The Vice-Chancellor of Sam Maris University, Prof Ayodeji Gbore, has urged students in Tertiary Institutions across the country to keep Internet fraud, cultism and drug addiction at arm's length, stressing that curtailing the menace demands consistent orientation and enlightenment.

The Don gave the advice during his Keynote Address at the 5th Annual Conference of the Association of Deans of Student Affairs in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria (ADOSATIN) held at the Royal Dream Hotels, Mararaba, Nasarawa State.

The Vice-Chancellor identified peer pressure (influence of peer group), parental background, societal moral decadence, erosion of educational standards, lack of recreational facilities, socioeconomic factors, overzealous quest for power and protection among others, as the root causes of drug addiction, Internet fraud and cultism.

Prof Gbore emphasized that the prevailing decadence had eaten deep into the fabrics of morality in the society, lamenting that prestigious institutions, which have produced several generations of prominent and reputable individuals, are now reduced to an appalling den of criminals and social degenerates.

He said, “Like most social vices, it is not surprising that these trios usually go hand in hand and in some cases, we find students who indulge in all of them. An internet fraudster is prone to drug addiction the same way a drug addict is prone to cultism and vice versa. As a result of this, they tend to live extravagant lifestyles, throwing them off focus and affecting the focus of other students around them.”

“There was a time drug addicts were generally referred to as being insane; cultists were seen as bad company and miscreants to the society; and internet fraudsters were labelled as thieves. Today, however, drug addicts, as well as cultists and internet fraudsters have seemingly developed a heightened sense of boldness and confidence in their misdemeanours.
“This is obviously as a result of the new generation glamorizing these vices and making it the norm in our society. Parents are not insulated from the blame. In a bid to showcase wealth and affluence, some have derailed from the societal values which were inculcated in them and refused to chastise their children and wards against indulging in vices.

Highlighting the roles of Deans of Student Affairs, Prof. Gbore stressed that formulation of policies and implementation of rules and regulations, meting out appropriate disciplinary measures, promotion of rewarding extra-curricular activities, and robust town-gown relationship would nip the menace in the bud.

The Don tasked the Deans of Student Affairs across the country to take the front row in combating the multidimensional challenges of drug addiction, cultism and internet fraud which are most prevalent amongst the students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria, and maintain decorum amongst the students.