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The Changing Faces of the Terror of Cultism in Nigerian Society: An Islamic Perspective

Issue: Vol 4 No. 4.1 / 4.2 (2008)

Journal: Comparative Islamic Studies

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Islamic Studies

DOI: 10.1558/cis.v4i4.1-4.2.97


The menace of cultism in Nigeria society in general and our educational institutions in particular has reached an alarming stage that requires affirmative actions from all stakeholders. The scourge of cultism has claimed many lives of our youths and no serious authority can fold its arms and allow it to continue. It appears that the various efforts at curbing the menace have yielded no result. The corruption in most facets of our national life has finally subdued the educational institutions, which used to be the pride of place in the past. Most families are astonished to find out that children sent to school to learn and become better human beings in the society have initiated themselves into cult groups. The emergency of secret cultism has been characterized by some violent activities which include, physical torture of new recruits, maiming and killing of rival cult members and elimination of real and perceived enemies. Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups with 36 states and one federal territory (Abuja). There are three major religions namely Islam (50%), Christianity (40%), and Africa Indigenous Religions (10%). The effect of globalization is also making other new religious movements to be making inroads into Nigeria. Nigeria has a population of about 141 million people (2006 census). Nigeria which is rich in both human and material resources is a country that is facing a lot of developmental challenges in almost all sectors due to poor leadership. The menace of cultism especially among youths and some influential people in the society represents one of the distortion facing the popular ‘giant’ of Africa. The aim of this chapter is to bring into the fore the menace of cultism in modern Nigeria as a brand of terrorism mind not the fact that there are even religious cults in both the developed and developing societies. The paper also adopted an Islamic lens to provide an analysis of the terror of cultism in contemporary Nigeria.

Author: Abdulrazaq Kilani

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