A former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Titi Laoye-Ponnle, has decried the rate at which cultism is spreading in Nigeria’s higher institutions of learning, saying it has now become a big problem in the country.
Laoye-Ponnle said cultism was already threatening the foundation of the country, stressing that the menace required very urgent attention to curb it.
The ex-deputy governor said this while delivering the 15th commencement lecture held for the newly admitted students of the Bowen University, Iwo.
She said, “While the challenge of cultism is mostly found in public institutions of higher learning, the truth that must be said is that it is making inroads into some privately owned universities.
“The reason for this is that cultism has already started to invade our secondary schools. Since it is from these secondary schools that universities enroll their fresh students, it follows naturally that cultists could gain admission into any university in Nigeria if detailed background checks are not carried out before admission and due vigilance is not carried out after students would have gained admission and moved into the campuses.
“The challenge that cultism poses in our universities today calls for concern and the need for security agencies, sociologists, psychologists, counsellors and even parents to up their games in checking this problem that is becoming an albatross in the training of our youths and it is a challenge that threatens our nation’s foundation and calls for a multi-faceted approach and all-stakeholders-involvement to challenge and overcome it.”
Laoye-Ponnle also advised male lecturers involved in sexually harassing female students to desist from the act, saying a professor was recently sent to prison because of his involvement in the ‘ungodly act.’
The former deputy governor also advocated positive behavioral change among the Nigerian youths, saying university undergraduates should lead in this.
The Vice-Chancellor of Bowen University, Prof. Joshua Ogunwole, advised the new students to shun vices and embrace the culture of hard work, honesty and fear of God in all their dealings while in the university and after.