The Thriving Business Of Cultism In Cross River State, Who Is The Next To Fall And Who Will Come To Our Rescue?


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Fraternity in its formative stage was not envisaged as as war-gang Lords, my Prof. Wole Soyinka and his colleagues, then university students. It was a pressure group formed to put pressure on the university authority and the government as at then. The proliferation of these fraternal groups, currently known as cultists , due to expulsion of members either through idealogical differences as in the early stage, or now quest by every young man to become gang lord, has done more harm than good to our tertiary institutions, Post-Primary and Primary institutions, than the original aim and objectives of establishing it.

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One thing certain about the history of the formation of fraternities also known as cult groups is that, it was not in any of the tertiary institutions in Cross River State that it started. In fact, no Cross Riverian was a founding members. Like a trend, it only spread to our schools and colleges, like in other places. We are not here to tell the history of cultism, but to share our concern about what has befallen us as a people.

The rate at which Cross River State seems to have become headquarters of all cult groups in Nigeria and their level of incessant killings in the State Capital, Calabar and other towns, calls for a sobber reflection of how decayed our communities has become and the need for us all to put urgent measures to check this ugly trend.

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Though the level of killings by cult groups in Cross River State has heightened since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, killings by these set of people in the State did not start today. In fact, yours truly had different encounters with them in around 1994/1995 as a senior student in Senior Science Program, a senior secondary program for only senior students that was situated inside the then College of Education Awi, Akamkpa.

COE Akamkpa then was like the headquarters of cultism in Nigeria, where cultists from other schools will come to make trouble and kill people. It was in one of such of their operations that I witnessed at Hilltop Awi, the butchering of a young man then, a student who was said to be a relative to a one time governor of Cross River State. This young man who ran for his life, went into a chemist shop and was followed up and butchered in the day time to the cheering of other members. This also led to more attacks and counter attacks and was the reason why pressure was mounted that the Senior Science Program be removed from COE Awi and changed to a regular secondary school. But before that was done, even some of the students of SSP had becomed cult members.

While Cross River State had never, I repeat, had never taken last in cult activities, quote me right, democracy has added more salt to injury in any attempt to curb this menace. This is due to the quest by politicians in the State to win elections by all means by patronizing these cult groups who are used for thuggery and other dirty jobs which includes assassination and attacks on opponents. These patronage by politicians has boldened the activities of these cult groups who now control certain areas in Calabar city and other towns in Cross River State and would be so bold to come out in day time to display their weapons and carry out their nefarious activities.

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That some of these cultists are children of highly placed men and women in our society can not be over emphasized , the inability of our security agencies to tackle this problem is also worrisome. Recently, Cross Riverians have watched helplessly as these young men will come to kill themselves and disposed innocent citizens of their hard earned belongings. It is also pathetic that in the cause of their war, many innocent lives have been waisted which even include that of our security agencies.

One important question we should ask is, what is the advantage of being a cultist? Is it not very ridiculous that most of our young men will become cultist because a girl friend was taken away from them by a cultist, or the want to become a gang lord? Some girls want security and for that, they either become a cultist or befriend one. Our politicians have also not help matters because it is now becoming a norm that for you to get a job through them, you must become a cultist to work for them first. We have seen where it is rumored that a lot of our politicians , rulers and top security officers are cultists and enjoy the services of these people.

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The most disgraceful of all this is that, cultist in the past were very brillaint university students and mostly very humble, quiet and tall individuals who would hardly be known as cultists. When it is said of them, it is hardly believed by people. The degeneration of cultism to a point that even primary school pupils with no mensrea are now cultists speaks volume of a decayed society that needs urgent rebirth.

Who then will come to our rescue? Who will be the next to fall? Why has there been no concerted and pragmatic effort to curb the activities of these evil young boys and girls by those responsible for doing it in Calabar and other towns in Cross River State? Who is benefiting from the daily spilling of blood in Calabar? Who is sponsoring them?

Let it be known, that the evil that men do no more lives after them, it lives with them now.

Cross River State, Arise, my people, Arise; let us put a stop to this.

Ekpenyong Isaiah
Commander, Infantry Pen Battallion
[email protected]


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