This study investigated into the Influence of Cultism on Students’ Academic Performance in Ilorin Metropolis. 

Two hundred respondents participated in the study. Four research hypotheses were generated for the study and t-test statistical method was used to analyse the data gathered with the Influence of Cultism on students’ academic performance questionnaire. The study showed that significant relationship existed between non-funding of University library and students performance. 

Also significant relationship existed between non-qualified staff and students’ performance, significant relationship existed between inadequate relevant resources and students’ performance and significant relationship exist between staff motivation and students performance. 

It was therefore recommended that qualified library staff must be well equipped with relevant equipment, the library should be well equipped while there should be opportunity for future development of the library. 











Background to the Study 1

Statement of the Problem 6

Purpose of the Study 7

General Questions 8

Research Questions 8

Research Hypotheses9

Significance of the Study 9

Delimitation and Scope of the Study10

Definition of Terms (Operational Definitions)10


Concept of Secret Cult 12

Meaning of Cultism 16

History of Cultism in Nigeria 20

Reasons Why People Join Cults 23

Existence of Cult Group on Campuses 26

Effect of Cult Activities 30

Suggested Method of Curbing Cultism 38

Summary of the Reviewed of Related Literature 43


Research Design44

Population of the Study 44

Sample and Sampling Techniques 45

Instrumentation 45

Validity of the Instrument 46

Reliability of the Instrument 46

Administration of the Instrument47

Method Data Analysis 47


Results 48

Hypotheses Testing 50

Discussion of Findings54


Summary 57

Conclusion 58

Implications of the Study 59

Recommendations 59

Limitations of the Study 60

Suggestions for Further Study 60




Table 1: Distribution of Respondents by Sex 48

Table 2: Distribution of Respondents by Age 48

Table 3: Distribution of Respondents by Religion 49

Table 4: Distribution of Respondents by Parents 

Education 49

Table 5: t-test analysis comparing participants 

by sex 50

Table 6: t-test analysis comparing respondents by 

Age group 51

Table 7: t-test analysis comparing participants by 

religion 52

Table 8: t-test analysis participants by parents’ 

Education 53



Background to the Study 

Cultism is a secret organization formed by students while in the school, most especially in the tertiary institution. 

Molagun (2003) defined cultism as a religious group often based on immediate emotional experience rather than on a throughout ideology of most world religions Beth (1982). Advanced Oxford Dictionary defines cultism as a term coined out of the word cult, and that cultism is an extreme religious group that is not part of an established religions. 

Cultism has become one of the major problems confronting most of our tertiary institutions in Nigeria. It is not an over statement to say that Nigeria’s educational system is on the verge of collapse if nothing is done by the government, school authorities, students and the society in general to stop cultism in our tertiary institutions. 

Cultism have been known to have caused many havocs in our tertiary institutions as members engage themselves in brutal killing of other fellow students, harassing of lecturers, raping, destruction of school properties and causing violence in the school campuses thus, making the school environment unconducive for learning. 

The effects of secret cults in schools are numerous. Such cult had newer dimension to the educational problems we already have. The rate at which cults are causing disruptions in the smooth running of various institutions of learning is assuming an alarming proportion. For example, in the wake of the 90’s, there has been a great rise in the dastardly activities of the 90’s, there has been a great rise in the dastardly activities of the cults in as recorded on the pages of various national dailies. To help us appreciate the negative effects of cults in our institutions, we examine a well documented newspaper report and other eye witness accounts as recorded in Olaoye (1996), five occult members were shot dead by members of rival secret cult at the university of Benin, one was shot dead while thirty got drowned in an attempt to escape arrest at the University of Calabar. More so, four were shot dead at the University of Ibadan. A science laboratory was set ablaze by cult members at University of Jos. About twelve cult students among whom were two female students from tertiary institutions in Kwara State were in police custody for being in possession of dangerous weapons. One was murdered while another was shot at the Federal Polytechnic Offa. Occult members struck at the Yaba College of Technology leaving four dead in 1994, nine students of Baptist High School Abeokuta, were caught performing initiation rites for members of their cult in the midnight. A similar incident was reported at a secondary school in Abia State where a principal caught thirteen students with guns. Moreover, nine students of Federal Government College, Indoani in Ondo State were expelled for belonging to secret cults. Occults members also struck at the College of Education in Ila-Orangun leading to destructions of properties. Bulus, (2003). The moral decadence in our tertiary institutions can be traced to the family, which is an institution that permits safe guarding of the child during the period of biological immaturity and also provide for the child’s primary socialization and initial education. Parenthood is rapidly becoming a highly self conscious vocation Mitchell, (1996) and it is in the realm of inter-personal relationships and social interactions that the self conscious operates.    

Musgrave (1996) has emphasized that the claims which schools make concerning their impact upon children characters are probably both extravagant and unfounded that they are in general of negligible influence. The real prime and lasting influence is in home and if there is a deprivation here (i.e. materially, mentally or spiritually there will be some form of deprivation in the personality of the child Bowlby (1995) described that observation of several deprived children demonstrated that their conscience and potentialities were not developed. The family moulds the personality of a child throughout his school life. The question now arises, what are the factors responsible for the causes of cultism in our tertiary institutions and how has cultism influence the students in our tertiary institutions? 

People differ in their opinions some blame the cause on the parents while some blame the cause on school authorities while others are of the views that the students themselves and even the government are not helping matters as regards the issue of cultism in our tertiary institutions. 

Our assumption in this study therefore are many factors, on why students join cultism such as students socio-economics background, search for self-image or self-esteem and student desire to belong. It is also assumed that inferiority complex on the part of the students has a lot to do with cultism in tertiary institutions. It is assumed also that the influence of home environment, peer group pressures and many other factors are all contributory factors that cause cultism in our tertiary institutions, now that the research is out to find out the influence of cultism on students academic performance in Ilorin Metropolis. It is assumed that at the end, the result of this study will bring awareness not only to the school authorities and the parent but to the population at large, thereby giving enlightenment on how influence of cultism on students’ academic performance in Ilorin Metropolis can be curbed in our tertiary institution.  

Statement of the Problem 

It is often said that education is the greatest legacy any parent can bestow on his child. We all know that youth of today are the future leaders of tomorrow. If this being the case, there is need for youths to be properly guided and adequately educated to desist from cultism in tertiary institutions for them to be responsible leaders and citizens of Nigeria. Cultic activities could disturb serious academic programme, because of its fear and terror, there is need to find out why students joint it and its effect on the academic performance of its members, thus, the problem of the study. 

Purpose of the Study 

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of cultism on students’ academic performance in Ilorin metropolis. It also sought to find out if: 

1. There is any difference in the influence of cultism on the male and female students’ performance. 

2. There is any difference in the influence of cultism on the academic performance of young and old students. 

3. There is any difference in the influence of cultism on the academic performance of Christian and Muslim students. 

4. There is any difference in the influence of cultism on the academic performance of students from literate and illiterate parents. 

General Questions

What is the influence of cultism on the academic performance of students’?

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study. 

1. Is there any difference in the influence of cultism on the academic performance of male and female students? 

2. Is there any difference in the influence of cultism on the academic performance of young and adolescents? 

3. Is there any difference in the influence of cultism on the academic performance of Christian and Muslim students? 

4. Is there any difference in the influence of cultism on the academic performance of students from literate and illiterate parents?  

Research Hypothesis

The following hypotheses were tested in the study. 

1. There is no significant difference in the influence of cultism on the academic performance of male and female students. 

2. There is no significant difference in the influence of cultism on the academic performance of young and old students. 

3. There is no significant difference on the influence of cultism on the academic performance of Christian and Muslim students. 

4. There is no significant difference on the influence of cultism in the academic performance of students from literate and illiterate parents.

Significance of the Study 

The result of this study will help to fore-see what is likely to happen to our academic performance in future if cultism is not put in control. It would also help to findout the other contributory factors that lead students to cultism in academic performances. 

The study will enlighten the parents, the school authorities and the society at large about those factors that cause cultism and its impact. The research also offers a food for thought for the government, educationists, journalists and suggestion for improvement. 

Further still, the research could serve as spring board for other investigations. 

Delimitation and Scope of the Study 

The study investigated the influence of cultism on the academic performance of students in Ilorin metropolis. It involves all selected students in the selected schools. It is however limited to the only students responded to the items of the questionnaire. 

Operational Definition of Terms (Operational Terms) 

Confession: Admitting that are is guilty of a crime. 

Cult: Refers to a small group of people who have extreme religious belief and who are not parts of any established religion. It is also define as associations whose existence, membership, purpose or ritual is not revealed to non-members. Macbel (2003). 

Curb: To control or limit. 

Frustrated: Refers to someone being annoyed and impatience because such a person cannot achieve what he wanted. 

Impart: Refers to the power to affect somebody’s actions, character or belief especially by providing and example for them to follow and winning their admiration or making them afraid to disagree. 

Inferiority complex: Feeling less important, less clever or less admired than other people. 

Intimidate: To frighten or threaten to compel a person to do things against his/her will. 

Peer group: Refers to group of people of approximately the same age or status. 

Rape: To force someone to have sex when such a person is not interested. 

Social: Refers to the organization and relationship between people and communities. 



This chapter is concerned with review of the work of several scholars, which their studies have to do with the subject matter of this project. These shall be viewed under the following sub-headings. 

⦁ Concept of Secret Cult

⦁ Meaning of Cultism 

⦁ History of Cultism in Nigeria 

⦁ Reasons Why People Join Cults 

⦁ Existence of Cult Groups on Campuses

⦁ Effect of Cult Activities

⦁ Suggested Method of Curbing Cultism 

⦁ Summary of the Review of Related Literature Review

Concept of Secret Cult

Otoibhi (1999) said that, a cult is an evil association. Bulus (2003), defined secret cult as an association of human beings and possibly some elemental beings, whereby an individual cannot freely declare one’s membership to the public without the fear of being intimidated and possibly being killed. 

The 1989 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria also defines Secret Society (Cult) as any association, group or body or person (whether registered or not) that uses secret signs, oaths, rites or symbols and which is formed, to promote a causes the purpose is to foster the interest of its members and to aid one another, under any circumstance. 

Admission into cults is not an all-comers affairs. Three stages are involved; the first two stages are pre-qualification tests and the third is initiation. The tests take some period of time to complete. The purpose of these tests is to examine the character and disposition of the applicant. At stage one, the applicant is placed under the watchful eyes of the old members to observe his/her general behaviour. Any applicant selected after this stage will be invited for “inter talk” (intellectual soundness interview) and drilling in “military” kind of physical fitness. 

Applicants who are not strong enough may sustain: injuries, collapse even die. Those who successfully scale this huddle quality as candidates for initiation. 

Furthermore, on the occasion of the initiation, the officials wear hood to hide their identity from the candidates. The symbol of association which consists of a human skull, bones, Axe, Sword arranged on top of a coffin is displayed. 

The candidates, while kneeling behind the coffin, would be educated on the hazard of the brotherhood, such as expulsion from school, losing one’s eye, hard, leg or even one’s life. 

After this education, the candidates would be given about five (5) minutes or more to decide if they could take on this lugged way of life. If any one decision is in the affirmative, then curses would be rained on them telling them that it would not be easy but interesting. 

The candidates would then be told to recite the creed of the association. After the recitation comes the blood oath. At this point, the candidates will be compelled to close their eyes while the blood oath lasts with a sharp razor, a mark would be made on the hand of each candidate in order to extract blood from him. The blood from each is smeared on a piece of roasted meat and every candidate would be given the piece smeared with his fellow brother is or sister’s blood, to eat. Each candidate is given a nickname called the “deckname such as “last born of Satan, Holy Pagan, and Dangerous Food” etc. 

The initiation ceremony is capped with the drinking of some alcoholic beverage, called “brew”. After the initiation ceremony, the new member is given regalia, which are a ceremonial dress and other identification materials. 

Amatokwu (1987) expressed his view about cult “as a crime-minded gathering. Campus cults are off-shoots of cults in the wider society”. 

There are female and male cult groups on campuses. The major source of entry is witchcraft. The female cultists collect money different men in a type of armed robbery. She is armed with witchcraft. Both the male and female cult members are hardened with poison (charms) killing their consciences. 

Alubo (1994) in his article wrote that, cults are regarded as a group of people who share and propagate peculiar but secret beliefs divulged only to members. 

In addition, their initiation procedures often involve secret rituals like swearing by some deity, human blood and other procedure which send shivers down the spines of most people. Occultism or the possession of mystical power is often associated with cults. However, because of their rather secret modus operandi, the veracity of this thinking is difficult to ascertain.




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