Campus cultism is one of the most potent causes of insecurity in educational institutions. It has elevated challenges facing students and staff to new and dangerous dimensions; turning campuses into virtual war zones; destroying lives; disrupting academic activities; and fueling examination malpractice. Campus cultism is a total perversion of the positive attributes of culture of fraternities and sororities in higher institutions.
Fraternities (social clubs for male undergraduates) and Sororities (social clubs for female undergraduates) are globally accepted age-long culture of universities and higher institutions with variations at secondary school level. They compliment academic activities of institutions with philanthropic and social responsibility initiatives in service to community and humanity. They also provide training in character, etiquette, dressing and manners for members.
The first fraternity in a Nigerian University, founded in 1952 in University College, Ibadan, mirrored thesepositive attributes in addition to promoting high academic and intellectual standards, national unity and social inclusiveness of a global community of learning devoid of racism, tribalism and nepotism. The fraternity proved very popular among students in the University College. But for reasons that had to do with power struggle,decline in standards and deviation from core values, the organization started fracturing in 1972. As new groups formed, inter-group fighting for territory, influence and power escalated.
The infighting led to abandonment of positive objectives of fraternities as the groups transformed into cults and embraced the culture of violence. Cults are groups of people who share and propagate peculiar but secret beliefs only to members. Campus cults refer to cults that operate in educational institutions. Their operational procedures and processes include secret rituals involving swearing by some deity, occult, grotesque, deviant, out rightly criminal and unorthodox blood initiation rituals.
The splintering of campus cult groups has continued unabated since 1972 spreading reigns of terror, insecurity and violence beyond tertiary institutions to secondary schools, streets and creeks.