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Classwork Exercise and Series (Civic Education-SS1): Cultism (I)

Definition of Cultism

Cultism can also be called secret cult; it can be defined as an enclosed organized association devoted to the same cause. Members of this group always commit themselves to oath and allegiance  which serves as their strong bond.

Cultism is a form of organization whose activities are not only exclusively kept away from the knowledge of others but such activities are carried out at odd hours of the day and they often clash with the accepted norms and values of everyday life.

The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines cult as small group of people of who have extreme religious beliefs and who are not part of any established religion.

Historical development of Cultism in Nigeria

Cultism started at the University College, Ibadan in 1952 when Wole Soyinka (now professor) and six others formed the Pyrates Confraternity. The remaining six are  Olumyiwa Awe, Ralph Opara, Tunji Tubi, Daige Imokhuede, Pius Olegbe and Olu Agunloye. There main objective at that time was to  elevate the social life of the university campus orderliness and discipline could be planted in the mind of the youths who were expected to be future leaders in Nigeria.

Over the years, due to doctrinal differences and inability of intending members to meet required standards of the pyrate confraternity, protestants ones started emerging like the buccaneers , mafia, vickings etc the cult begins to be infiltrated by frustrated, undisciplined and disgruntled students with shady characters with the effect that the high and and respected ideals of these cults began to wane.

Today, cultism in the Nigerian higher institutions have assuming a menacing dimension, making life in the institutions awry.

Types of Secret cults

Some of the cults known to exist in educational institutions in Nigeria are:

  1. The mafia
  2. The black axe
  3. The vickings
  4. Eiye confraternity
  5. Mgba mgba brothers
  6. KKK (Ku Klux Klan)
  7. The Black Berret
  8. The jurists
  9. Royal Queens
  10. The Air lords
  11. The Vampires
  12. The owl
  13. The Scorpion
  14. Amazon
  15. Black heart etc.

Characteristics associated with Cultism

  1. Shared experience of rituals: Each member shares with others common experience of rituals at initiation, progression and validation.
  2. The use of signs and passwords: Members are taught the organization signs of danger, friendship, war and so on. However, during initiation, the color of the regalia reflects the status of members
  3. Shared oaths: Each members shared the oath to keep secret till death, the treasured activities of the cultic organization.
  4. They protect offending members against sanction
  5. They usually operate at night
  6. They have rival groups within the institutions
  7. Drug abuse
  8. Illegal possession of firearms
  9. Violent crimes like armed robbery
  10. Killing of innocents students, academic and non academic staff

Test and Exercise

  1. Cultism started at (a) university of Lagos (b) university of Ilorin (c) University college, Ibadan (d) College of Education, Ikere
  2. All are founders of pyrate confraternity except (a) Ralph Opara (b) Tunji Tubi (c) Wole Soyinka (d) Yakubu Gowan
  3. All of these are characteristics of cultism except (a) they have rival groups within the institutions (b)they usually operate at night (c) they ensure peace in the institutions (d) they make use of signs and symbols to communicate
  4. Types of secret cults in Nigeria are these except (a) mgba mgba (b) the scorpion (c) students union (d) the owl
  5. The major aim of the pyrate confraternity is (a) to be more informed (b) elevate the social life of the university campus orderliness and discipline could be planted in the mind of the youths (c) to deceive the people (d) none of the above  

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