House moves to combat cultism in higher institutions

Nigerian Coat of Arm

The Nigerian House of Representatives has raised alarm over growing threats of cultism in Nigerian higher educational institutions.

It identified the menace as part of activities fuelling terrorism, kidnapping, armed banditry and criminality.

In a motion moved by Henry Nwawuba on Wednesday, 17th July, the House reached a resolution on the urgent need to curb cultism in the schools.

Mr Nwawuba said its spread has become alarming as he called on the House to take a critical look at the issue with a view to stopping it before it takes an untamable twist.

On his part, Victor Kolade said the security agencies in Nigeria need to invest in intelligence gathering in schools and monitoring of neighborhoods to curb the menace.

He also urged institutions and agencies of government to invest in sensitisation and advocacy programs.

Mr Francis Waive, in his contribution, said the National Orientation Agency (NOA) which has been underutilised, and that could have mitigated these problems.

According to him, it seems the NOA had been overwhelmed by lack of manpower or funds as well as lack of focus.

He also called for the inclusion of the menace of cultism in school curriculum at all levels.

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On his part, Ifeanyi Momah called on the National Universities Commission (NUC) to keep a register of cultists that have been convicted so that when they are rusticated, they cannot gain admission into any other Nigerian university to further spread the menace.

But Nicholas Ossai argued that the best way to address the issue of cultism is advocacy. earlier reported that Mr Ossai was sponsoring a reintroduced bill seeking to regulate the Students’ Union Governments in higher educational institutions.

He said the amendment would prescribe clear punishment for cultism offences.

Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu proffered some solutions to the issue, which include sincerity in the political class not to use these cultists during election campaigns.

He also called on parents, traditional and religious leaders to sensitize the people in their communities.

He suggested the need to lay less emphasis on the need for affluence, which usually lure children into cultism.

Tobi Okechukwu in contributing to the debate on the motion called for the positive engagement of youth to demystify the enticement to get them into cultism.

He blamed the deteriorating level of morale and patriotism in every sector of the Nigerian psyche for the growth of cultism over the years.

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Peter Makinde decried the widespread nature of cultism, which has infiltrated all sectors of the country.

He advocated for everyone to imbibe the “change begins with me” mantra of the Federal Government to begin to spread positivity into the system.

He also called for the introduction of a proper identification database to track offenders.

Whereas, Ogunlola Olubunmi called on parents to be ideal role models for their children and nip negative tendencies in the bud before they get out of hand.

She also called for adequate rehabilitation of those already found to be cultists.

For Mela Victor, the hyping of foreign influences in the lives of Nigerian youth is to blame for the rise of cultism.

He called for the scrutiny and monitoring of the activities of organisations affiliated to cultism.

Ade Adeogun lamented how developmental confraternities have metamorphosed into blood-thirsty cults.

He blamed lack of database of apprehended culprits for the continued prevalence. Hon. Amos Magaji blamed the need for helpless citizens to defend themselves against bullying and harassment as one key reason why some people become cultists.

He blamed the society and the system, which he said have failed in protecting such individuals and called for the strengthening of laws to deal with bullying and harassment.

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Commenting on the motion, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila said denying individuals the right of education by hindering them from gaining admission after being rusticated for cultism could have the the unintended effect of making them go further into illegality.

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