Mr Garba Abari, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), has called for a coordinated approach to curb incidences of cultism in Nigerian schools.
The DG made the call in Enugu on Friday in a message to a national sensitisation campaign against social vices in tertiary institutions.
Abari, who was represented by Mr Emma Abah, the NOA Coordinator in Ebonyi, said that cultism remained the most vital problem facing tertiary institutions in the country.
He said the menace had become a matter of concern not only to parents and lecturers but also to government.
“The future of our nation lies in the hands of our youths and if cultism is this rampant in our citadels of learning, then the foundation of our national development is shaky,” Abari said.
He said that in this view, the government had recognised the need to embark on a nationwide value reorientation programme which aimed at transforming the human mind.
He said that the gathering was meant to create an interactive platform with students as well as encourage them to shun all forms of social vices and imbibe behaviours necessary for national development.
He urged relevant institutions to step up to campaign against cultism and other social vices among young people.
“The evil nature of these vices should be explained to young people at all levels especially in our schools.
“Parents should desist from being members of secret cults and also prevent their children from joining bad groups,” Abari said.
In a goodwill message, the Southeast Zonal Head, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Usman Imam, said that the rate of social vices among the young people was alarming.
Imam said that young people constituted a larger chunk of arrests currently being made by the commission.
He said that the youths determined the direction of the country and urged them to show good examples.
Mrs Chidiebere Ufudu, a representative of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), also said that there was the need for the proper training of young people.
She said that much of the cases treated by the agency included defilement of children and stressed the need for early training of children on sex education.
In a lecture, Dr Adaobi Nwoye, a lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) said that the future of every society depended on the quality of its youths.
Nwoye said that an informed, skillful and purpose driven youth base had the capacity to take the country to greater heights.