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DAILY MONITOR (Sep 27, 1999)

CULTISM IS EVIL - ADEWOYE

I have great pleasure in welcoming you all to this important rally at which we are demonstrating our resolve to eradicate cultism at the University of Ibadan. Cultism is evil. We have every cause to thank God for the relatively limited extent of it which we have witnessed on this campus. We thank God, too, for the way He is inspiring large number of groups and individuals to work towards its eradication. I deeply appreciate the efforts of these individuals and groups and I pray that God will bless them most abundantly.

The organisers of this rally, the Global Peace Movement, have been very active on the campus within the past three weeks, campaigning against cultism. I am aware they have been interacting with students almost twenty-four hours a day. I want to take this opportunity to thank the President-General of the Movement, Mr. Mike Uyi, and the other leaders of the Movement for the zeal they have brought to the campaign against cultism on this campus and their commitment to the cause of peace. May God bless the work they have done on this campus and may the fruits of their labour be permanent.

There are skeptics who are not convinced about the genuineness of the effort being put up by the Global Peace Movement. They argue that the leader of the movement, Mr. Mike Uyi, was once a controversial figure on this campus and how can we be sure that the whole effort is not a farce? My answer to the skeptics in respect of the leader of the Movement is that God can choose to use any one for His cause. I am reminded of one of my favourite passages in the Holy Bible:

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong he chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one can boast before Him."

From all indications, the Global Peace Movement has an enviable track record of brokering peace not only in Nigeria, but also in other parts of the world, including India, Italy, United Kingdom, the United States of America, Russia, Iraq, Yemen, Greece, and - to come nearer home - Sierra-Leone and Liberia. May God bless the efforts of the Movement on this campus.

I want to thank Professor Emeritus Olumuyiwa Awe and the other members of the Anti-Cultism Campaign Committee of this University for the support they have given to the Global Peace Movement. That Committee is the University's permanent organ for the work df counsellings and rehabilitation which total eradication of cultism necessarily entails.

The Global Peace Movement has named this day, the Renouncement Day. Where do you stand in relation to cultism? As for myself, please permit me to read to you the Affirmation I made to the Anti-cultism Campaign Committee on 8 September 1999:

I affirm before Almighty God and before this Committee that I, Omoniyi Adewoye, do not belong to any secret cult or fraternity, traditional, local or foreign.

In search of greater understanding of God and his creation as an undergraduate here at Ibadan, I joined the Rossicrucia N Order (AMORC) in 1963. I was what was called a sanctum member, receiving materials for study from the Order's headquarters at San Joset California, U.S.A. However, I withdrew from the Order in 1966 while I was a postgraduate student at Columbia University in New York. Although born and baptised as a Christian, it was not until that year that I really knew Christ, through the ministration of the late Revd. Dr. Norman Vincent Peace, Pastor of Marble Collegiate Church on 34th Street New York. I was attending this church regularly from February 1964 when I transferred from Princeton University.

Through Dr. Peal's ministration I became fully aware of the richness of the Holy Bible as source of strength, and the all-sufficiency of God's power if one has faith in Him. It is this faith which has conditioned my life and my life's work since I returned to Nigeria in September 1968.

I have seen the manifestations of the evil of cutism. I am fully committed to its Eradication at the University of Ibadan.

It is my wish that every member of this community, staff and students, should make his/her position clear in relation to cultism. A declaration of position by every member of this community is the beginning of a true sanitization process. I implore every religious organisation on this campus and the Anti-Cultism Campaign Committee to devise ways by which all of us would make individual open declarations of where we stand.

I rejoice with all those who have chosen to renounce today their membership of secret cults. It is those whom God loves that He inspires to take the kind of step you are taking today. Be firm in your resolution to shun cultism, to stand up and be counted among those who would be soldiers of God in the fight against cultism throughout this land. I salute your courage. This day will surely mark a turning point in your life. You have realised how valuable life is. It's a precious gift for which we are accountable to God. He will surely demand from us what we have made of our lives. You now know the truth. May the appreciation of that truth set you free.

As if to understore the genuineness of its effort, the Global Peace Movement, has insisted that everyone who has chosen to renounce membership of a cult should fill out a Renounciation Form indicating some vital particulars about the individual. You are required to complete this Form. At the end of today's ceremony, we would collect them and file them as important documents. Who knows, the Renounciation Form you are filling today may turn out to be the document that would save your career sometime in the future.

We as a community have chosen to overlook your past activities in relation to your membership of cults, although the amnesty we have offered does not cover other rules and regulations relating to the orderly governance of the University. You should realize, however; that only God can truly forgive. From my own scriptures, the Holy Bible, I know he will demand from you a contrite heart. Therefore, go and sin no more.

One more piece of advice. Strengthen your will to live a new life through wholesome, group or social activities. Be active in social organisations. As Muslim or Christians, join Fellowships organised by your co-religionists. There, you will find men and women of like minds robbing minds on the words of the Holy scriptures that do point the way to healthy, righteous living.

Finally, may I implore the Anti-Cultism Campaign Committee, the Friends of Students and the various Fellowship and other groups to take to their bossom all those who would choose to renounce their membership of cultic organisations today. I have the authority of Dr. Gabriel Evbuom, Director of International Affairs of the Global Peace Movement, in saying that the act of renounciation is a lonely affair. The person who turns his or her back against cultism is caught in between two worlds, accepted neither by the one nor the other. He or she is rejected by the old world of cultism, but is still shunned by the new world of relative innocence. The new convert therefore stands in dire need of rehabilitating, friendship, counselling. May God bless the effort of the various groups helping to strengthen the resolve of the men and women who would, presently, come forward to declare their will to live a new live. May he also bless the homes and the private endeavours of all those who are helping them to do so.
I thank you for your attention.

"I rejoice with all those who have chosen to renounce today their membership of secret cults. It is those who whom God loves that he inspires to take the kind of step you are taking today. Be firm in your resolution to shun cultism, to stand up and be counted among those who would be soldiers of God in the fight against cultism throughout this land."

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