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Fadeyi Oluwaseun
Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho
B.tech Marketing Management
Graduate, Nigeria.

Cultism and related activities in Edo State are said to be rampant especially in the higher education system but recently, a whole new dimension has been added to the menace as secondary school students openly participate in the secret societies even in school premises. These young students hold extreme and more often than not severe beliefs.

School authorities couldn’t take far-reaching measures over the matter because they were somewhat wary of the cultists who, it was gathered, often took hostile actions against their teachers whenever they were disciplined over their negative misbehavior.

The cultists hardly spared their colleagues; they subject them to hardship and molestation over misunderstandings.

In one instance, rival cult groups suspected to be students invaded Ihogbe College and Oba Akenzua Secondary School in droves with cutlasses and other weapons attacking any student in sight.

The two schools were located in the same premises with a perimeter fence separating them before it collapsed.

Many students sustained injuries while two were arrested during the fight.

Academic activities in the schools were disrupted as teachers scampered for safety and had to abandon the schools.

It was gathered that trouble started when a student and his group attacked those in the neighbouring school after a disagreement with a student there. Two of the students who sustained serious injuries were treated in hospital by the state government.

Immediately after the clash, the Commissioner of Education, Emmanuel Agbale, said no student was killed but that the students of both schools have always been engaging in a fight, assuring that security had been beefed up in the area.

The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Chidimma Nwanbuzor, confirmed that the clash was between two cult groups and took place at Akenzua Secondary School premises where two students sustained injuries.

Teachers in some schools said cultism was not new in secondary schools but that violent conflict between the rival groups was worrisome.

A teacher who craved for anonymity said “cultism now exists in secondary schools, because of this, students no longer listen to teachers and when you try to discipline them; they sometimes threaten to deal with you.”

He said students who belong to cult groups sometime go to school with knives which they used to threaten other students they had disagreement with.

Another teacher said cultism accounts for higher percentage of moral decadence witnessed in secondary schools in the state.

“Many students belong to secret cults and by their behaviour you can easily spot them. Those of them who are cultists are not even afraid of the teachers anymore; they don’t attend lessons and you see them walking around aimlessly,” he said.

He added that cultists sometimes extort money and other items from other students that are not members of any cult group.

The teacher, however, blamed parents for the new trend in the secondary school system.

“Parents are responsible for the new trend in our secondary schools. Many parents have stormed schools to beat up teachers who disciplined their wards in the presence of students. So, that gives them the nerve to join any group and we find it difficult to caution them,” he said.

Another teacher also agreed that parents should be blamed for students’ anti-social behaviour.

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