Texas State University Professor, Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo, challenged parents of Nigerian children to do more to end the escalating rate of cultism among youths in tertiary institutions.
The challenge was given by Dr. Ifowodo while delivering a lecture entitled “Leaders of Tomorrow: Men of Character or Criminals – the Negative Effects of Cultism on Youth” at the Oleh civic centre, Isoko South local government area of Delta state, South-South Nigeria.
Dr. Ifowodo is a lecturer at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA.
The seminar which was put together by the Chief Solomon Ogba’s Peace Group in collaboration with Flomat Books drew participants from within and outside the two Isoko local government areas as well as youths, students, academia, religious and political leaders.
Attributing the escalating rate of cultism to a lack of proper monitoring of children and wards, the erudite scholar noted that the ideas behind confraternity brought by the likes of Prof. Wole Soyinka and other eminent people have been turned to the negative part where all kind of nefarious activities are carried out and students and non students are maimed or killed on campuses.
Dr. Ifowodo, who expressed deep concern over the activities of students in cult groups, called for urgent measures to curb the menace once and for all while he emphasised the value of character building as prerequisite for young people and foundation for their upbringing.
“The university was conceived as a place of learning and character formation and that cultism had no place in it. How did children sent to school to learn all of a sudden will turn to a killer, armed robbers, kidnapper and rapist? What do they think they are doing to parents that suffered to send them to the school? What part of African values does cultism represents? Do we have maiming, killing, raping, kidnapping as part of our African culture? I think cultists should first use their axes and guns to break the chains of cultism so they can be free from the bondage they willingly entered.” Ifowodo opined.
Dr. Ifowodo, who lamented the rate of insecurity, poverty and gross neglect of the Isoko nation despite its numerous oil wells and flow stations, stated that the lack of jobs has contributed massively to the insecurity in the area.
Also speaking, chairman of the occasion, one time military governor of Cross-Rivers state, Gen. Paul Ufuoma Omu (Rtd) and Prof. Abednego Ekoko, former Vice Chancellor, Delta State University, Abraka, bemoaned the activities of cultism and the involvement of students which they also attributed to the failure of parents to bring their children and wards in the godly way.
They admonished parents on the need to look inward and evaluate their roles as parents stressing that when the house is not wholesome, society cannot be wholesome and that parents have become more delinquent than their children.
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