The Management of Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, has banned End-of-Examination celebrations on its campuses with immediate effect, to forestall breakdown of law and order in the institution.
Dr Salisu Ogbo Usman, Rector of the polytechnic, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Lokoja, said the management’s decision was prompted by information about planned violent cult activities under the guise of celebration.
Usman said that the ban was not an attempt to cut short the joy of law-abiding students of the institution who had every reason to mark an important milestone in their lives.
“In times past, including mine as a student, examination celebration was all about handshake, hugging, and other merriments devoid of social upheavals, but events in recent years have proved that this is no longer the case.
“Instead, what we now have in most cases is the despicable use of water (both dirty and clean) mixed with soap, kerosene and other dangerous chemicals to immerse colleagues who have just graduated.
“The worst of it all is that it is in the process of such “celebrations” that students openly show their respective cult groups through what they term “flying of colour.”
“Furthermore, we have strong information that it is this period that members of cult groups are invited from other institutions and places for the handing over of batons of leadership and celebration of their “successes”; whatever that means.
“Worst still, the celebrations have taken a more dangerous dimension that students now mark end-of-examinations with gunshots on campus in company of their respective cult groups,” he said.
The Rector noted that educational institutions across the country had considered the trend as not only worrisome but dangerous and had accordingly, banned the practice at various times.
He revealed that in Kogi State Polytechnic, there were reported cases of sporadic gunshots at the end of examination in 2019; an indication of cultists’ show of strengths.
He said that the highpoint was the particular case of cultists that came with guns looking for a particular lecturer on the campus, adding that the 2019 celebration eventually ended tragically as it claimed the life of a student at the back of the Matriculation Ground.
“This time, we have credible information that arrangements have been concluded by suspected cult groups to avenge the 2019 killing by using end-of-examination celebration as a launch pad.
“We have also been informed that some external mercenaries and old students who are suspected leaders of rival cult groups have been invited and have been around for the past five days rehearsing the execution of their plan.
“As a management, even as we are working closely with relevant security agencies who are on the close trail of these suspects, we have every responsibility to be proactive.
“This informed our decision to ban any form of end-of-examination celebration on the campus. In essence, we did so to prevent the imminent violent attack on students on campus and beyond,” Usman said.