Commission Seeks Legislation To Ban Cultism in Schools.

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By Goodluck Ikiebe .

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called for a strict legislation to ban cultism in Nigeria’s institutions of learning.

The Commission, apparently worried by spate of increased cultism in the nation’s tertiary institutions, said the legislation should be done in such a way that it would not affect the rights of student population in forming societies and organisations that promote human rights as well as intellectual curiosity and diversity.

Mr. Hillary Ogbona,
the Senior Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Chief Tony Ojukwu, stated this in Abuja while presenting the monthly human rights dashboard on human rights for the month of April.

He said the issue in focus in the month of April was cultism, saying that, over 20 cultism related deaths were so far recorded in three states of the Federation.

Ogbona noted that cultism, especially in higher institutions of learning, remained a long-standing menace in the country, pointing out that the secret society movements rooted in violence, intimidation, criminal behavior and other bizarre and illegal activities, not only pose grave threat to peace and security, but also pose a significant challenge to the enjoyment of fundamental human rights by affected communities.

He promised that the NHRC remains committed to addressing the issue with a firm commitment to protecting and promoting human rights.

Ogbona explained that: “The right to life and security, which should be protected by the State faces significant threats in a society plagued by cultism.

Cult-related violence leads to loss of innocent lives, shattered families and devastated communities as cultists operate with impunity.”

Ogbona called on government at all levels to rise up to their responsibility in protecting the lives and properties of the citizens of the country, saying that, “The cycle of violence perpetuated by cultism erodes trust and undermines the right to a secure and peaceful society.

“We also call on all security agencies to step up protection of human life in line with the provision of Section 4(2)(b) of the Constitution”, he said that, relevant authorities should ensure that schools and streets are safe for the people.

Speaking earlier, the NHRC boss expressed the Commission’s commitment to making accessible, information on human rights and will continue to cooperate with government at all levels, civil society, media, international development partners towards the promotion, protection and enforcement of human rights in Nigeria.

He said the dashboard will assist the government in keeping track of its obligations to national, regional and international human rights instruments and mechanisms.

The NHRC Boss said: “We have been rendering this report to the National Assembly and the government of Nigeria on an annual basis and this document has been a reference material accessible to all interested persons, authorities to gain insight on the status of human rights in Nigeria.”
Edited by Dawud Ahmed.

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