Redirecting the youthful energy wasted on cultism and reckless life

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cultism and reckless life

Before planting, farmers clear weeds and bushes from the land to give space for desirable plants and trees to grow. Even after clearing the weeds and bushes, they treat the land with chemicals and apply manure to enrich the land. However, if the farmer fails to sow the desired seeds after clearing and enriching the land, weeds grow on it. Despite sufficient comfort, without proper direction of human energy for harmonious productivity, the energy turns against the society.[1] That is how energies that could have been used for social benefits have been diverted to cultism and reckless life.

Nigeria has been prominent in recent ranking of most dangerous places to be born[2] or raised in the world. The menace of violence, robbery, kidnapping and a recent explosion of cultism and reckless life among youths increase the ranking. Some of these occurrences are blamed on poverty, since most culprits are found to come from poor backgrounds. Yet, among the perpetuators of these crimes are rich kids, whose youthful exuberance were neglected or misdirected. Some rich families lament about their children’s involvement in cultism and reckless life despite receiving every material thing they requested.


Theists believe that humans are active beings and co-creators created in the image of God the creator. Humans have energies to manifest for their fulfilment and are not passive beings who are satisfied by always receiving. Even after receiving several comfort, they desire to obtain fulfilment by manifesting their abilities, expertise, relevance or productivity. The hunger for manifesting creativity may not be quenched by receiving more material gifts, but by overcoming tough challenges. And when positive challenges are not posed by society or family, negative challenges are posed by media or peers.


Range of challenges posed in the society can be categorized under two contrasting philosophies: Plato’s republic-philosophy of contribution and Epicurus’ Hedonism. PLATO postulates the ideal society as a progressive republic with three categories of people: administrators (leadership), soldiers (security) and workers (production).[3] He defines social good as the individual’s contribution of his part/duty to the society as administrator, soldier or producer. Propagating hedonism, EPICURUS prescribed physical[4] pleasure as the only good[5] – let us eat today for tomorrow we shall die. Plato’s challenge is individual’s development and social contribution, while Epicurus’ challenge is individual’s STRUGGLE to obtain personal physical pleasure. Societies encourage challenges from either hedonism or philosophy of contribution based on the one they reward and praise.


Observing Nigeria’s media space shows a prevalence of Hedonist pleasure as the society’s driving force and challenge. Presently, several Nigerians seek and obtain praise by how much pleasure they are able to obtain and flaunt. And due to Nigeria’s disorganized social structure, obtaining these pleasures or their resources has become too challenging. The effects of hedonist search for selfish pleasure and desire includes:

  • Negligence of children upbringing in pursuit of resources for obtaining and displaying pleasure as a testimony of good life.
  • Denial of family love and values from pleasure-pursuant parents, making the children vulnerable to promise of affection from outside.
  • Excessive provision of materials possessions in place of attention, love and inculcation of social values in children.
  • Pressure on children and other members of the society to demonstrate their ability to obtain resources for pleasure.

Hence, even rich kids wish to prove that they struggled to obtain wealth, or prove strength by taking up daunting challenges. Some of the ways through which they prove strength include risky challenges like cultism and reckless life. Unfortunately, they form strong and lasting bonds with dangerous people who provide them opportunities and encouragement to prove their strength.


While average kids join cultism and reckless life for pleasure, rich kids join to prove themselves and to form bonds. There are not so much ways to demonstrate strength and obtain approval in Nigeria apart from physical pleasure and force. While first-world citizens demonstrate strength by technological creativity and heroism, many Nigerians demonstrate strength by pleasure and brute-force. Nigeria’s production capacity is damaged by the colonially programmed government that confiscates and auctions Nigeria’s mineral resources.[6][7][8] Since there is little local productivity, Nigeria depends on importation, which becomes scarce and proves a challenge to many. Hence, what other people get easily as citizens of their nations is sought in Nigeria by struggling and showing force.

Reverting the urge to demonstrate youthful energy on cultism and reckless life begins with the society’s redefinition of values. Observing the negative challenge produced by Nigerian hedonism demands a switch to republic-philosophy of contribution. And Nigeria has many industrious and intelligent people who can collaborate and contribute their energies to develop Nigeria.


Thus, Nigerian ethnic communities who have never been allowed to agree on anything[9] will negotiate and agree for collaborative productivity. By agreeing for collaborative productivity, the different ethnic communities will educate their citizens to utilize what they have to produce what they need. As farmers observe soil to determine suitable plants, parents/society observe children to determine talents and train them for suitable social-roles. Eventually, the society expects the same fruits they sow in the life of their citizens. Then social praises will come from individual/group productivity instead of pleasure and force through cultism and reckless life. Then the determinant fact of “cult” superiority over others becomes their ability to produce better social commodities than others.



[1] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “Emptiness of unchallenged comfort” in Restartnaija 26th October, 2017. retrieved 26th March, 2018

[2] Anule Emmanuel, “Bill Gates faults Buhari’s economic plan” in NewTelegraph March 23, 2018. retrieved 26th March, 2018.

[3] Plato, “Republic” In A brief history of philosophy by Derek Johnston (London: MPG Books, 2006) p.22

[4] By physical pleasure, he meant pleasures derived from “taste, touch, hearing, sight smell” Derek Johnston, A brief history of philosophy (London: MPG Books Ltd, 2006) p.46

[5] Derek Johnston, A brief history of philosophy (London: MPG Books Ltd, 2006) p.43, 46

[6] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 2

[7] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 2, paragraph 1

[8] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3

[9] cf. Richard Dowden, Africa altered states, ordinary miracles. (New York: Public Affairs, 2010). p.445