A lecturer in the University of Ilorin, Prof. Hassan Saliu, has called on governments at various level to make concerted efforts aimed at curbing the resurgence of cultism in Nigerian tertiary institutions. Saliu, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ilorin on Monday, decried the recent clash between two cult groups at the Kwara Polytechnic, Ilorin in which two persons were confirmed dead.
According to the professor, cult activities have begun to resurface in the tertiary institutions due to the absence of proactive strategies at checking the menace again. He explained that cultism was a social menace that was threatening to consume the future of the country, noting that high crime level and the associated restiveness in the nation were closely related to cult activities. Meanwhile, the professor said that curbing the menace of cultism was a collective affair, involving governments, parents, students, teachers and the civil society groups.
He said, “The starting point, however, is the synergy of purpose among the tiers of government. It is surely not a war that one tier of government can wage successfully. “There should be concerted efforts among the levels of government and of necessity, sharing of intelligence information.“As President Goodluck Jonathan once said about Boko Haram, the cultists are not spirits that we cannot see; they live among us. “And without the sharing of information among school authorities, security agencies and other stakeholders, the flame of cultism will continue to glow to the detriment of the nation.” Saliu said that the issue was for all Nigerians to know and appreciate the problem that the nation would face, if the country did not come to terms with destabilisation and destruction that cultism represented.
He said, “As the popular saying goes; a problem properly diagnosed is partly solved. We must all come down with the basic understanding of cultism before we can stand the chance of overcoming it. “Awareness and enlightenment programmes are other instruments we need to be successful in the war. A lot of students fall prey to the antics of the cultists on our campuses because of ignorance.” He urged school authorities and governments to step up their awareness and enlightenment programmes to stem the tide of cultism in the country.