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Birth And Growth Of Cultism In Nigeria 

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By Sandra Osayi Erhabor 24/07/15

STRONG enough to cause even the most balance ankles knocking against each other is the mention of the name cultism. It is an item of dread to the common man.
According to a free online definition, a cult is a religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false with its followers often living an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic lead.

Originally or as we were taught to believe the emanation of cultism in Nigeria were for the primary aim of fighting societal malfunctions and to confront the elitist habit of intimidation. The elites were the first privileged sets of student in university, therefore they capitalized on their opportunities to Lord it on others.

In 1952, literary giant, ProfessorWole Soyinka and six others formed the magnificent 7 known as PYRATES which turned out to be the first introduction of confraternity in the University of Ibadan and of course Nigeria in entirety. Aspiring to become a member f this group meant a piled up range of intellectual capability and capacity on the path of the aspirant. At that time violence was alien to cultism.

Giving birth to other cult was Bolaji Carew, a former member of pirates who was expelled because of his anti-pyrate practices. Bolaji (also called late Ahoy Rica Ricardo) moved ahead with some members of the pyrates group to form another group called Buccanears. This was followed by the introduction of other countless members of confraternities like the Black Axe formed in the University of Benin, the supreme Eiye confraternity which broke away from Buccanear, the Supreme Vikings confraternity (SVC) also called the Adventurers and Norsemen club of Nigeria and a host of others which also encompass various women group; Black Brazier (Black Bra), the Viqueens, daughters of Jezebel, White Angels and Damsel etc.
Following this out pour of cultism in the 1990s, the various groups transcended form the university walls into every street of Nigeria.

The volume of in human act as perpetrated by members of these groups are clear contrast to the initial aim . Today, event he most clueless and academically uninitiated individual present himself as a member of one cult or the other.
Members of these groups are lured in with endless promises of power and connections. The methods of initiations are barbaric and gory as the case may be. Blood covenants are made to seal up their brotherhood; new in takes are made to drink cocktail in order to prove their strength.

In a dint to maintaining superiority, these cultists fight rival groups beheading and slaughtering each other.

Often time, the reasons behind their clashes may be as flimsy as fighting over a woman.
Most political violence are carried out by cultist who gain the backings of some high and mighty in the society. They have reduced themselves to weapons of intimidation.
It is pitiable to note that members of these groups form various militant groups. For example, the Commander of Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Sobana /George, is also the head of the confraternity called outlaws.
In a gruesome statement by Wole Soyinka, “back in the 1950s, it was fun. We were young idealistic Nigerians with independent minds it was a rebellious gesture against the colonials. It was a debating society with imagery of non violence conformist world, a crown jewel of Nigeria nation.”

Early this month, there were recorded killings carried out by rival cult groups in Benin. This peremial pain infliction has left parents asking where they went wrong. However, the Edo State Commissioner of Police Mr. Samuel Adegbuyi has arrested about 25 suspect in connection with the gruesome killings. In his statement, they are going to be charged to court if guilty.

Although there is no such thing as a perfect society, however, every citizen of a nation has the right to live feely. Therefore, modalities should be put in place to combat the excesses of cultist who in most case are also armed robbers and assassins.
There is the need for an all round sensitization of the people, especially the youths. The consequence of being involve din cult activities should be laid bare tot hem, reiterating that those who are involved barely live normal and free lives as they are always at large.
The government at all levels in their wide capacity should illuminate and re-illuminate the search light of the police and relevant authorities so that cult activities would be brought to barest minimum.

Every member of the lager society is first, as product of a family. A child’s parents or guardians are his first teachers. Therefore, there is the need to imbibe in every child and applaudable principle and moral awareness so that the will be a laudable outcome.
The Nigeria government should learn from its achievement in fighting Ebola virus disease in the country. All efforts should be channeled towards fighting this cancer called cultism.

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