OrderPaperToday – The scourge of cultism in Nigeria today has reached alarming proportions with the virus already spewed out of higher educational institutions where it used to be a resident concern.

Many have lost lives and limbs from cultism over the decades.

On Wednesday, Mr. Henry Nwawuba (PDP, Imo) brought the matter to the House of Representatives via a motion, beaming a much needed search light on the horror that cultism has inflicted on the society. Several members of the House not only joined in condemning cultism but also proffered solutions to end the menace.

Moving the well-researched contemporary motion on Wednesday, Mr. Nwawuba gave a brief history of cultism which according to him started as a fraternity in 1952 with the “motive of maintaining law and order on campuses.” He however explained that cultism has become a “threat to our higher institution of learning  as the initial intentions of the cult groups to fight injustice has turned to evil in the society.”

He expressed what is clearly a national worry that even children in primary and secondary schools aged between 8-16 years now belong to secret cults.

What makes the motion important?

On the 1st of April, 2019, Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shuaibu, in his capacity as Acting Governor, ordered the reopening of academic activities at the Akenzua and Ihogbe Secondary Schools which had been shut down over allegations of cultism and other unwholesome activities among the students.

According to a recent report on Punch Newspaper, 7 people were killed in cult attacks on the 20th of May in Rivers State; in addition to an earlier beheading of four persons in another cult-related violence. Media report also put it that on the 8th of April, 2019, over 20 persons died as a result of cult clashes across the state. Recall also, that a viral video of cult-related violence in a secondary school in same Rivers State had surfaced on social media, causing grave concerns across the country.

In June 2018, Awka, the Anambra State capital was enmeshed in bloodbath as no fewer than 16 people lost their lives to gun battle between cult members, with police making 35 arrests. This is according to a report on Premium Times.

A quick online search leaves an endless media report of cult related killings across the country.

What did the motion achieve?

Nwawuba’s motion was unanimously adopted by the House as several members who spoke during the debate expressed worry over the increase in cult killings and the negative impacts of cultism in Nigeria.

The House in its resolution called on the Federal government and states to set up anti-cultism vanguard to curb violence and also urged the security agencies to work with local vigilantes so as to arrest cult members and prosecute them accordingly.

Way forward?

It is expected that the resolution of the House would make a leeway towards the amelioration if not elimination of violent cult activities in Nigeria. This is the kind of motion that credible and influential voices and personalities in the country should support even as eyes are on the police and state governments across the country to see how they implement the resolution.

 

Editor’s Note: This award for motion of the week followed exhaustive scrutiny, debate and voting of motions taken in the House of Representatives in the week of July 16-18 by the editorial team of OrderPaper Nigeria. This is our modest contribution towards value addition in parliamentary representation in Nigeria.

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