Cultism on Campus

35 Comments » August 9th, 2008 posted by // Categories: General Articles

Against the backdrop of the University as a microcosm of a utopian society, the menace of secret cults in our institutions of higher learning leaves myriads of perplexing questions: When did secret cult originate and how did it integrate itself into our institutions of higher learning? What, in spite of its obvious dangers, inform students patronage of secret cults? What factors in the campus world, inherent or extraneous, have so far stalled concerted attends at eradication of this hydra-headed scourge? Can cult kingpins be proselytized into the patriotic society and if not, how does the campus community contain the excesses of these malcontents? These and more issues are what this article will attempt to tackle.

Secret Cult dates back to the ancient world, to the Greco-Egyptian society of omens and superstitions. However, its origin in Nigerian Universities highlights the paradox of existence. Where the then average student was cultivating unbecoming manners, then Mr. Wole Soyinka, Mr. Muyiwa Awe and others formed the Pyrates Confraternity, with the noble objective of exposing the absurdity of the colonial mentality in the post Independent studentry. The Confraternity being exclusive, students not allowed to identify formed their own confraternities. These new formations did not share the gracious intents of Mr. Soyinka and clique. Over time schism broke their ranks, with breakaway formations pitched against one another for supremacy. The result was a rash of societies, misplaced values, unhealthy rivalry and an antisocial culture of fire eating and bloodletting sustained by the cause-effect principle. Hundreds of innocent students are slaughtered yearly in our campuses.

They are simply awe striking. They evoke images of intransigence, blood and death. Name them: The Bucaneers, the Supreme Vikings Confraternity, the Black Axe, Klu Klu Klan, the Executioners, Black Berets, Daughters of Jezebel, the Eiye Confraternity among many others.

Cult fanaticism is a creation of the system. We belong, in the words of Prof. Wole Soyinka, to the wasted generation. We belong to the era of juvenile extremism and effervescence. We belong to the era where the abuse of cannabis, hitherto the preserve of our outcasts and only spoken of in whispers, has been elevated to a social cause celebre. Our values are not only confused and intrinsically defective but also counterproductive.

Harvesting from the chaos of cultism are the politicians and other elite class whose pool of bodyguards, assassin squads and rabble-rousers are conscripted from the miscreants. The elite class is heavily culpable for the menace of cultism in the universities. This retrograde trend has spilled into near and distant communities with unprecedented tolls posing more danger to our communal existence than HIV/AIDS and hunger combined. The wave of militia in the Niger Delta is the direct result of Campus cults. Various deadly factions have mushroomed in our various communities with every trapping of their alter egos in the campuses. The same gory rituals and mind-bending initiation rites are their hallmark. They are even more deadly, feeding from the denatured clique of village psychopaths, half and raving lunatics, stark illiterates with bestial, earthy, and barbarous impulses.

Despite the obvious dangers of secret cult, it would continue to entice our fancies. The allure of power and dominion; desire for protection against real and imagined enemies, are usually canvassed by cult scouts who go about enlisting like-minds. There are instances whereby unwilling students have been browbeaten into identifying with these bloodletting cliques. Students engage in cultism to dare, to shore up their ego, to intimidate even their lecturers and to court the best of girls in the campus. Some girl hostels are ‘fenced’ off by a given gang and intruders paid dearly.

Parental initiations exist, of course, whereby heads of confraternities recruit their wards and charges. These conscripts go about with spirited dear-devilry, shored up to mind-boggling orgies of destruction by a sense of invincibility, by their impregnable patron-fastness. That feeling of invincibility was real. Fingered in the sponsorship of cultism and cult attacks are big wigs of the society before whom the law and law enforcement agents shrank into oblivion. I cannot forget in a hurry, the feeling of demystification one morning, in the late 90’s while on a visit to the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus. The Police had been flagged in to rapid gunfire between some undisclosed cult factions. For the Police of then, the immediate response was unprecedented. However, for some undisclosed reasons, their presence could not deter perpetration. The law enforcement agents could not produce any tangible report about students caught in action with live, sophisticated weaponry.

That observation underlined the invincibility of the hoodlums. In Unilag of then, students picked up with firearms and even, as was the case in Jaja Hall, a hand grenade, only stayed away the night at Panti and returned the following day, breathing more threats, and posing greater danger to communal existence.

Until the then Omotola regime took the eradication of cultism in Unilag seriously, spurred on by the irrepressible Omoyele, then Unilag Students Union president, Unilag lived under the firm grabs of cult-terrorism. Students woke up to gory tales of slaughtering of their fellow students, of blood bath. You were witnesses to chaos, to murder in broad day. Waves of gunfire shattered the air like glassware; and you have this sense of being in a war-front, and funny enough, you were a student, expected to be cultured against a rustic society.

Cultism is abuse of the freedom of association. Majority of those who enlist are either forced to or were not abreast of the hard facts about cultism at the outset. New university entrants are lured in by rosy promises of dominion on campus, protection from enemies and sundry others. But then, the tolls begin sooner than later. There are frequent reports of students who had lost their lives in the stiff initiation rites. Then the survivors, far from protection, become targets of rival cults; are hounded by the police, the campus, the student union authorities and the civilized world.

The constraints to cult eradication are legion. Cult membership is usually the preserve of the children of the top echelon of the society. They thus operate with reckless impunity, fully conscious of their immunity in a lopsided society as ours. The pool of members are teenagers with low self-esteem, whose academic orientation is suspect; die-hard criminals and crime-minded without any compunction over anti-social vices.

Cult kingpins can be proselytized into the patriotic society. We must first understand that Cult patronage is in shades. There are the hardened and the peripheral. The later quickly shed their obnoxious affiliation once they fling the doors of the Ivory Towers behind them, barely enduring the frightening reign of chaos. The former are career cultists who would graduate to mind-boggling dare-devilry. Whichever one, they can all be re-orientated into orderly, civilized conduct.

·        A well-funded rehabilitation centre is the answer. Graduates of these centres can be offered careers in the armed forces and the police, where they can use their know-how to combat crimes and protect the society.

·        All Secret Cults should be registered in the corporate affairs commission in Abuja, with their leaders and patrons, who should be legal entities, known. They should also be registered with school authorities.

·        Freedom of arms in the campuses, nay in Nigeria, should be legalized by an act of the National Assembly. These cultists are able to intimidate you because they are armed and you are not. And whether we believe it or not, there are more illegal arms out there than we imagine.

·    Demilitarization of our collective psyche and enthronement of an egalitarian society.

·        With the New look Police under the dynamic leadership of Sir Mike Okiro; we are rest assured that high-level collusions are untenable. We should therefore give the Police maximum support, moral and material, to help secure the society.


Finally, as Sowore Stephen Omoyele, former Unilag Union President, and Civil Rights activist, put it

“When cult members find themselves in colleges in the US or Europe, they don’t go around killing innocent people. They don’t even kill squirrels on their campuses. They do so in Nigeria because the system lets them.”  A complete overhaul of that disastrous system is imperative.

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35 Responses to “Cultism on Campus”

  1. lino large says:

    well the issue of cultism in nigeria has gone way beyond looking for means to eradicate it,more of our youths are being initiated everyday,and most of our youth don’t even know what they are going into,and these are blood oaths,it has really eaten deep into the moral fabric of the nigerian society, many of our political leaders are sponsors of cultism using them as willing tools[due to the hard economic condition they find themselves] to achieve their selfish aims which has made it almost impossible to check this menace,i think we should resort to appeals and prayers to soften the heart of this cultists against bloodspilling.They can really indulge in community development,like the norsemenclub are doing these days by organising,sensitization and awareness against the social vices in our present day society.moreover i think we all have the responsibility of protecting our environment,from this menace.

    • Avishigh Cephas M. says:

      It is very unfortunate that learned people can simply tell us that the solution to cultism is prayers. I must say that there is more to it than prayers.
      Cultism should be included in the curriculum of primary and secondary schools as a way of conscientizing the young one against the menace of these groups.
      Also, anybody found wanting should be immediately and severely dealt with to serve as example to anyone who go into such activities.
      I must also advise that parents who protect their children or wards who indulge in cultism should STOP!

    • I am impressed by your comment on the article @Lino Large. It has eaten deep into the moral fabric of our society. If you are as concerned as I am (being an ex cultist myself). Let’s meet at We intend to end cultism in the on Campus in the next couple of years. Let us be proactive about this. 

  2. Clariu says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. All roads lead to Rome. I think that with all hands on deck, Cult menace would be history.


    It is very unfortunate to see that nobody has so far direct the issue of cultism to our academic evironment itself.

    The Genesis of cultism really emanate from the ineffectiveness of our so-called un-qualified lecturers as they claim.

    In the FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC AUCHI,EDO-STATE.It was noticed that those who do not come to class where always the best in Test,Exams.Majority of us decided to join the crew.When you ask them what is the magic behind it,they will tell you that with money you can get everything.

    Because,we later discover that your been Clever as a student is useless but with your money,you do not need to attend class.If there is any doubt in what i said,i will advise external authority to please carry out a case-study.


    we have to structure the unstructured structures of our acedemic system without puntures if this concentrated acid of cultism must be diluted. It is worth mensioning that THE FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC, AUCHI. is relatively on the low side of cultism compared to other schools in Nigeria. However,the epicentre of this issue remains that the average nigeria student is like “tomatoes and potatoes” BECAUSE they are in a state of COMATOES. Therefore the Nigerian government must rise up and live up to expectation to provide adequately for the nigerian students and the lecturers so as to curb this MENESE. FROM AMIENYE D. OMOROGIE………A ONE TIME NANS FINANCIAL SECRETARY ZONE B 2006.

  5. festus says:

    its a pity thins has to go this way,to eradicate cultism lets there begood academic setting in our school,imagine the ASSU Strike,what do you expect student to do

  6. chiboy says:

    Cultism has remained a problem for tertiary institutions in Nigeria and the Larger Nigerian society since the first decade of the existence of university education in Nigeria. It has been worrisome to have children on campuses and several measures had been adopted to curb cultism some of such measures were the expulsion of the cultists caught and out right ban of cultism on campuses. The problem here is not the killings in our campuses but why the measures employed to curb cultism have failed. This paper employs the analysis approach as its research method in explaining why previous measures failed and suggested the involvement of parents in the bid to curb cultism on our campuses in Nigeria among other measures.

  7. Noel says:

    Intelligence is important.Get a background check of cultist and know their homes,apply surprise by picking them from their homes,to prove that they are not spirits,application of principles of security matters with necessary adjustment to suit local requirements.At RSUST,Port Harcourt where i hold sway cult activities has been reduced to it’s bearest minimum since i came in 2005.Records indicates that there were an average of 23 cult related deaths on campus,by 2006 it was only 2 deaths and from March,2007 till date no cult related death has been recorded on campus.Am available for consultations.

  8. Benny says:

    Cultism in today’s era should be eradicated raptly.This will be impossible because our so called leaders in politics and academics are indulged.It is lugubrious though,but we hope in GOD.

  9. Nancy says:

    Lets come together. through the storm and through the rain and aid the eradication of cultism in schools. its a thorn to our flesh

  10. Just says:

    There is nothing I fancy more compared to visiting this website every evening shortly after work. Thanks for all of the nice posts!!

  11. There is says:

    I have to say, CULTISM ON CAMPUS | NigerianMuse is a certainly superb web-site. I might like to show you my personal hi and thanks. Compliments, There is

  12. German Omokagbor says:

    Cultism in schools has gone so far into the system that solution becomes so difficult to profer. It is so because even the so-called lecturers are godfathers in those various cult groups on the campus. Even the politicians have made it compulsory that belonging is one of the pre-requisits that will determine how successful u will be in political corridor. So why eradication?

  13. bj_iyk says:

    Thanks to the Norsemen cloub of Nigeria.Other cult members should emulate this and sensitize their members and the entire citizens at large.Ones cult activities are made to operate openly and encouraged to register with the legal agencies like CAC,School authorities,then the menance will be reduced to the bearest minimum if not entirely eliminated. DON STAIN. Ai.

  14. Newtonsilas says:

    The world is changing everyday.meaning demonic practices increases.i believe that cultism cannot be eradicate in our campus becouse of the futunate country we find ourself.take an instand.Nigeria politicians cannot do wihout blood shading in other to achieve there self who are the people that are going to kick agains cultism since those of high rang are the one’s encouraging the group.i use to ask myself this question why are sent to school to study politic as a course? Since at the end we cannot put it into practice.since we only believe that through spiritual practice our aim wil be accomplished but let me ask this question”can somebody rule this country without blood shading”to become somebody in life must u engage yourself in cult before achiving your will only take the grace of God for us to survived..!

  15. Adoyi Obitiye says:

    Unity amongst da various fraternity would bring about a lasting eradication of da system, with da sole aim of it founding father Mr. Wole Soyinka and Mr. Muyiwa.

  16. Michael says:

    In fact, you’ve spoken well. Godfatherism is also one of the problem facing the eradication of cultism in our society of today, because, the back bone for this cultists are not just mere person but highly respected people in our society. Only God can help us for total elimination of cultism!!!

  17. John Patrickz says:

    Who brought cultism in Nigeria in the first place, what are the efforts to reduce cultism on university campuses? that is becoming a threat on even we the lecturers. some thing is supposed to be done about that.

  18. SALIU RUKAYAT says:

    you dn’t have to blame those person’s that introduce cultism in Nigerian. The way and manner they practise it is not how our youth of now are days, practise cultism, they practise it in the other way round.

  19. Balogun Solomon says:

    Cultism may be good in some ways! Why I say that is, it make our youth to fight for their right and it also make them to speak out when something bad is being done to them. But the problem is the killing that goes with it; we can’t stop cultism in the world at large but we can educate our youth to be mindful of things that may harm them later in life cos all cultist thinks more about the future than the present, so let’s keep hammering the future hope than critisizing them. Remember they are our son/daughters, brothers/sisters, friends/ relations, let’s make them our friend so that we can educate them about the dangers of what they are doing. Cultist need one thing from you and I (LOVE) I tell if we show thm love and teach them how to love other fellow cult group their activities will reduce immediately. For more comment or advice email:

  20. Yellow Canary says:

    From my Web name you will know I’m a former Leader of one the named ‘group’ above. The best solution if you ask me is to de-mystify these cults group. If all and sundry know all the innitiations rites, signs and symbols of all the cult groups, then these cult loses most if not all its power. This website has my email-address, when different ‘cult’ group leaders agree on this, then I’m willing to Disobey my SAD-B to prevent further bloodshed and maiming of our future leaders.
    Yours faithfully
    Yellow Canary
    Araba 199…. 

  21. Dikelove says:

    Mr. Clarius, I second every of your summation except the paragragh you surgested freedom to arm on campuses and the whole nation…. that appears like cutting off ones head to cure a migrain. Though this menace may have eaten deep into our society, but we can still cub it if   oonly there is genuine collective resolve to do so. All hands must come to deck, from family, churches/mosques/tradional bodies, schools, govt agencies and civilsocieties etc. Our govt in partnership with security forces must take a bold step and others will follow. the biggest hinderance to the fight on cultism is politics(within and outside campus). Truth remains our politicians are reaping from the bloodshed reason why they pay lips service to the evil. My advise is, Since innitiation is common among the cult group, let state govt invite all their leaders and put a ban to it while the law enforcement men lunch crampdown on every troublemakers.

  22. zakar Mohammed says:

    secret cult is our pride by god grace

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