By; Ifreke Udoyo
In a bid to sensitize students about the dangers of participating in the activities of cultism, the Eket Council Boss, Hon. Frank Archibong, in collaboration with Eket Students Association Worldwide (EKSA), has flagged off an Anti-cultism campaign across all Secondary Schools in Eket local government.
The campaign which seek to disabuse the minds of the vulnerable student’s, who might have been misinformed in their early academic age, commenced on Monday in Community Commercial Secondary School, Ikot Uso Ekong in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom.
Speaking during the campaign Mr Edet Edet, the guest speaker discussed on the disadvantages of Cultism in Secondary Schools in Eket and its environs.
Mr Edet who discussed on the topic Aftermath of Cultism, advised the students to abstain from cult activities, adding that involvement in cultism would take the students to their early grave.
He noted that the youths are the leaders of tomorrow, saying that the parents of the students had toiled their wards to school in order to achieve academic excellence.
He further said that as a student, you can be what you ought to be without belonging to any cult group.
“Cultism will ruin your future, ruin your academic and will make you not relevant in community activities”
“Peer group influence, many students to join cult groups following persuasion from their friends who are already members. This is why it is very important to keep the right company of friends at all times”
“To let you all know, desire for brotherhood makes students also join cult groups to form part of a brotherly relationship, where members pledge their allegiance to love and defend each other”
“As a student involving in cult activities, it will distract you from academic pursue ” he said.
The DCO 1 of Eket Divisional Police Station, SP Emmanuel Obagaji during the campaign advised the students to disassociate their selves from cult activities and bad friends.
Obagaji said that the fundamental problems of cultism are the uncertain and unsafe atmosphere in our secondary schools which had caused youths to derailed from academic pursue.
However, he added that Cult activities also breeds the nature of violence in youths. Youths who become cultists do not place any value on human life, and rather than resolve conflicts amicably resort to violent means to solve problems which in turn breeds more violence as the saying goes ‘violence begat violence.
DCO 1 of Eket Divisional Police Station, advised the students to follow the footsteps of Gov. Udom Emmanuel who have always held the option that secret cultism is a hydra-headed problem that can only be controlled and eventually eradicated through an integrated approach, involving all segment within the system. With the combine effort of the judiciary and the police.
“cult activities gives the society bad image” Obagaji said.
The Supervisor for Education Eket Local Government Council, Mr Ubong Etukudo in his messaged complemented the Eket council boss/ the ALGON chairman Hon. Archibong for taking the anti cult campaign to secondary schools and for doing the needful in eradicating cult activities in the area.
Moreover, he also thanked our dear Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel for his vision for free education in Akwa Ibom State. And recommended him for the continuous payment of WAEC fees to students in government schools and ask for his continuous assistance in the campaign against cultism in Akwa Ibom State.
Etukudo, disclosed why students should not join cult groups and the disadvantages of cultism in the country.
He listed reasons why students join cults, saying that its for quest for recognition and popularity. Adding that students also join cults in order to be recognized as “big boys or girls” by others and also become popular among student communities.
“Must importantly, Students who have learnt bad habits from an early age easily join cults groups as a cover to perpetuate their bad character” he said.
Etukudo, outlined the consequences of cultism in two ways, Consequences on the society and Consequences on the individual
During his lectures, he pointed out the consequences of cult activities which are suffered by the society at large which include, loss of innocent lives.
“Cult activities bring about the loss of innocent lives which may come about during violent cult clashes with other cult members or the police. This innocent citizens who are killed may other wise have become valuable members of the society”
He furthered educate them on illustration of Destruction of valuable properties by students who engaged on cult activities.
“Cult members are always prone to destroying valuable properties in the society in the course of their activities” He said.
Etukudo, made known to pupils that Cult activities bring about the increase in crime rate, this is because cultists engage in all sorts of crime such as raping, murder, kidnapping, and armed robbery. All these make the society unsafe for living.
He noted that the frequent closure of schools and destruction of valuable school properties was as a result of cult activities which lead to the fall of educational standard.
The Supervisor for Education Eket local government council also highlighted the consequences of Cultism on individual adding that, many cult members end up paying the ultimate price for belonging to such groups. On a daily basis cult members kill each other on grounds of supremacy and revenge.
In his message, he illuminated that Cultists also experience poor academic performance in school. They skip lectures and have no time to read their books. This explains why many cultists end up spending more years than expected in the University.
Comdr Eshiet Essineowo representative of council of elders EKSA in his speech expanded to the pupils that Cultists have a bad reputation wherever they go, no body regards or respects them. They are always despised by their families and the society at large.
“Has a one time student of Higher institution, Tertiary institutions have very low tolerance for cult activities and so any student found belonging to a cult is usually expelled from the school”
“You all need to say no to cultism, because students belonging to a cult group is a criminal offense and so any individual found to belong to a cult is made by the courts of law to face prison time” Essineowo said.
He advised the students that Cultists bring a lot of shame, embarrassment and pain to their families. Adding that parents are being tagged as bad parents or parents of armed robbers. Cultism has also made many parents loose their children to ultimately death.
Furthermore, Mr Mbosowo Ekere, the principal of Community Commercial Secondary School, Ikot Uso Ekong thanked Hon. Frank Archibong and also EKSA for embarking on the anti-cult campaign to sensitize students on bad effect of Cultism. He explained ways which cultism can be prevented and advised the students to abstain from cult activities.
“There are many ways to Prevent Cultism from our society”, he said.
“Proper campaign on the negative effects of cultism, Individuals at all levels in the society should be properly educated on the negative effects of cultism. If individuals, particularly, students learn of the effects of cultism they are less likely to want to indulge in it”
He alighted that School administrations have important role to play to ensure that they provide effective security measures in school environments to protect students from harassment and intimidation from others, adding that when this happens students will not feel the need to seek protection by forming or joining cult groups
Ekere also advised that Parents should put in good effort in bringing up their children so as to ensure that they don’t imbibe bad characters that encourage violence.
“Children must be taught the values of good morals” he said.
However, he urged the authorities ( The Nigerian Police Force) saying that at all levels they should ensure that they met out severe punitive measures on acts of cultism to serve as deterrence to others.
The principal noted that in encouragement of academic exploits, everyone in the society must join hands in providing conducive learning environment for students as well as supporting activities that encourage learning, this will make students focus more on their education and be less distracted by other things such as cultism.
He urged students to avoid keeping bad friends, so they don’t get influenced into indulging in negative behavior.