Labels: Cultism, Education, Strikes, Student Wahala, Teachers, Universities, Wahala of the Nigerian Student Series
Special thanks to everyone who is following this series. I appreciate the feedback and support :-)
In continuing with our series, another set of "wahala" (problems) faced by Nigerian students comes in the form of a two-headed monster (I made that up. The monster probably has more than two heads. Share a picture if you see it live): Cultism and Academic Union Strikes. This typically affects institutions of higher learning a.k.a universities. Let's tackle them one by one.
Beyond the tying of bandanas, "do-rags" (I used to call them "durangs") and other similar accessories that cultists are associated with, cultism remains one of the most serious problems faced by Nigerian students. I assume you know what a secret cult, also known as a secret society is, but just in case, here's a handy dandy definition:
any of various oath-bound societies often devoted to brotherhood, moral discipline, and mutual assistance
Now, I personally feel that this definition is too soft and does not adequately describe the horrors and evils that secret cults perpetuate on Nigerian college campuses. As far as I am concerned, secret cults, originally called confraternities, are criminal gangs and should be eradicated. Whatever good purposes they were originally established for (i.e. as social organizations for promising students) are non-existent, and they are now nuisances. Cult clashes are terrible and usually leave a bloody trail behind.
Throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria, secret cults come in different shapes and sizes and have all sorts of strange names. Members sometimes wear certain colors and items of clothing and accessories or body markings (e.g tattoos) to identify themselves and members consist of both men and women. They are responsible for:
- Multiple murders and killings of students, professors, lecturers, and anybody they consider a threat (or don't like)
- Vandalism of university and other people's personal property
- Rape of female students
Last time I checked, these were all crimes, which makes secret cults just a conglomeration of organized criminals. Some universities are known to have more dangerous cults than others. Since we all know secret cults are evil, why do they thrive? My answer is this: Because they are supported financially and otherwise by men and women in high places. These politicians, businessmen and women, leaders may or may not be alumni of these cults, and they patronize them to get rid of competition.
Ironically, private universities and colleges which were established partially as an alternative to the "cult-infested" public universities and polytechnics are also known to harbor secret cults as well.
I think if cultism was eradicated, that alone would make a huge difference in Nigeria's educational system. Students should not have to study in fear or have their lives truncated prematurely because of these criminals.
ACADEMIC UNION STRIKES
I remember when I was a student at the University of Lagos, there was a popular saying, i.e. the number of years a student spends in the university is determined by a simple formula:
4 years + X
"X" stands for the number of extra years a student will spend beyond the official 4 or 5 years allocated for an undergraduate degree program. The reason for the unnecessary delay? STRIKES.
Both the academic (ASUU) and non-academic staff members are poorly paid, and regularly go on strikes to force the government to meet their demands. While the strikes are not always successful, the major victims are the students, who are forced to leave the school premises and stay at home indefinitely. Strikes can last for months and those months add up to years eventually.
I remember there were several strikes when I was at UNILAG. During those long months of staying at home, two major things happen:
- The crime rate increases: "An idle mind is the devil's workshop" takes on a literal meaning.
- Female students come back pregnant and/or married. I think that is pretty self-explanatory.
Question: What is your take on secret cults and ASUU strikes? Speak your mind.