Curbing Cultism And Related Vices In Akwa Ibom’s Secondary Schools: The SPI Panacea

By Ofonime Honesty


Last Wednesday started like every other working day in Uyo metropolis. Towards noon, however, the easygoing ambience of the day metarmophosed into full-blown chaos.

Bullets flew, stones were hurled, pandemonium walked the streets of Uyo with swagger as students of Government Technical College (GTC) Ewet Offot, Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, engaged officers of the Nigeria Police in a free-for-all.

When the dust settled, injuries were inflicted, arrests made, properties looted or destroyed. The Nwaniba dual carriageway and adjoining roads later became as barren as wilderness. The warring teenagers – armed with pistols, axes, machetes and stones – took the fight to other parts of Uyo.

It was gathered that police officers had stormed the school during official hours to arrest a student – an act which triggered the trouble.

The students, suspected to be cult boys, were apparently prepared for the melee, as they brandished weapons within splits seconds.

RELATED: If Oil Wells in Niger Delta were found in major ethnic groups they’d have seceded

They mouthed slangs of their confraternities copiously as they engaged the police officers.

Findings have since revealed that cultism is at the root of the issue. To avert further clashes, the Akwa Ibom State Government reacted by indefinitely shutting down the institution which had long became a notorious cult haven.

The state government also suspended 34 students of the school.
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly also waded in by calling for a strict implementation of the Anti-Cultism Laws and barring of cultists from occupying public offices to serve as a discouragement to teenagers who see cultism as an easy route to prominence.

According to news reports, “Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, commended Hon. Godwin Ekpo (of Ibiono Ibom State Constituency) for bringing the Motion before the House.”

“He (the Speaker) committed the Motion to the Joint Committees on Education and Security, directing them to come up with a report within one month, after interfacing with the Ministry of Education, State Technical School Board and State Secondary Education Board”.

The executive and legislative arms of the state government have been REACTIONARY in the wake of the crisis. They were apparently caught napping by the dreaded monster which has been nurtured over the years.

From tertiary institutions, cultism has spread to the streets, and now, secondary and some primary schools have been permeated.

PROACTIVE measures should now be adopted. Playing to the gallery will only worsen the situation.
Secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State have a little over 70 cult groups. Groups like Skylolo, Luttox, Dewell, Deybam, Junior Vikings, September 11 Group, Vipers, The Executioners, White Angels, Eagle Club, Red Skins, Secret Sons of Satan, Lost Children of Cain, The Dragons, and Sons of Darkness, are just few notorious groups in a long list of cult groups holding sway at the secondary school level. These groups exist in schools across the 31 Local Government Areas of the state.

It has long been confirmed by anti-vices advocacy group, School to School Peace Initiative (SPI), that confraternities have feeder teams in secondary schools, hence the need to destroy the breeding process.

Efforts to fully integrate the secondary school system into SPI operations have since gained provisional approval of the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education. Securing the partnership and support of all arms of government and sincere stakeholders will make the task much effective.

SPI had to metamorphose into its current nomenclature in order to permeate the secondary school system. Formerly, Peace on Campus Initiative (PCI), the organization’s operations were only confined to tertiary institutions. The organization, duly registered according to the Laws of the Federation, was given approval by the Akwa Ibom State Government since 2003.

Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua, is a glittering case study of SPI’s effectiveness in curbing vices. The hitherto unsafe institution is now a safe haven for education.

Also, SPI’s operations have just been restarted by the new management of the Akwa Ibom State College of Education, Afaha Nsit.

Maurid Polytechnic, Nsit Ibom, is another success story of SPI’s dexterity in security matters.
The organization was formed about three decades ago in the University of Uyo under the Armed Forces Students Forum.

It later evolved into the Peace on Campus Initiative (PCI), before arriving at its present status as School to School Peace Initiative (SPI). UNIUYO was cultism personified during its younger years.
From UNIUYO, SPI sprouted across the South-South zone, to the South-East, North-Central and the Federal Capital Territory. Federal Polytechnic, Ebonyi State, University of Abuja are other flagship successes of SPI.

SPI and its sister organization, PinDrop Security Services, offer security consultancy services to states, institutions and corporate bodies across the federation.

SPI is composed of security operatives, repentant cultists, professionals in different fields, students and other volunteers who share the belief that a cult free society can be achieved. It has over the years been the best platform for sensitizing, combating and rehabilitating victims/ repentant cultists.

They ensure that repentant cultists are fully reintegrated into the society.
As a formidable security network, SPI has been offering tangible support to security agencies.
They possess a capable Quick Intervention Team (QIT). SPI also operate via organizing rallies, seminars, workshops and providing enlightenment through publications.

Students aspiring for elective or appointive positions in institutions are made to undergo security screening in a bid to stop cultists from emerging as student leader. They have Community Surveillance Directors who aid in gathering intelligence in the host communities.

SPI is headed by Comrade Oliver Cromwell, a retired Naval officer.
His commitment in this mission is unrivalled, and the series of endorsements, partnership agreements and commendations are voluminous.

Sequel to the realization that the secondary school system has descended into the abyss of cultism, birthing dangerous offsprings such as: cult wars, killings, gangsterism, drug peddling/smuggling, teenage prostitution, sexually transmitted infections, etc., there is need for SPI to fully wade in with its magic wand.

SPI’s official hotlines are: 08037711935, 09021610196.
Same feats, in fact, greater feats can be achieved. Yours truly unreservedly vouch for their competence and expertise.

NOTE, delicate information about SPI operations have been excluded from this article. Security information and report are best implemented, not announced.

May Akwa Ibom State have the will to rescue its secondary school system from the grip of cultism.

(Ofonime Honesty is an Uyo based journalist. honestyofonime@yahoo.com)

Related Articles

Back to top button