IMPACT OF CULTISM ON PSYCHOSOCIAL ADJUSTMENT OF STUDENTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS. A RESEARCH PROJECT TOPICS ON GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING
1.0 Background to the study
Cultism is one of the most dangerous social vices which have plagued the Nigerian institutions of higher learning for decades. This menace of cultism in our tertiary institutions has left the schools, academic and non- academic staff and students vulnerable in the hands of cultists within and outside the school campus.
Cultism is derived from the word “cultus” which means “care” “Adoration”. To the sociologist of religion, the term is used to describe a loosely known organization not characterized by tolerance and open minded in matter of belief and practice, while in the media, and everyday conversation, the word suggests a spurious, secretive, sinister and harmful group. Albatross (2006).The first cult group in Nigeria campus was the pirate confraternity founded in 1952 in the then University college Ibadan now University of Ibadan. The confraternity was founded as a resistance to government decision to run a rail road behind the campus grounds. This confraternity was devoid of any harmful characteristics as seen in today confraternities.
Opaluwah (2000) opined that the pirate confraternity was formed to end tribalism and elitism and not harm, maim or kill and destroy as seen in contemporary confraternities in our campuses. The club therefore became an elite club only for the cleanest, brightest and politically conscious. They tele guided political events and held important positions within the student body such as president, chief judge, public relations officer and secretary. Their existence was well known by the students and was not associated with weird harmful spiteful character of latter-day confraternities. He concluded that over the years due to doctrinal differences and inability of intending members to meet the required standards of the pirate, protestant ones began to emerge.
As against the background of the formation of the pirate, contemporary confraternities are known for violence and bizarre behaviours such as armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms, illicit sexual escapades, killing of innocent students, academic and non- academic staff, arson, extortion, threats, physical attacks, blackmail and other inhuman practices, factional struggle and war of supremacy culminating in bloody clashes between cult groups. Jakayinfa (2008)Muyiwa (2004) noted the following as activities of present day confraternities Cult activities always in the night, nocturnal initiation ceremonies in which initiates are animalized and some die in the process, making blood covenants and performing other occultic rituals, organized opposition against any form of oppression real or imagined, liberal consumption of alcohol, use of drugs, intimidation and use of violence, sexual abuse and rape, maiming, man slaughter and murder, Examination malpractice, stealing and armed robbery.