The spate of cultism and cult related activities in public schools in Akwa Ibom State is worrisome. Last week, Akwa Ibom State government through the Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Secondary Education Board (SSEB), Dr. Ekaette Ebong Okon, announced the closure of Uyo High School after the Principal of the school, Mr. Michael Iwok was threatened with all sorts of fetish objects including fresh pepper, palm oil droplets, peeled cooked egg, palm frond, a piece of red cloth, rope and ten naira note. The items were dropped at the entrance of the principal’s office.The cultists believed to be students, had given the Principal 24-hour ultimatum to recall fellow cultists who were suspended from the school.
We are disturbed that government owned public secondary schools in the state which are supposed to serve as citadels of learning and character moulding centres are fast becoming initiation and training grounds for notorious cult gangs, drug addicts, armed robbers, and rapists.
Without any doubt, all hands must be on deck to nip this ugly trend in the bud as this constitutes security threat in the state.
We call on parents and guardians to pay close attention to their children and wards and do everything within their power to discourage them from such criminal activitives as the future of the state hangs on the younger generation.
We commend Akwa Ibom State government under the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel who identified and proscribed 33 cult groups, signed and brought into force the Cultism and other Violent Behaviour Prohibition Order of 2018. However, we advise the state government to enforce the law against cultism in the state by securing more convictions against individuals found to be involved and sponsors cult-related activities in the state, including those at the corridors of power to serve as a deterrent to the younger generation.
Also, we suggest that henceforth, prospective instructors in government owned secondary schools in the state should obtain security clearance from the Department of State Security Service (DSS) before they are employed to teach in public schools in the state.
More so, Akwa Ibom State Government should work in collaboration with Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and send chaplains to our public schools to serve as moral instructors in schools.