In line with Akwa Ibom State Government’s commitment to eradicate cultism in schools, Elder Ezekiel Umoh Educational Foundation in collaboration with Federated Onna Students of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic Chapter (FOSON), embarked on sensitisation of pupils and students in Onna Local Government Area.

Addressing pupils at QIC Group School, Atiamkpat, Onna, recently, Permanent Secretary, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Uyo and founder of the Foundation, Elder Ezekiel Umoh, averred that the 2-day sensitization exercise became necessary to complement Governor Udom Emmanuel’s pledge to eliminate cultism in schools.

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Head Project Unit, SUBEB, Arc. Tommy Basil, who represented the Initiator of the Foundation, stated that cult activities do not in any way augur well with schools and the society, as it promotes disobedience, stealing, violence, destruction, killing and chaos.

Commending Government’s effort in assenting a bill passed by the State House of Assembly proscribing all cult groups in the State, he urged pupils to shun identifying with such groups to avoid being sanctioned as prescribed by the enabling law, as well as ensure safety of lives and properties.

Elder Umoh, declared “no meaningful learning can take place in an atmosphere of violence and disharmony. Cult activity will result in the closure of school, thereby disrupting the academic calendar, and leaving the students of the school behind. With this and many other reasons, there is need to avoid your involvement in cultism”.

While admonishing pupils to concentrate on learning, the seasoned Administrator, charged them to always ones their parents, teachers, and do away with swords or harmful objects as advised by Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible.

The Permanent Secretary noted that the Foundation has concluded plans to conduct an aptitude test for schools in Onna, to select intelligent pupils and students for scholarship to study professional courses in the University.

Elder Umoh, cautioned students, pupils and teachers to adhere to precautionary measures so as to stem the spread of the dreaded coronavirus, even when Akwa Ibom has not recorded any case.

He also promised to assess and renovate a dilapidated class room block within the school premises, through the yet to unveil 2019/2020 UBE Intervention Project.

The Foundation donated sandals and uniform to some indigent students as well as copies of booklet titled “ANTI-CULTISM/CAREER CHOICE” to all the schools visited.

In a lecture, President FOSOSN, AKPOLY, Comrade Mbuotidem Okoko, stated that experienced has shown the enormous negative effect of cultism on the performance of the students and school environment.

Okoko said its effects include loss of lives and properties, prolonged academic calendar, fear and Insecurity, poor academic performance as well as increased students’ dropout.

Similarly, Secretary FOSON, AkPOLY, Comrade Mbuotidem Ekpo, noted that cultism exposes the society to crime and insecurity, therefore it could be addressed through these measures; collective public campaign, discipline, good parenting and promulgation of laws to stem the vice.

Ekpo urged all and sundry to rise against cultism, so as to ensure a better society where peace, unity and development will be experienced.

Speaking on career, Comrade Faith Charles, advised parents not to influence their Ward’s choice, as they may be misled.

Charles, however called on them to choose through dialogue from the area of interest and passion to attend a fulfilled career.

Responding, the Principal, Community Secondary School, Ikot Akpan Eshiet, Mr. Akpan Udoeyen, appreciated the gesture by the Foundation and FOSON to sensitise students on the need to say no to cultism.

Mr. Akpan who noted that the exercise is timely, said that the effort will bear tangible fruits.

One of the school uniform beneficiaries, a pupil, AME Zion School, Ikot Udo Essang, Nsini Ekwere, appreciated the Foundation and FOSON for the choice of their school and promised to make good use of the knowledge gained from the exercise.

Head Teachers and Principals of schools visited also commended the initiative, saying it is in tandem with the vision of Governor Udom to attend a safe and secured state.

Other schools visited were; QIC Group School, Awa Iman, Nung Oku Itina Community Secondary School, Secondary School, Okat, Oniong East Community School, Ikwe, Onna People’s School, Abat and others.

Credit: Anietie Ammah