No fewer than 54 students from various tertiary institutions in Benue have denounced their membership of cult groups.
The students denounced membership of different cult groups during an interactive session between heads of tertiary institutions in the state and the Coordinator of Campus Cult Eradication Foundation, an NGO.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the students took turns to denounce their membership of the groups in a meeting that was co-sponsored by the police.
Miss Blessing Ibrahim, a student of Benue Polytechnic,Ugbokolo, who renounced her membership at the meeting, told NAN that she did so owing to the non-beneficial nature of cultism.
Another, Mr Samson Adakachi, also said he was recanting his membership of the group because of its heinous activities.
Adakachi said the devilish activities of his cult gang, “the vikies” were “unimaginable”.
The ex-cultists said that they were tired of their association with the groups and willingly denounced their membership.
Speaking during the interactive session, Prof. Mathias Nder, Rector, Katsina-Ala College of Education, Katsina-Ala, said cult activities posed serious security challenges to the institution.
Nder said that most lecturers in the school live under threats of physical harassment from cult groups who demanded money in exchange for attacks.
He regretted that most institutions in the state lacked the requisite security to deal with the emerging security threat.
Nder appealed to the State Government to grant approval to schools to include the study of Ethics and Morals in their academic curriculum.
“The increased cases of insecurity in the state is as a result of the collapse in the social values of our society today.
“Therefore, we need to include ethics and moral courses in the academic curriculum since the culture of a people is buried in the people’s language.’’
On his part, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Bashir Makama, assured that the command would provide adequate protection to the ex-cultists and urged them to encourage their old members to also renounce their cult membership.
Makama warned that the command would not fold its arms and watch cult groups unleash terror on innocent citizens.
Earlier in an address, Mr Samuel Ejembi, founder of the Campus Cult Eradication Foundation, described cultism as a “deadly menace that has destroyed lives of many innocent Nigerian citizens”.
Ejembi decried the ills of cultism, noting that most of its adherents are initiated without knowing the inherent dangers.
He said the ex-cultists were the best instruments against the evil group in the state; stressing that it is a threat to security in any state.
“Cultism includes robbery, kidnapping, drug dealing, peddling and thuggery,’’ he said.