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Curbing the menace of cultism among youth in my community Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by okorocha prince obinna, Nigeria May 10, 2008
Youth Violence , Substance Abuse , Social Entrepreneurship   Opinions


The menace of cultism or youth restiveness in our society is dangerously accelerating (geometric progression) while ethical, moral and other means of curbing it are, if not static, accelerating slowly (arithmetic progression). In our different communities cultism has become the order of the day. Our kids and wards are members of different cult groups which unleash irreparable material loss, anguish, hatred, revenge, pain and moral degradation on youth, families and society at large.

I observed that youth gangs, otherwise known as cults, were initially a tertiary institution affair, but then crept into all the nooks and crannies of society, especially amidst teenagers in neighborhoods and in secondary schools. In the past three years, in my community alone (Nekede, in Owerri West), several buildings had been burnt with at least ten lives lost during clashes between these gangs. Armed robbery incidents and drug abuse are on the increase everyday.

I randomly sampled the opinions of many members of these gangs/ cult groups (with teenagers as the majority) on what they had gained by being members of the gangs, but they said nothing. Rather, they had incurred financial and material losses during the clashes and in the course of carrying out their nefarious activities. Consequently, after a critical analysis of the incidents and irreparable losses of both lives and property, I came to the conclusion that the behavior of these teens was influenced by the following reasons:
  • The location of universities within and around these communities. The teenagers observed and learn the horrible attitude of the university’s bad eggs.

  • The youthful exuberance syndrome and the youth trying to behave like the university big boys they see around.

  • Lack of entrepreneurial development keeps these youths idle at home. And an idle mind, they say, is the devil’s workshop.

  • Harsh economic conditions in the rural areas make these teens feel that membership in gangs will give them access to firearms for robbery or other means of survival.

To address this issue, I have decided to carry out a project in my community which will be extended to other parts of my state in due course. The project name is the CATY (Catch Them Young) INITIATIVE.

CATY INITIATIVE: Aims and Objectives:
  • Curbing the menace of gangsters/ cultism through ethical reorientation and values reorientation of youths, especially teenagers (as they are most vulnerable group) .

  • Lecturing them on the effects of gangs, drug and substance abuse.

  • Advising them on the essence of entrepreneurial development and skill acquisition.

  • Opening an anticult club for those that who will boldly say, “No,” and those who will renounce membership of such gangs.

  • Organizing skill acquisition training sessions for the youth to inculcate the spirit of self-reliance in them.

Target Group:
My target will be teenagers, those in secondary schools and their mates at home who don’t have access to secondary education (due to poor financial backgrounds or other factors). Since they are still young, they can easily imbibe good moral/ ethical tenets which will guide them when they gain admission into university. Starting such programs when the youth are already at universities would amount to crying over spilled milk as many of them would already have gotten initiated into one cult group or another (without any moral guide).

How this will be achieved:
  • Through holding talks/ lectures on the above subjects in schools and communities.

  • By forming anti-cult/ anti-gang and anti-drug clubs in schools.

To this effect I will need some assistance, especially information as regards opening an NGO and keeping it going. I feel it is not going to be an easy task. I have also prepared a questionnaire to help me ascertain the extent to which cultism has affected society and how people can aid in curbing it. Last but not least, I am writing the last chapter of a book that deals with cultism, its effects and how youth can say, “No,” to it. The book will be entitled Ethical Redemption.



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okorocha prince obinna

i am agradute of philosophy and a one time volunteer member of the (National Youth Service Corps)NYSC/MDGs advocasy project in my country (2006-2007). During this time i established a women / youth skill acquisition training centre where 35 women learnt the skills of sewing, baking, tye/dye, beadmaking. This was aimed at empowering them skillfully., and the project earned me an award as the best NYSC/MDGs volunteer member in Borno state Nigeria 2006/2007. Right now am in the labour market but i have decided to positively touch the lives of those around me especially the youths. My areas of concentration are ethical/ moral re-orientation of the young which will be marched up with entrepreneurial development programmes.

Titi Adenuga | Sep 5th, 2011
I luv your view,with all this social menace of cultism.can it be radicated from the society.

adham tobail
Adham Tobail | Jul 3rd, 2008
Topic of interest to all countries of the world, because of the growing aggressive behaviour among young people I believe that scientific and technological progress have a big role for us in that we find on the other hand there is a decline in values, concepts and ethics among young people caused by the lack of real control in the use of modern technology Why then expect the youth do not find food and drink certainly resort to violence and theft Opening theme institution or club Jaddalaatta important training courses for young people so that they can find work and how to rely on themselves I totally support the initiative and I am ready to help the Adham

i appreciate ur concern
okorocha prince obinna | Jul 28th, 2008
i will so much appreciate it if u can support my initiative in any form especially through ideas and constructive criticisms. i will equally appreciate materils that on drug abuse.

well done
Lawal Olufemi | Nov 12th, 2011
well done for this great article.

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