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Public Relations, As A Tool For Eradicating Cultism In Nigerian Tertiary Institutions (A Case Study Of Institute Of Management And Technology (Imt) Enugu
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PUBLIC RELATIONS, AS A TOOL FOR ERADICATING CULTISM IN NIGERIAN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS (A CASE STUDY OF INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY (IMT) ENUGU

ABSTRACT

Evaluation is a prelude to strategic action. Strategies once identified must be evaluated to determine whether it is serving the purpose. However, this topic is based on “The use of public relations as a tool for eradicating cultism in Nigerian tertiary institutions: A case study of institute of management and technology IMT, Enugu”. The main data-gathering instruments were questionnaire questions. Frequency and percentages were utilized in analysis of data. The major findings of the study were:

  1. Cultism activities are spreading like wild in all the institutions in the country.
  2. Immediate implementation of strategies has to be put in place to control the spread.
  3. Government should assist school authority in fighting the war.
  4. Identified cult members should be expelled from school without concession
  5. Cultism is a crime to man and God. So, should be avoided.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

CHAPTER ONE                                                                             1

INTRODUCTION                                                                            1

  1. Background of study                                                   1
  2. Statement of research problem                                 16
  3. Objectives of study                                                     18
  4. Significance of study                                                  19
  5. Research question                                                      20
  6. Research hypothesis                                                  21
  7. Conceptual and operational definition                      22
  8. Assumptions                                                                24
  9. Limitation of the study                                                 24

 

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

  1. Sources of literature                                                    26
  2. Literature review                                                          26
  3. Summary of literature review                                               40

 

CHAPTER THREE

METHODOLOGY

  1. Research method                                                        42
  2. Research design                                                                   42
  3. Research sample                                                        44
  4. Measuring instrument                                                 45
  5. Data collection                                                             45
  6. Data analysis                                                               46
  7. Expected results                                                                   47

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA ANALYSES AND RESULTS

  1. Data analysis                                                               48
  2. Results                                                                         48
  3. Discussion                                                                             57

 

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY

REFERENCES                                                                     64

APPENDICES                                                                       66

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The study is on public relations as a veritable tool for eradicating cultism in Nigeria tertiary institutions having the institute of management and technology, IMT, Enugu as a case study. To say 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 a tool for eradicating of secret cult in Nigerian tertiary institutions especially in IMT, it is then essential to examine the history of secret cult, their mode of operation, their aims and objectives, their method 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 to it could be recommended in IMT using public relations as its chief tool.

 

Public relations is as old as mankind. Public relations affect almost everyone 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 events were under taken. Also the priests conducted literature, poems of praises and lamentations 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 publications and staged events. There were also the establishment of the daily newspaper called the “ACTA BIURINA” or daily record containing government decrees and other information. The public relations in Nigeria has come a long way, its beginning has been linked with the Second World War.

 

As presented by Nigerian institute of public relations (NIPR) 1988 anniversary publication “25 years of public relations in Nigeria”. The colonial government before World War II was concerned with collection of taxes 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 II, 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 recently 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 NIPR (1988) anniversary publication reveals that government took the advantage of the information ministry and utilized effectively the machinery at the federal level to build its image. Since political culture allowed autonomous control of information channel at the state level, the party in power effectively utilized the machinery to promoter its image.

 

There were Liaison officers in each state and during the Shagari administration (1979-83) the ministry of information became a part of the office of the resident. Even with the advent 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 organizations 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 public 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 of Nigeria.

 

People associated with large organization often are unaware of what is happening with the institution that affect their interest and as a result, serious misunderstanding occur between management and its publics and thus, goodwill is sacrificed. To explain corporate policies, actions and bring about better understanding with workers, students, management requires public relations technique.

 

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, corporations 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 talking about it, all in a planned and systematic manner. It is not lobbying, talking about ourselves all the time without backing our talks with concrete actions. Public relations is not window dressing, vicious propaganda or lies, unnecessary details and shallow gimmicks, it does not mean putting beautiful women in the front office, expecting them to perform public relations wonders with their smiles and charms. Planned PR is moving effective than fire alarm; it also plans ahead for future crisis of the unexpected events.

 

Before we can say what public relations are, let us first understand what PR is not. It is not the HOD, SDDE in his chaffier-driven TOYOTA Lexus, it is not the smooth-talking ladies in IMT offices convincing a group of interested students to pay their stabilization fees, and it is not the mini skirt students flaunting her near-nakedness at bulging-eye admirers etc.

 

Therefore, what is a public relations? According to British institute of public relations (1945) “public relations is deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its public”. In other hand, we have the recent acceptable definition of PR propounded by cornfield and more that “public relations is a social philosophy of management expressed in policies and practices through two way communication with its public strives to secure mutual under standing and goodwill.

 

The public relations in house exists in between the leadership of a firm, organization or an establishment and the members of the work staff- the led. This relationship talks about the communication of ideas and opinion of the firm by the management to the members of staff, or between the school management of IMT and their students. It may come by means of mechanisms like seminars, conferences, workshop drama, documentaries and rallies etc. It is done to communicate to the students or the members of staff the new decisions, policies and plans of the management in such a way those questions about the status quo is permitted by the management. In such trends, the management is ready to satisfy everyone’s question with an adequate answer.

The tools of this public relations are publicity, press conferences, promotion, propaganda, exhibition, luncheon, public opinion, media relations, calendar, personal communication, seminars, visits to opinion leaders, notice boards, student hand books, workshops, radio, TV and public speaking etc. It is clear to everybody’s understanding the meaning of “secret” as clandestine but when it is places before another word “cult” there is a breach of thought before its can be correctly interpreted. Cult according to oxford advanced learners’ dictionary (1990) it means the system of religious worship, especially one that is expressed in rituals….

 

Therefore cultism would mean cult + isms meaning the distinctive doctrine or practice of cult. It has its rituals, which comes up to sacrifices with animals and sometimes human beings resulting to killings that are rife in the society. Undoubtedly, IMT, Enugu is one the tertiary institutions in Nigeria but in a doldrums today because of cult activities in the school. The school authority had confirmed that cultism has now gone out of control and the cultist are carrying out all sorts of atrocities with impurity all over the institutions. The basic conditions for sustained academic culture are no more. The institution has fallen into disrepute. In place of academic rigor and search for truth, strange, anti-social cult and inglorious fraternity have taken over IMT. Examination malpractices, banditry and sundry vice now stock IMT.

Some of the bogging questions are:

  1. Why cultism in IMT
  2. What can be done to curb it?

 

Before attempting to answer these questions, it is pertinent to sketch a historical background on how cult was initiated in Nigerian high institutions. The idea of campus confraternity began in 1953 when Prof. Wole Soyinka established and registered the pirate confraternity. The idea 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 ideals of white supremacy, at the same time reducing the grandeur of Africanism.

 

Thus Soyinka, Pius Olegbe, Ralph Opara, Aig-Innokhuede, Ofoghale Armata Oyelola and two others came together with the establishment of pirate confraternity, which was registered at the university of Ibadan. The noble laurette wrote in a small treatise on the formation of pirates and said “one thing we agreed was that there would not be any room for colonial mentality I the club. Thus, the pirate confraternity was born. We were going to be a sort of counter-revolution against colonialism”. The first initiation 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 time 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 within the pirates fold for ideological differences. The fight was between those who embraced radical politics 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 conduct and abuse of the pirates’ status on the campus. Confrontation ensued many pirates were suspended. They formed the Buccaneer with the sole aim of destroying pirates’ legacy. Despite the skirmishes, the two groups maintained a relatively peaceful co-existence and even carried out humanitarian gestures. But, events took a new shape around 1987 when pirates pulled out of university campuses after a grandiose midnight meeting at Nsukka, Enugu state. Since then cultisms in Nigerian tertiary institutions have changed to terrorism, many devilish things have happened. Recently, an IMT student, popularly known as “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 incidents 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 cult are: the black bee and black 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 Mgbamgba Brothers with headquarters at UNIZIK; the Black Beret; the Free Masonry Fraternity with headquarters at UNICAL; the Vickings with headquarters at UNIPORT; 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 IMT 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 and also to know if an alternative solution would be sort.



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