Fred Ezeh, Abuja
No fewer than 40 different cult groups with over 12,000 chapters is operational in university and other tertiary institution campuses across Nigeria, Founder, Exam Ethics Marshal International (EEMI), Ike Onyechere, has said.
He said that thorough research conducted by his organisation, alongside other local and international partners, confirmed that no fewer than 10, 000 lives were lost as a result of different violent cult-related activities.
Speaking to reporters in Abuja, on Tuesday, on the annual national consultative conference of education leaders on combating campus cultism, examination malpractices, and sex-for-grade, Onyechere suggested that Executive Order be issued by President Muhammadu Buhari, to empower institutions to deploy legal, security and administrative measures to stamp out cultism in institutions.
He was worried that cultism has gradually spread to primary and secondary schools with little or no effort from relevant stakeholders to checkmate it.
He said: “Thousands have been injured, harassed, raped, arrested, detained, suspended and expelled from school due to cult-related activities. Lecturers are being intimidated and blackmailed into awarding undeserved grades to cultists thereby fuelling examination malpractice and academic dishonesty.”
Onyechere, thus called for consensus among education stakeholders on the dangers of examination malpractice, campus cultism, and sex-for-grade to education, students, staff, families, society and the nation, saying that the commitment to stamp them out must be total.
He was disappointed that some highly intelligent parents and educated people charged with the responsibility of administering the education system justify their active participation in aiding and abetting examination malpractice, campus cultism, and sex-for-grade or through the conspiracy of silence.