Are Cult Groups Still a Burden to Nigeria’s Education System?

Are Cult Groups Still a Burden to Nigeria’s Education System?

In early May, one of Nigeria’s first generation tertiary institutions – The Polytechnic Ibadan, announced the expulsion of six students. Until their expulsion, they were students in the school’s departments of accounting, surveying and geoinfomatics.

As contained in a statement signed by the registrar of the institution, Hezekiah Ayodele, after appearing before the Students’ Disciplinary Committee, the students were found guilty of associating with Buccaneer, an illegal cult group.

Statements like this are regularly issued by various tertiary institutions in Nigeria as a way of flushing out cult groups in the schools and to ensure peace in the various ivory towers. The history of the cult groups is a far cry from its current state as most of them were created to fight injustice, eschew violence on campus and promote brotherhood among students.

The Genesis and Current Status

According to The National Association of Seadogs, The first occurrence of cult groups in Nigeria’s academic institutions came about in 1952. Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and six other students at the University of Ibadan called themselves the Original Seven and formed the Pyrates Confraternity.

From 1952 to 1997, new groups were formed as a result of split within Pyrates. The newly formed groups included Buccaneers, Black Axe, Vikings and Red Beret. Within these new groups fighting encouraged a loss of vision. Missions fizzled and activities of the groups were geared towards establishing power. This resulted into carnages in Nigeria’s academic institutions. These carnages reached climax when irrespective of background or academic status, students were left dead.

Cult activities today are secret and non-members are not in privy of information concerning the respective groups; the groups’ members engage in esoteric practices at night and new members are thoroughly screened and grilled before they are accepted as members – some of the prospective members of the groups often die in the process. This is why many still ask what attracts students to the groups?

First-hand Experience

“While in high school, second year specifically, I was accosted by them (cultists) in school because I ignorantly wore their color combination,” Chibuike Alagboso, a social media expert told AFKInsider.

“They said I was the person that harassed them sometime. Knowing what could happen if the argument went further, I simply told them I wasn’t the person and I walked away without waiting for argument.”

Alagboso said he had to forfeit all lectures on that day and left the school.