A STUDY ON PUBLIC RELATIONS AS A VERITABLE TOOL FOR ERADICATING CULTISM IN NIGERIAN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS.
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1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The study is on public relations as veritable tools for eradicating cultism in Nigerians tertiary institutions having the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree as a case study. To see how public relations could achieve this feat, examining its history becomes inevitable. This is justified in George santayama’s quotation when he said, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it’. As long as this study focuses on public relations as tools for eradicating of secret cult in Nigerian tertiary institutions especially in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, It is then essential to examine the history of secret cult their mode of operations, their aims and objectives, their methods of recruitment and their names and headquarters in Nigeria. It is when all these facts about secret cult and public relations are being taken into consideration that solution could be recommended in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree using public relations as its chief tool.
Public relation is as old as mankind. Public relations affect almost every one who has a contact with other human beings. All of us, in one –way or the other practice or experience public relations daily.
In the ancient times, priests served as public relations advisers to their kings. They were experts in public opinion and persuasions .The kings consulted them before any major decision or important ceremonial event were under taken. Also the priest conducted literature, poems of praises and lamentation and edicts to govern the people.
Julius Caesar was a master of persuasive techniques, faced with an imminent battle; Caesar would rally public support through assorted publication and staged events. There were also the establishment of the daily news-paper called the ‘ACTA BLURINA’ or daily record containing government decrees and other information.
The public relation in Nigeria has become a long way, its beginning has been linked with the second world war.
As presented by Nigeria Institute of Public Relation (NIPR) 1988 Anniversary publication ‘25years of public relation in Nigeria’. The colonial government before the World War II was concerned with collection of taxies and the running of a police force to maintain law and order in three protectorates amalgamated into Nigeria in 1914. If there was any public relations practice before the world war 11, It was merely maintenance of relationship with the traditional rulers world war. However, the need arose for the colonial government to set up an information officer, which was later known as the public relations officer of the government. (According to Adebola 1992) “The public relations office was primarily set up to publicize the colonial war and to encourage the youth to join the war. Mike Okereke, one of the pioneers of modern public relations in Nigeria, declared reliantly in a speech that the profession is about 30 years old.
In the post independence era however, there was significant development in government public relations activities. The N I P R (1988) anniversary publications reveals that government took the advantage of the information ministry and utilize effectively the machinery of the federal level to build its image. Since political culture allowed autonomous country of information channel at the state level, the party in power effectively utilized the machinery to promote its image. There was liaison officer in each state and dewing the Shagari administration (1973 –83) the ministry of information became a part of the officer of the resident. Even with the advert of the military in 1983 the federal government believed in the power of public relations in the act of governance.
In the private sector many organization have contributed to the growth of modern public relations practice in Nigeria. For instance, in 1949 the united African company, UAC, established its public relations department and thus became the pioneer of pubic relations practice in the private sector in Nigeria. It basic objectives were to inform business and commerce about business activities as well as to project UAC as a major Nigerian industrial, technical and commercial company involved in the stability of the economic life and progress in Nigeria.
People associated with large organization often are aware of what is happening with the institution that affect their interest and as a result, serious mis-understanding occur between management and its publics and thus, good will is scarified. To explain corporate politics, Action and forcing about better understanding with workers, students, management requires public relations techniques. Public relations have grown as important as institutions recognized that they have social responsibility to serve the public. In the past corporations existed solely to make money for their owners but today, corporate function as a creator of employment, social institutions and benefactor of education, patrons of arts and advocate of good government. Modern public relations involve research, communication, complex activities and evaluation. It involves doing right and taking about it, all in a planned and systematic manner. It is not working taking about ourselves all the time without backing our takes with concrete actions. Public relations is not window dressing, visions propaganda or lies , unnecessary details and shallow gimonicks, it does not mean putting beautiful women in the front office, expecting them to perform public relations because of cult activities in the school. The school authority had confirmed that cultism has now gone out of control and the cultists are carrying out all sorts of atrocities with impurity all over the institutions. The basic conditions for sustained academics culture are no more. The institution has fallen into disrepute. In place of academics rigor and search for the truth, strange, anti-social cult and inglorious fraternity have taken over Osun State Polytechnic, Iree. Examination Malpractices, banditry and sundry vice now stock Osun State Polytechnic, Iree. Some of the bogging questions are:
i. Why cultism in Osun State Polytechnic?
ii. What can be done to curb it?
Before attempting answers these questions, it is pertinent to sketch a historical background on how cult was initiated in Nigeria high institutions.
The ideas of campus confraternity began in 1953 when Prof. Wole Soyinka established and registered the pirate confraternity. The ideas started with the formation of the eagles. A campus magazine devoted to fighting colonial regressive as represented by the Bug, a journal committed to promoting ideas of white supremacy, at the same time reducing the granted of Africanism.
Thus Soyinka, plus Olegbe, Ralph Opara Aig- innochude, Ofoghada, Armadas Oyeloda and two others came together with the establishment of pirate confraternity, which was registered at the University of Ibadan. The noble laureate wrote in a small treatise on the formation of pirates and said a one thing we agreed was that there world into be any room for colonial mentality in the club. Plans, the pirate confraternity was born. We were going to be a story of counterrevolution against colonialism”.
The first invitation took place behind Tedder hall in 1953 at University of Ibadan, where Soyinka was chosen as the captain. The group had a symbol of mystery, which was krola, a kind of soft drink at the mixed with beer. The group was not really a secret cult soyinka further noted “most of the rites, ceremonies and mysteries surrounding the club activities were later- day innovation of future generation who identified with ideals of the club at the time.
In 1942 however, there were minor skirmishes with in the privates’ fold for ideological differences. The fight was between those who embracer radical political and others who had ice-cream consciousness and also those who betrayed the ideology of the pirates ‘founding fathers, which the claimed should be substituted with indecent contact and abuse of the pirates’ status on the campus.
Confrontation ensures many pirates were suspended. They formed the Buccaneer with the sole aim of destroying pirates’ legacy despites the skirmishes, the two groups maintained a relatively peaceful co-existence and even carried out humanitarian gestures, but wants took a new shapes around 1987 when pirates pulled out of university campuses after a grandiose midnight meeting at Nsukka, Enugu state.
Since then cultism in Nigerian tertiary institutions have changed to terrorism, many devilish things have happened. “Nature” was murdered in cold blood at campus ii. Rival cult members at the Trans-Ekulu area while going to visit a friend killed another student. Similar incident like this had happened in other Nigerian tertiary institutions all over the country.
Worst still, female secret cults like black brassiere; Amazon and Daughters of Jezebel have emerged like a rash. The female secret cults are as violent as their male counterparts. Some of the names and headquarters of these secret cults are: the black bee and block cat at UNN, the buccaneers at ESUT, the sea dogs at UNEC, the Ogboni confraternity with headquarters at ESUT, the Ondo State University; the red dogs, the Mafia group with headquarters at UNIPORT; the Eckanka, the Mgbangba brothers with headquarters at UNIZIK; the black beret; the free masoning fraternity with headquarters at UNIPORT; the Vikings with headquarters at UNIPORTS; the Amazon, the daughters of Jezebel with headquarters at Edo state; black brassiere, temple of Elders, Burkina Faso revolution, Trojan horse, Neo- Black movement etc. this packaged programme will be communicated to people of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree community whom the project is meant for finally, evaluation of the programme will be under taken to know the success or otherwise of the programme will be under taken to know the success or otherwise of the programmes and also to know if an alternative solution would be sort. Some identifiable causes of this cultism in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree are:
(i) Adolescent delinquency, in those days you had more matured students who even have families back home but these days the reverse is the case.
- The triple effect of cultism on the large society some of these students are themselves secret cult members.
- Also the free time available to these students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree occasioned by the inadequacies in facilities and equipment are equally responsible.
- Other reasons why some of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree students may join and some are forces into cults. Finally the management of the students in full scale academic work hence no time for cult activities
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
The basic conditions for sustained academic culture have been eroded in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree. The institution has fallen into disrepute and the products of the institution are no more what they used to be. Cult activities are seriously affecting all academic activities.
Sometimes students are attracted in hostels, classrooms, bus tops etc. daylight and gang raping becomes the order of the day; killing of students by members of cult is no longer news, therefore the need to eradicate this problem in many higher institutions especially Osun State Polytechnic, Iree which is our case study through public relations communication becomes imperative.
Public relation as problems solving communication is expected to create the necessary enlightenment of the students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and awaken then to what is needed of them in an academic community like Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, especially now that various levels of government and the general over hand of all Nigerian tertiary institutions. During the ministerial nominee on June 22, 1999, in the senate floor; some of the screening questions bordered on the economy, education, and general decay in the educational system and cultism.
In order to tackle this problem successfully, both the students and the general public of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and even the government should take the challenge upon themselves and give the management an unalloyed support for the actualization of the laudable programmed. No doubt if this programmes is well packaged and implement the problem of cultism in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree will come to pass. Problem of this study include the following:
- Name information of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree publics about the problems and dangers posed by cultism in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.
- Inadequate policies and programmes of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree. Management to the students against cultism in OSUN STATE POLYTECHNIC, IREE.
- Inadequate actualization and encouragement of the students to support the crusade against secret cults.
- New programmes that will help students to resist any persuasion from friends to join secret cults.
1.3. OBJECTIVES OF STUDY.
The aim of this study include the following:
To find out the extent of non-information on cultism and its damagers to Osun State Polytechnic, Iree students.
- To ascertain the extent of adequacy of actualization and encouragement of the students to support the crusade against cultism.
- To examine the adequacy of policies and programmes of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree management on cultism to the students.
- To find out if there were laws that will help student resist joining of secret cults.
1.4. SIGINIFICANCE OF STUDY.
The relevance of this study cannot be over emphasized in that the research will help to excavate the evolution and the remote causes of this problem and proffer and enduring solutions to it in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree in particular and the whole nation at large.
This study is also significant because it will awaken the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree management and other educational institutions of the importance of public relations as an effective and wonderful tool for solving any institutional problems if whatever ramifications.
The study is equally significant because it will make one know the modus operandi of those secret cults nation wide. Also their names and headquarters are equally coverer by this study. The study is significant because it will show when public and private organizations acknowledged the importance of Public Relations in business.
Finally, it will clear areas people so have misconceptions about public relations and also touch and highlight what public relations is not.
1.5. RESEARCH QUESTION.
To guide this study four – research question was formulated as listed below:
- To what extent has non-information on cultism damage Osun State Polytechnic, Iree students?
- What laws of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree prevent the students from joining secret cult?
- To what extent are the policies and programmes of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree managing cultism adequately?
- To what extent are the motivation and encouragement of the students on cultism adequate to support the crusade against it?
Although this study has accomplished the purpose, which is set out to achieve, one of the very limitations is that the validity of the results or findings is depending on the honest of the respondents in providing the needed information
Done to constraints of time and money, it is difficult to carry out the research extensively. This led to the limiting of the scope.
Cognizance was also taken to the fact that the academic calendar was too short and academic workload was enormous, as a result of this, no time to run around for the work.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS.
Public –is any group or segment with which the organization has relations or interacts with in the course of its corporations or practice.
Public Relations –is a deliberate, planed and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its public.
Tool- is anything that helps one to do one’s job.
Eradicating –is a way to destroy any thing completely or put an end to some thing.
Cultism –is an association of people that come together to form a religions body having common belief, made of worship and activities are done in an isolated and private place, because their way of worship cannot evil against immunity such as using human being for victuals.
Tertiary– it is the third in order, rank, importance, e.g. the universities, polytechnics and collage levels.