AN OPENING ADDRESS DELIVERED BY DR by HC120627175928

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									 AN OPENING ADDRESS DELIVERED BY DR. ISAH MOHAMMED ABBASS,
 REGISTRAR, PETROLEUM TRAINING INSTITUTE ON THE OCCASION OF
  THE SUCCESS MOTIVATION SEMINAR ON CULTISM AND TERTIARY
INSTITUTIONS IN NIGERIA ON THURSDAY 12TH AUGUST, 1999 AT THE PTI
                 CONFERENCE CENTRE, EFFURUN.

The Chairman,
Special Guest of Honor,
Distinguished Guest Speakers,
Directors,
Members of Staff,
Students of the Institute.

CULTISM IN THE PETROLEUM TRAINING INSTITUTE

       It gives me great pleasure to welcome you today to this seminar series on Success
motivation. This forum is designed primarily to enable our students have a grasp and
proper appreciation or understanding of the environment they live and the challenged as
well as prospects of the future.     It is thus designed to help students clearly see a
prosperous future as well as the dangers ahead. It is believed that these series of seminars
shall enable students pursue the prosperous path and eschew dangers.


       The significance of the theme of today’s seminar, which is on cultism and tertiary
Institutions cannot be over emphasized especially in view of the recent mayhem caused
by members of secret societies in some of our tertiary Institutions. I believe that we shall
have a lot of things to learn from this seminar today; from our Guest Speakers. I
therefore solicit your undivided attention throughout the period.


       However, it is on record that in the early years of the formation of the Petroleum
Training Institute, the activities of secret societies were unknown to Management. This
was because there was no single incidence of any reported activities of cult members.
One factor that was responsible for this, was the method of admission into the Institute at
that time. The Students who were then known as Trainees were admitted through
sponsorship by reputable Corporate bodies and Organization in the Oil and Allied
Companies who took responsibilities for any misdemeanor of their sponsored Students.
The population of the Trainees was very small and the institute was able to monitor their
activities effectively. Moreover, they were more mature and equally responsible. If there
were any Trainee that were members of any secret societies, it was unknown to
Management because their activities were not pronounced.


        With the change in the admission policy from the 1991/92 academic session, in
which any person who satisfied the admission requirement was offered admission, the
Institute started experiencing the activities of secret societies on campus. I wish to seize
this opportunity to call on the oil and allied Industry to actively patronize PTI to sanitize
the Industry in its entirety.


        The first known case of secret on our campus was in 1995/96 session, when a
student of Electrical Electronic engineering Department reported that some fellow
students of the Institute took him to an uncompleted building along Osubi-Eku road to be
initiated into a secret society called the Black Axe. The case was reported to the
Institute’s Security who promptly investigated the matter and all those involved were
interrogated. Their parents and guardians were invited and the students were made to
write an undertaking to be of good behaviour.


        Another case of cultism reported to management was in June 1997 when there
was confrontation of two rival cult groups known as Black Axe and Eiye society. The
clash resulted in the arrest of several students suspected to be cult members. They were
handed over to the Police at Ekpan for investigation. Those who were suspected to be
members of these secret cult were promptly prosecuted by the Police at Asaba. Their
case files are still with the DPP at Enugu.


        After the above incidents and the action taken by Management and the security
agencies, I am happy to inform you that we have not experienced any other violent case
of cultism on this campus; even though there are serious indications of their potential
existence and activism with great correspondence going on with other members in other
Institutions. There is evidence that the Neo Black Movement of Africa (NBM) a deadly
secret cult, is in existence in the Institute; which through its illegal posters, attempted to
disrupt this seminar.


       Management has therefore set up its own machinery for combating the activities
of secret societies non campus by ensuring that during orientation of new students, the
Security is invited to give lectures on the dangers posed by the activities of secret
societies. Apart from this method, management has requested the SSS to deploy its
operatives to infiltrate the ranks of the secret societies to give information on the
activities of cult members on our campus.


       Management will not fold its arms and watch students do whatever they feel
under the guise of freedom or fundamental human rights. Students must be guided and
controlled as well as punished accordingly as long as they remain students. Meanwhile,
in line with the Federal Government’s order to confront the scourge of cultism,
management has set a machinery in place to understand the local and external contents of
cult activities as well as other forms of connivance, funding, collaboration or support.


       The directives and ultimatum of government to eradicate cults on campuses are
commendable but this must go beyond the corners of tertiary Institutions. I strongly
believe that the campuses did not, in the first place, breed cultism but the society.
Government must move fast to pounce on cultism in the society who initiate youngsters
and fund them for their own mischief making. it is also bewildering to note that cults are
not only found in tertiary but also in secondary or even in primary Institutions.
Therefore, cultism is not peculiar to campus life. It is societal malice whose solution
must be provided by the society.


       The phenomenon of cultism in tertiary Institutions has seriously diverted both
human and material resources to cure its menace while the enormity of the loss of life and
property cannot be estimated or quantified. The spread of cult activities from the general
society to campuses most be stopped. The decadence of the societal social setting must
be reverted by ensuring that socio-economic standards are enhanced or lifted from abject
poverty.


       I wish to appeal to the Federal government to increase the funds given to the
Institute; in order to enhance academic activities; such as research laboratory practice,
staff development etc. Similarly, adequate funding shall enable Management provide
sports and other recreational facilities for the students. This measure would go a long
way to eradicate cultism on campus, since the students and staff would be fruitfully
engaged.


       The various speakers will enlighten us on what cultism is, the characteristic
futures of cultists, the various names and symbols used for identification and laws
relating to cultism. We shall also be enlightened by these eminent speakers on the
emergence of cultism and why students join secret cults on campuses, the dangers
inherent in the activities of cultism and its menace to the Oil and Allied Industry and the
society at large. They will also proffer solutions to the problems of cultism.


       Finally, I wish to use this medium to appeal to students and members of staff who
belong to these deadly secret societies to renounce them immediately.


       Thanks for listening.

								
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