Fraternities or Cults as they are known in Nigeria, are secret societies usually made up of young people sworn to an oath of secrecy and cooperation. They communicate via secret languages and use secret symbols. They mobilize themselves to support a member’s cause or protect him when in danger. Consequently, they are usually involved in committing various acts of violence and are often the target of violence from other cult groups.
The fraternities originated in the Tertiary institutions but have spread into the streets. They initially started as secret groups promoting specific causes or ideologies but later became corrupted and served as tools for politicians and other powerful people. Today, campuses and communities live in fear of cult groups. They commit crime and get away with it. Cultists have been known to carry out deadly attacks that have left indelible marks on the memories of Nigerians. These include:
- An attack carried out by suspected members of the Black Axe confraternity on the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ife in the early hours of Saturday, July 10, 1999 led to the death of 21-year old 400-Level Law student and the then Secretary-General of the Students Union, George Iwilade, fondly called Afrika. Four other students were killed. They were shot dead in Blocks 5 and 8 of Awolowo Hall of the university.
- In June 2012, clashes between the Black Axe and Klansmen Confraternities left four people dead at the Cross River University of Technology(CRUTECH) and the University of Calabar(UniCal)
- In June 2014, at least 15 people were killed in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State during clashes between the Vikings and Klansmen Confraternities
- On January 15, 2016, two members of a cult group murdered a 21-year-old man in cold blood because he refused to buy them drinks
- On March 14, 2016, three students of Abia State University were beheaded by suspected members of a cult group
- In December 2016, seven people were killed in Otukpo, Benue State during clashes between unknown cult groups
- In June 2017, clashes between rival cult groups believed to be Black Axe and Eiye Confraternities led to the death of three people in Akure, Ondo State
The above and several more notable incidences have earned the confraternities a dreaded reputation and yet they continue to exist and in some areas members even flaunt their associations in public with pride. Often times, they are arrested and then released under questionable circumstances to return and terrorise the streets once more.
Owing to the growing menace of these cult groups, it is now pertinent to unmask them for the public so that you can identify the, stay away from them, and report them to authorities if possible. Below are the details of the top fraternities in Nigeria:
- The National Association of Seadogs
AKA: Pyrates Confraternity
Greeting: Ahoy Seadog!
This is the first fraternity to be formed in Nigeria. It was founded by Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka and some other students at the University of Ibadan in 1952 to fight against injustice. It is modelled after the Skulls and Bones Fraternity in the United States. Pyrates is usually not called a cult group because it has strict guidelines for members and sets high academic barriers for becoming a member. The elitist practices of the Pyrates led to the formation of other confraternities that evolved to become a menace to the society.
Popular sayings: Odas is Odas, No Friend, No Foe (NFNF), Absolute No Lagging (ANL)
- Buccaneers Association of Nigeria (BAN)
Colours: Yellow and white
BAN was created by Bolaji Crew who was expelled from the Pyrates Confraternity and the group is built after the Pyrates structure. Members call themselves Lords, Bucketmen, Fineboys, Alora.
Popular sayings: No Price No Pay, No brothers in the wood, No laughing on board, Blood for blood, Let the devil that lead you guide you.
- The Neo-Black Movement of Africa
AKA: Black Axe
Greeting: Aye Axemen! Dodorima
Colours: Black, white, yellow
This is one of the most violent and deadly cult groups today. It is modelled after the neo-black movement in South-Africa which was formed to fight for the liberation of the black man against Apartheid. It was formed at the University of Benin in 1976. Its symbol is an axe cutting through a chain binding the two hands. Members call themselves Aiye, Axemen, Seven (7) or Amigos. They use the number 7 and usually celebrate their anniversary on July 7(7-7)
Popular sayings: The Blackman will be freed with an axe, No f*ck ups, Forgiveness is a sin, Don’t betray your brother in the hood, Obey before complain or Abeyance, He who price must pay.
- The Norsemen Club of Nigeria
AKA: Supreme Vikings confraternity
Greeting: Aro mate
Colours: Red, black
This is a very dominant cult group in the South East and South-South. It was founded in the University of Port Harcourt in 1982 by 3 young men with codenames; Rising angel, Eric De Red, and Troppence. They have another arm in the secondary schools called Junior Vikings(JVC). The fraternity is modelled after the historical Viking tribe in the Scandanavia and adopted some practices of the Nazi German government of Adolf Hitler. Members call themselves Germans, Baggers, Kings, Executioners, Adventurers
Popular sayings: Blood on the high sea, Singing songs of Hojas, Never to hang a leg, Even in the face of death.
- The National Association of Airlords
AKA: Supreme Eiye Confraternity
Greeting: Haber krier
This is a very common cult group in the Southwest and also one of the most violent. It was formed at the University of Ibadan in 1963, also affiliated to the Eiye Secret Society, which exists in the western part of Nigeria. The date, August 8(8-8) is sacred to members as their anniversary. Members call themselves Birds, Airlords, Fliers, Airforce
Popular sayings: Secrecy, Autocracy, Discipline, Brotherhood, No Friend No Foe
- The Eternal Fraternal Order of the Legion Consortium(KKK)
AKA: Klansmen Confraternity
Greeting: Ave Sirs, Dedy na debt
Colours: Not available
This is a more recent group but spreading really fast and also violent, especially in the South-South. It is modelled after the white-supremacist secret organization in the United States known as Khu Klux Klan(KKK). Members worship a god called Ogor, represented with a skull. Members call themselves KKK, Klansmen, EFOLK, Ave, etc.
Popular sayings: The affairs of a klansman before any other thing in life, What concerns a klansman concerns all klansmen, Status of other cult members are not considered or relevant, Oath of secrecy abide to all members, Peaceful man in a deadly mood, disagree to agree