality revenge, peer pressure and influence, lack of parental control and guidance, indoctrination, political rivalry were other factors.
Adesanya said that most of the members, especially youths were lured into the groups by their sponsors through monetary inducement, promise of criminal shields and protective influence, initiation and diabolical means.
He explained that cultists saw killing as a way of exercising their supremacy and criminal minds, as they hardly believe in legal ideas and they take delight in evil and unlimited impunity.
Adesanya said that the laws in place to check the activities of these groups were rather too weak, adding that was why their operation continues to gain ground.
“The fact remains that the Nigerian laws are rather too weak and besides, corruption has eaten so deep into the fabric of the judiciary.
“It is only the poor and innocent people that are nailed and clamped into jail in Nigeria,” he said.
Adesanya, however, blamed the existence and sustenance of the group on the religious institutions, homes, schools, governments and the society at large,
He said that they had failed in their respective and collective responsibilities.
Also, Mr Olayinka Aderoju, the Vice-Principal, Nigeria Tulip International College (NTIC) in Ogun, said that there was no state in the country where cultism does not exist.
Aderoju said that their goals and manner of operations were different.
He said that it would be difficult for the ugly phenomenon to disappear just like that, pointing out that the factors which gave rise to it in the first place were still in existence.
Aderoju expressed disappointment that most of the government’s agencies that were saddled with the responsibility of curbing activities of this evil group were the ones aiding them.
According to him, factors pushing youths to cultism were poor home training owing to parents abdicating their roles, peer influence, lack of morals and poor foundation in academics.
The vice-principal, however, expressed optimism that activities of the cultists could be abated if the government was determined and would not politicise variables that should be in place to curb their existence.