I read somewhere recently that some cult boys clashed and there was a blood bath. It brings to mind the Saturday morning in March 1997 when a guy was gunned down by cultists at the mass communication department area in Unilag. My bus had just left the Marriere/Moremi bus terminal for my Bariga sojourn when it happened, so I missed and escaped the near fracas that could have ensued had there been a retaliation. What happened, however, was a serious clampdown on cult activities by the then VC, Prof Jelili Omotola, who took drastic steps to checkmate the brewing storm. Immediately afterward, a newspaper broadcast was made of all suspected cultists in some of the major daily papers. Prominent amongst them was a notorious guy who stayed a few rooms away on my block in JaJa Hall. For obvious reasons, I will call him Big Ken. He was a chubby, charming big fella whom I took a liking to. He played freely with everyone, so it came as a shock when the news broke and his name stood out on top of the list. It shattered his family, for his father was a minister or prominent person at the time. This gave me a wake-up call to be wary of everyone I came across because I had just resumed my freshman year and was bonding with total strangers. Fast forward a few years later, in the year 2000, another onslaught came on cultists and, to my utmost shock, I saw friends of mine taking the deal to renounce their clans or be exposed and expelled. I had quietly observed over time, however, that some of the buddies/squatters we accommodated had a habit of sneaking away from school whenever there was any sign of a “HIT.”I soon found out that the brotherly love and bond we all shared in the room made them whisper to warn each other once they perceived the storm. That’s when I realized that cultism isn’t the problem; it’s how the affairs and way of life are managed that causes havoc. There’s cultism everywhere. They are all admitted to a faculty when they are at their peak, with all the energy and exuberance to express and exert themselves. When we were all in primary school, someone gave directions as to how we should comport ourselves. At the secondary school level, we were given inter-house and interschool activities to wash off any ideal fingers. By the time we manage to scale through jamb, our parents, society and the government abandon us to our chosen way of life, whether or not we are mature enough to take charge, hence the decay in the habits of vicious cultists. The forefathers established various platforms to better themselves academically and to fight for the weak amongst them against any system that was designed to deprive any such person. Soon enough, as is the norm in Nigeria, the powerful and financially capable took over the original template. In more advanced climes, as observed, their cult activities are visible to all and are encouraged by all through sporting and academic activities. In an Alpha House versus Beta House chess competition, Healthy engagements that don’t require their kids to go and hide in a bush or graveyard at 2 am, punishing and suffering themselves all in the name of initiation. Every man likes to protect his territory and keep his treasures intact, hence the bloody fights over terrain and women. We will never get it right unless government and society recognize the importance of engaging young people in a righteous, open, and free manner. The more we condemn, the deeper they go underground and the darker they get. Cultism is a game of numbers. The polity is filled with different cliques and cabals, all for a desired common goal. The corporate world has its own modus operandi of preferring and selecting a brand over another. Certain people sit down and decide the fate of others in society, whether or not an individual should remain in office or be sacked and evicted from their apartment. To God be the glory, after all. Some weeks back, the picture of a man of God went viral when he greeted a former comrade in the ritual manner of their Alma cult family. We are all cultists. We just choose to operate differently. After all, my wife and I also plot against our kids. That’s our own Tha KIN family cult. Lol
Kofi ‘Tha Guru’ is Nigeria’s most versatile entertainer, comedian, actor, singer, and author of the book ‘Beauty of The Beast: The Scars that made me a Star. # ComicTruthby Koffi’s is not a personal attack on anyone or any institution; he only writes about those things he loves and is passionate about. You can get some more honest opinions at www.koffithaguru.com.