Today, cultism has developed into a major social predicament both within and outside of campuses of tertiary institutions in
The trajectory is so complex, apart from accounts of the rationale, history, development and justifications and defenses usually articulated by the National Association of Seadogs (NAS) to absolve themselves and their organization, all the others are no more than uncoordinated and scanty comments led by agents of the Nigerian state, a failed establishment that should really take the blame for the growth of armed gangs and criminality in, not only our campuses, but the entire Nigerian society.
The Role of the Federal Military Government of IBB
The turning point here was the 1986 nationwide protests by all Nigerian university students against the evil Structural Adjustment Program instituted by the evil genius himself, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida a.k.a. Maradona. The SAP protests were solidly organized and were successful from
The SAP protests shook the IBB regime to its very foundation. The unity of purpose shown by the entire Nigerian students was indeed too much for the evil genius. At no time in
On the surface, IBB, the Maradona warned lecturers to stop teaching what "they were not paid to teach". The deportation of the revolutionary scholar, Patrick Wilmot of the
- A decree was promulgated to weaken student unionism by making it "voluntary". But SUGs were first banned after the SAP protests. However, the result of weak student unions was the rise in clandestine and primordial micro student organizations that were never based on any objective issues. Not that this micro organizations did not exist prior to the decree banning SUGs, but the strength of SUGs overwhelmed the small tribal, class, and religious unions. The fall of SUGs created a vacuum that had to be filled, youth at that vibrant age needed some form of associational life, but these associations grew and created divisions and heightened unhealthy competition and tensions in the campuses.
- Knowing fully well that the ban on unionism will not be enough to weaken it (for instance, in spite of the ban, students of the University of Ibadan held a referendum for independent student unionism, which resulted in over 96.7% of the students voting for unionism, in 1987; more universities joined the independent "referendum" fray) the IBB junta then devised a strategy of infiltrating the students' movement and sponsored candidates for SUG positions. This was done by effectively channeling "campaign funds" through sources including the university authorities and secret state agents masqueraded as students. In fact, some of the state agents (SSS, Police, NIA, DMI, etc) themselves ran for offices and won. One state agent in my Alma Mata, the
University of Jos , told me there are state agents in every class/level of all courses in all Nigerian Universities since after the SAP riots of 1986.
- Knowing fully well that introduction of money in campus politics could also fail (and it failed indeed, in the beginning) secret agents of the state also effectively introduced guns and other weapons to "fight" popular unionism. During SUG electioneering campaigns, popular candidates were secretly cowed by the use of arms supplied the state. Cults groups were given arms with which they openly disrupted popular and democratic SUG processes and structures with impunity, while enjoying protection of both the university authorities and the security agencies including the police.
The simultaneous execution of this well calculated and deliberate agenda to weaken the students' movement as measure against a feared popular revolution, following the national SAP protests of 1996, marked the unfortunate turning point where the trajectory of "cultism" took a viciously violent turn. It must be here understood that the evil genius himself represented and acted in the interest of an equally evil ruling elite that continues to rape