Students of Delta state origin have agreed to shun cultism, internet fraud, examination malpractice and other social vices in the society.
The students took the decision at a one-day sensitisation and awareness programme tagged “Delta State Student’s Summit” with the theme “Role of Student Leaders Towards Curtailing the Menace of Cultism and Other Social Vices” held at the Mom Civic Centre, Warri on Wednesday.
The programme was organised by the Office of the Special Assistant to the Governor on Student’s Affairs in conjunction with the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).
Chairman of the occasion and Managing Director of DESOPADEC, Bashorun Askia Ogieh in his remark said cultism had taken a frightening dimension in the society and called on student leaders to double efforts at re-orienting students on the need to shun cultism and other social vices in the country.
Represented Mrs. Ewomazino Duku, the DESOPADEC boss called on students to channel their youthful energy into providing solutions to contemporary societal challenges bedeviling the country.
According to Bashorun Ogieh, “there is no time in contemporary history where the issue of cultism and social vices has assumed a frightening dimension as in our current dispensation.
“When we least expected the scourge of this cryptic narrative to peter out with time and the buy-in of more enlightenment in knowledge, dynamic aspirations and frontier expansion, the menace of cultism appears to remain formidable, mellifluously enticing and a sudden vacuum filler of the ordeals imposed by a disorganized society.
“This has sadly degenerated into a sinister cartel to unleash heinous offenses such as rape, banditry, public harassment or bullying, homicide and ritual killing among a cocktail of offenses.
“The menace of cultism as it is turning out today among Nigerian youths has eaten deep and festered sorely into the social fabric of the national community such that social disturbance has become a familiar and normal situation in the country”
Ogieh remarked that cultism has increased degradation of values and made most of the Nigerian youths to lose focus on their academic pursuits and future.
He said what was more baffling is the degeneration of the menace to primary and secondary schools that has literarily trapped the impressionable hearts of our teens, where the tender hearts of chickens are now being reset to crow!
“Whatever the verdict being peddled and believed, the sad case of the unfortunate death of 11-year old Sylvester Oromoni remains a sore point in the imminent danger posed by cult-related menace in the society.
“This is where student leaders have a vital role of mind reorientation. As leaders of tomorrow, any student activism without a deliberate attempt to counsel their large followership and inspire them toward more noble and beneficial deeds in the society will dent their image as frontliners.
“This kind of approach can be taken across all tertiary institutions across the country to re-orientate the minds of students regarding curtailing the menacing and pervasive trend of cultism in the land.
“Students should be true activists in deed and in truth by changing the narrative in more valuable issues. Our students must be guided and inspired to be engaged in more noble deeds that keep them highly productive with their time.
“There is a legion of challenges confronting mankind that require solution thinkers – new alternatives to fossil fuel technology, space exploration, food security, weak economy, etc.
“The last time I checked, cultism does not belong to anything beneficial to society except to maim, cut short and destroy destinies.
“The onus lies in the hands of student leaders to lead their fellow students to the right path in the overall interest of society,” he stated.
Welcoming guests earlier, Special Assistant to the Governor on Student’s Affairs, Comrade Ezekiel Okoh said Nigerians were faced with enemies not armed with rifles nor nuclear weapons yet potent enough to wipe out an entire generation.
He said Nigerians were daily ambushed by enemies who have continued to cut lives short at their prime, shattered dreams, destroyed families and ruined careers.
“Our media is awash with anti-social vices which including cultism, drug abuse, Internet fraud, prostitution, examination malpractice and ritual killings.
“Today’s gathering aims at sensitising, re-orienting and kicking off the campaign for a new order that would raise a new breed of 21st century leaders who would chose the path of honour and integrity over social vices.
“We have an array of distinguished leaders of thought who were also confronted with these societal maladies but rather choose to follow the path of honour and dignity.
“As we draw from their wealth of experience, together we would build a stronger Delta free from all social vices,” Okoh stated.
The programme featured lectures presented by Chairman Delta State Vocational and Technical Education Board, Comrade Michael Akpobire and Frank Oseya Esq as well as a drama against cultism and other social vices by the Glory of God Music Drama Concept.
Dignitaries who attended the ceremony include Hon. Commissioner for Youths Development, Comrade Ifeanyi Egwunyenga represented by Olorogun Arthur Onokpite, Chairman PDP Patani LGA, Chief Godspower Asiuwhu, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mr Nelson Egware.
Others include Special Assistant to the Governor on DESOPADEC Chief Prosper Edo, Rev’d Dr. Godwin Omegwe, Comrade Collins Ayabotu and representatives of the Commissioner of Police in the state.