Evaluation of Youth Vulnerability to Community Cultism in Selected States in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Main Article Content

N. R. Nwaogu
V. E. Weli
M. D. Mbee

Abstract

Background of Study: Cultism is one of the major sources of violence and causes of death among youths in the Niger Delta region, Nigeria. Youths join different cult groups to have more influence and power than their peers. Supremacy of a particular cult group in a community gives its members edge to take control of proceeds and royalties accruing from crude oil production in the area. As a result, many cult groups are at conflict to assume dominance and control. This rivalry among them triggered inter and intra cult violence such as assassination, abduction, clashes, and destruction of properties as well as insecurity and upsurge in criminal activities.

Methods and Materials: This study examines the vulnerability of youths to community cultism in the Niger Delta.  It looks at reasons joining cultism, crimes committed by cultists and extent of cult attacks and fatalities in the area. Adopting cross sectional research design, this study was conducted in the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) where amnesty was offered to cultists by government in 2016. The study population was the entire population of the repentant cultists (cultists who embraced the amnesty package) and Taro Yamene’s formula was used in selecting the sample size of 400. Snowball sampling technique was employed in selecting repentant cultists. Data relied on primary and secondary sources, and were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, weighted means and choropleth maps.

Results:  The highest reason youths engage in cultism in communities was for protection. Also, quest for influence/power, money and peer group were other reasons. Fun and desire for political connection were the least reasons. The major crimes committed by cultists were murder/killing, intimidation, kidnapping and political thuggery. Cult attacks were highest in 2018 with 109 cases and least in 2010 with 33 cases while fatalities peaked in 2017 with 92 deaths and lowered in 2010 with 13 deaths.

Conclusion:  Youths are vulnerable to joining cult gangs for protection and to exert influence/power over their peers. Re-orientation and sensitization programs are recommended to disabuse their minds and discourage them from engaging in anti-social behaviors.

Keywords:
Vulnerability, youths, community cultism, Niger Delta.

Article Details

How to Cite
Nwaogu, N. R., E. Weli, V., & D. Mbee, M. (2020). Evaluation of Youth Vulnerability to Community Cultism in Selected States in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Asian Journal of Advanced Research and Reports, 7(4), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajarr/2019/v7i430187
Section
Original Research Article

References

Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND). Rise in cult violence and insecurity in Rivers State. Briefing: November; 2015.

Mgbekem SJA. Management of University Education in Nigeria. Calabar: University of Calabar Press; 2004.

Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta Niger Delta Quarterly Conflict Trends; 2016.

Nnodim AU, Ochogba CO. Impact of cult activities on the socio-economic wellbeing of rural dwellers in Orashi Region of Rivers State, Nigeria. International Journal of Innovative Social Sciences and Humanities Research. 2018;6(1):56-63.

Birabil ST, Okanezi B. Cultism as a ticking time bomb in Nigerian Schools: Challenges and the way forward. International Journal of Scientific Research in Education (IJSRE). 2017;10(2):169- 175.

Alapiki H, Ekekwe EN, Joab-Peterside, S. Post-Amnesty conflict management framework in the Niger Delta. Published by Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Rivers State; 2015.

Imhabekhai CI. Management of community development programs and projects. Benin: Uniben Press; 2009.

NDDC. Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan in: Government, O.O.T.S.T.T.F. (ed). Abuja: South-Sea Datccomm Ltd; 2006.

UNICEF. Analysis of the situation of children affected by armed conflict in the Niger Delta and Northern Region of Nigeria. Final report to UNICEF on children and armed conflict in the Niger Delta and Northern Region of Nigeria; 2012.

Adekola G, Enyiche CC. Effects of insecurity on community development projects in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni and
Ahoada east local government areas of Rivers State, Nigeria. Journal of Education and Practice. 2017;8:14.
ISSN 2222-1735 (paper) SSN 2222-288x (online)

Nyiayaana K. From University campuses to villages: A Study of grassroots-based cult violence on Ogoniland. Eras Edition 12. 2011;2:1-35.

Chinwo E. Gunmen Kill 17 in Rivers New Year Tragedy. This Day Newspaper; 2018.
Available:https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2018/01/02/gunmen-kil-17-in-rivers-new-year.

Onoyume J. Gunmen Kill 15 in Rivers Community. Vanguard Newspaper; 2017.

Bjerregaard B. Self-definitions of gang membership and involvement in delinquent activities. Youth and Society 2002;34:31-54.

Curry GD, Decker SH. Confronting gangs: crime and community (2nded.) Los Angeles, C.LA: Roxbury; 2003.

Esbensen FA, Winfree LT, He N, Taylor TJ. Youth gangs and definitional issues: When is a gang a gang, and Why does it Matters? Crime and Delinquency. 2001; 47:105-130.

Howell JC. Preventing and reducing juvenile delinquency: A comprehensive framework (2nded.) Thousand Oaks, C.A: Sage Publications; 2009.

Ogbondah L. Curbing the Menace of Cultism in Nigerian Public Universities: The Way Forward.Journal of Education and Practice. 2014;5(35).
ISSN 2224-1735 (paper)
ISSN 2222-288x (online)

Gbenemene Kpae. Cultism and violent crime: An appraisal of the Security Challenges in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. International Research Journal of Social Sciences. 2016;5(12):37-41.

World Health Organization. Disasters and emergencies definitions: Training package, panafrican emergency training Centre, Addis Ababa. Updated March, 2002 by EHA; 2002.

Onoyume J. Cult War in Rivers: 16 Killed in Shootout. Vanguard Newspaper; 2016.
Available:http//www.vanguardiangr.com/2016/01/cult war-in-rivers

Ukpong C. How we killed suspect who allegedly masterminded Rivers New Year tragedy-Army; 2018.
Available:https//www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/254697-killed-suspect-who

Nwachukwu JD. 14 persons killed, many others injured as cult group attack Rivers Community. Darily post; 2017.
Available:www.dailypost.ng/2017/06/02
Available:www.dailypost.ng/2017/07/28/cultists-invade-ibba-community-rivers-kill-8. others.injured-cult-group-attacks-rivers-community

Anazie D. Worrisome, rising causes of street cultism. The Guardian Newspaper; 2017.
Available:https://gyarduab,bg/saturday-magazine/worrisom-rising-cases-of-street-cultism

Davies I. Cultist have Ruined Rivers – LG Council Boss Out. Vanguard Newspaper; 2017.
Available:http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/cultists-av-ruined-rivers

National Crime Prevention Centre (NCPC) of the public safety Canada. Youth gang involvement: What are the risk factors? Public Safety Publication, Canada; 2018.