Campus cults have contributed a major threat to academic program in our universities, and these cults encourage moral ruin, murder, terrorism, sexual harassment, rape, armed robbery, prostitution, etc. The campus which is supposed to be a centre for knowlege acquisition has become a devil's nest for cultic operations. Cultists have turned some campuses into something entirely different, instead of justice, there is survival of the fittest! We find tales of horror and brutality instead of peace and love. There are intimidation, tortures and murders. Morality seems to have gone to zero degrees, and academic pursuit which is supposed to be of primary importance has been relegated to secondary priority.
Naturally, the question people will tend to ask are what type of secret cult is unleashing terror of this kind in our campuses.
.....one of the greatest social crimes committed in the institutions of higher learning in the country as of today is cultism.
- Ucheonye Nzubechi
It is a social crime which is very rampant in Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education all over the country. It is a social menace which is not restricted to only the institutions of higher learning but that which is a common phenomenon that characterises the entire society - the secondary schools are not left behind. Cultic activities are sometimes laden with blood. It may be the blood of an animal or that of human beings. He claimed that during initiation rites or during rival group clashes within the University setting, blood-flow during which many lives are lost in the process. There are various secret cults now in our institutions of higher learning. They are called different names depending on the institution. There are those cults mostly meant for male students while there are some mostly for the female students. These various cults are usually in conflicts with one another during which many of their lives including those of the innocent non-members are lost. This documentary was written and published by Ucheonye Nzubechi to examine the causes, types and consequences of cultic activities in the Nigerian Institutions of higher learning and to suggest ways of eradicating them.
• DEFINITION OF TERMS
• Cultism: The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary defined cult as a small group of people who have extreme religious beliefs and who are not part of any established religion.
• Secret Cult: A secret cult can be defined as an enclosed organized association or group devoted to the same cause. It is an enclosed group having an exclusive sacred ideology and a series of rites centering around their sacred symbols. Secret cult is a terminology coined by a former Military Head of State - Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, between 1983 -1984. Before this period, these gangs had always been referred to as fraternities. The members of the cult commit themselves to oath and allegiance, which serves as their strong bond. This group of people is always violent when defending their course.
• Secret Societies: It can be defined as close associations, guilds, and cult groups with closed membership. These societies are fraternities established by a conjunction of purposeful intentions with a view to achieving specific ends. They are branded "secret" partly because only few people with a special knowledge or interest can understand them. Secret societies make use of particular rituals, signs, symbols and forms of knowledge which are withheld from non-initiates, and these things are regarded as a special source of power though being kept private. There are many secret cults in Nigeria and they are not restricted to any particular place in the country. They are found among the various ethnic groups. They have been in existence since the pre-colonial period in Nigeria. Some of them have now been reformed.
• Secret societies are categorised into three groups;
» Religious secret societies
» Semi-religious secret societies
» Anti-social secret societies
• BELOW ARE THE NAMES OF SOME CULT AND SECRET SOCIETY GROUPS IN NIGERIA.
1. Pyrate Confraternity (Sea Dogs)
3. Buccaneers (Sea Lords)
4. Black Axe
7. Gentlemen's Club
8. Eiye Confraternity (Air Lords)
9. Black Berets
10. Temple of Eden
11. Mgba-Mgba Brothers
13. Black Mamba
15. The Chronicles
16. Klu Klux Klan (KKK)
18. Black Cat
19. Red Skin
20. Brotherhood of Blood (BB)
21. Neo-Black Movement
22. Mr. Lord
24. Trojan Horse
25. Amazons *
26. Black Bra *
27. Daughters Of Jezebel *
28. White Angels *
• Note: * means (Females Only)
Secret cults in the Nigerian Higher Institutions started as fraternities with the sole aim of maintaining law and order in the campuses. This is a role performed by secret societies in the adult communities. The cults were in existence with the aim of addressing acts of injustice, victimization and other issues capable of disturbing the peaceful atmosphere of the institutions. One of the ways by which they achieve their aims is through their various publications where they expose various vices in the campuses.
• CULT ACTIVITIES AND INITIATION PROCESS
These cults are often saddled with different interests and conflicting ideas. These are some groups that are interested in maintaining the Supremacy of the Capone and still there are others that are bent in undermining his power and such situations results to shooting and killings in the campus. The Capone's power is often checked by the elders. If the Capone abuses his power, there is bound to be revolt by some of his officers and such things happen in campus where there might be coup against the Capone or mutiny in the rank and file of the soldiers.
The Capone survives his reign by using divide and rule tactics, where he uses one principal officer against another, and this can cause problem in the school. The Capone has different officers manned by capable hands for the smooth running of his affairs. His powers are composite and are lodged in different offices; it is entirely difficult for the Capone to collect the annual dues from members. A Capone has the right to tax members and get tribute from them. He has corresponding obligations to dispense justice to them and to ensure their protection from rival cult groups. Supernatural control of events in the bedrock of cultism, and this ritualistic attitude has always being associated to everything cultic!
The Mau-Mau cult of East and Central Africa is one of the oldest local cults in Africa. Their initiation is just like every other cults, but with some interesting differences just like every other cult. Oaths taken by Mau-Mau involves removal of shoes and shorts which is followed by the administration of oath of unity called Ndenwa-Ihatu. They are often thoroughly to test their ability to absorb pain. This is followed by the passage of an Arch built by banana stemsby intending initiates. The chief priest of this cult often hold the lung of a goat in his hand and as he circles the ground the heads of intending initiates are required to be facing the ground. He normally circles the different heads of this initiates seven times after which he gives the new members the same goat lung to have a bite. After this, an oath is given as follow;
• I speak the truth and now before god, and this group, the movement of unity, the unity which is put to test, the unity which is mocked with the name Mau-Mau. That I shall go forward to fight for the land, and if I fail to do this, may this oath kill me, may this seven kill me, and may this meat kill me!
- Former Mau-Mau Cult member
After this, the chief priest anoints the head of the new members with the blood saying that this is done to remind them of the fight ahead. After these, tiny marks of the Mau-Mau cults are scratched on the left wrist of members. The drops of blood from the wrists would drop into the meals in which is later eaten. The chief priest thus chants; "The act of eating this meat, with the blood of each one of you shows that you are now united one to the other and with us."
The oath gives cult members powers and strength and they have the belief of superiority above other non-cultist. The negative effect is that the cultists often regard their previous life as empty and new form life as fulfilling and the next thing is to trivialize their education. The invitation ceremony gives them feeling of being born again and opportunity for dangerous adventure.
The Zangbeto cult in Badagry, Lagos is another cult that perform social and spiritual role. They help to maintain law and order, and in keeping the community clean. By using its symbol of banana leaves in areas it does not want refuse dumps, indigenes automatically stop littering the area. The activities of these cults have made it possible for Badagry to be relatively crime free at that period. The head of this cult is called Zanagan. He is the spiritual head. Secret cults in African societies are valuable as instrument of social control.
There are other types like;
- Ekpo etc.
The evil cult groups can be seen in the atrocities as they perpetrate in the campuses. Every cult group, be it local, foreign or in campuses is simply cultic and should be jettisoned from our socio-academic vicinity. Groups referred to as secret cult in campuses is often characterized by secret initiations, secret rituals, nocturnal meetings, horrifying and dreadful practices. These cults are often known for organizing and using individuals for revolutionary purposes, violent, social upheavals, and subversive conspiracies against constituted authorities, and violation of the integrity of man (mental and physical tortures). They exact blind obedience from members and are geared towards their selfish ends, norms of academic environment and the normal life of a civilized society.
• HISTORY OF DIFFERENT CULTS
There are many secret societies in our campuses. Campus cults are modification of the mother groups in the wider society like Ogboni, AMORC etc. The earliest form of these cults flourished in Egypt, Greece, Rome and China. These cults are there for purposes, like security of member by the performance of rituals. These campus cults differ in name but their activities are similar.
• NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SEA DOGS (Pyrates Confraternity)
The association was founded in the University of Ibadan in 1956. They have equally deviated and the outcome is unpalatable for the non initiates called "Jew men." The flag of skull and cross bones is the authoritative symbol of this group. The term "Jolly Barger" was used first in 1700, though "Barger" is used today for Viking members. The black background is the true representative, but red is often used even these days, especially when pirates intend to give no quarter. Their colour is white and red. They are particular greeting form. The Pirate Confraternity is the oldest campus cult in our universities. It was established in 60's in our first generation universities. This is an offshoot of the pirate of England. The history of the pirates is that full of intriguing beginning. The pirates in old English society of the 18th century sail on high seas with their flag of skull and cross bones searching for buried treasures. They capture helpless crew and vent out of their ruthlessness on them by stealing their cargoes. Privacy was at a time the most common hazards on the sea. In 1718, the activities of this group and the pirates were check-mated by the British men of war. Pirates leaders were offered pardon if they would surrender their ships and gave up their attacks. Just like the way Federal Government is calling upon the various groups to rest their arms and stop their cynic lifestyle. It was in the 19th century that combines team of English and American army to get rid of the coastal areas free of pirates. In Nigeria, it has been easy so that the better part of the 21st century would be pure. Their colour is yellow.
• THE CONFRATERNITY (Mafia Confraternity)
This was founded in the University of Ife in 1972. Their colour is green, and their symbol is a casket with two staffs aligned to it.
• NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF AIR LORDS (Five Confraternity)
This was founded in the University of Ibadan. Their colour is blue, with a carved wooden sculpture as their symbol.
• NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ADVENTURES (The Vikings Fraternity)
This was founded in the University of Portharcourt in 1982. Their colour is Black and Red. The Vikings are seafarers. The first Vikings raid was in the year A.D 787 when they used slim ships each with a single square sail and long oars to raid the south coast of England. They used various types of musical instruments like battle axe, edge sword to butcher their victims. Vikings is a Scandinavia cult, for 260 years the bold ruthless north men called Vikings penetrated all of England. They built cities in Ireland and gained a powerful province in France. They raided Spain, Italy and North Africa and established a kingdom in Russia. The north men who settled in Ireland founded a colony in Greenland and also discovered America. These north men are feared and hated as plunderer. In their home land they were honoured as sea adventures. When they left on voyages it was said that they went in Vikings. Experts think that the term may have come from the old Scandinavian word "Vik" meaning "Bay or Greek." The north men are scattered all over the world because of too many people and too little land. They often have good fighting tactics, and making peace with them is often difficult. The first democratic government since ancient Greece was established by two Viking brothers outlawed from Normandy because of murder, they are Leif Ericson. Eric the red was a murder too. Leif sailed to Greenland with 35 north men and reached a place they called Vinland. This is where we call America today. It was founded 500 years ago before Columbus discovered America.
.....Columbus discovered America, but it was first discovered about 500 years ago by Leif Ericson and he named it Vinland.
» Foreign Tabloids
• NEO BLACK MOVEMENT (Black Axe Confraternity)
This was founded in University of Benin in 1984. This cult was formed as a result of the need to have pure black African group that is original and African. They believe in equality and individual freedom. They often display a great loyalty to one another, and it is often run in a typical African way of doing things. Along the line they deviated just like the foreign established ones, they started engaging in fights for supremacy and these fights started to bring chaos in schools. They are fetish oriented and believe in crude way of doing things that are Un-African. They have their headquarters in Benin, and they use dangerous weapons for their attack. This group often appeals to the toughest of the students who believes that black is power. Other groups include:
The Black beret (B.B), Trojan horse, Temple of Eden, KKK, Osiris, etc.
All their activities are virtually shredded in an oath-bound secrecy. Those cult groups use different colours for identification of their members. Each of these cults have specific name with which they operate in the bush. They are called bush names. Example of these bush names are; Obalende, Utake, Koko etc.
Only initiates call their fellow members these names, and it equally function as a guise to the person's original names, and these bush names acts as a deep cover to their real names!
• DESCRIPTION OF SOME CULTS
In 1952, the Pirates Confraternity (also known as Seadogs) was formed at the University of Ibadan as a protest student group. The students' protests were against the coat and attitude of sigma. The Pirate, being the first known social club in any Nigerian University, saw their mode of dressing as typical example of colonial mentality and therefore adopted a motto; "sworn enemies of convention" a position which portrayed them as a radical students' group. The group also acted as a corrective organ of students' union. In this regard, being disciplinary in nature, they fought against all forms of injustice perpetuated either by the University authority or by the students' union government.
The "Pyrates Confraternity, with their clarion greetings of Ahoy, dominated the University scene for twenty years beforethe emergence of the Buccaneers Confraternity (also known as Sea lords) in 1972. It is confirmed that every prominent Nigerian student by then belonged to the Pirate Confraternity and their presence was felt in all the nooks and crannies of the society. They have the seven ladder blades of the Confraternity, which serve as their moral code. For example, "leap before yap" teaches members of the Confraternity the importance of thinking before action. There actions and mannerisms are all symbolical and imitation of the Pirates of theTreasure Island saga. To show the importance of the Pirates then, the University of Ibadan registered the Confraternity as a student Confraternity.
In 1960, a group known as the Eiye Fraternity emerged in the University of Ibadan and was subsequently registered by the authority as a cultural association. "Eiye" means bird in Yoruba language is otherwise known as "Air Lords" and adapted a motto - "No feather, No bird" and an insignia of ''No love, No peace." The members adopted the names of different kinds of birds.
The "Eiye" Confraternity was formed to preserve Yoruba culture as regards the traditional ways of healing and making things happen spiritually. It was the opinion of the founding founders of the Pirates Confraternity that being a graduate should not prevent a Yoruba man from "talking" to "ogere afiokoyeri" (Mother Earth) to spew forth water with fish swimming in it even in the desert or to talk to a dying child to come back to life by talking to it through its ears, or by performing the duty of a midwife where there is no maternity by "talking" to the recalcitrant baby to come out to the world and spare the life of its mother.
In the 60s and 70s, the "Pirate" and "Eiye" Confraternities were not noted for violence. They socialize freely with their fellow students. The members were intelligent and easy going. They were brilliant youths who professed their faith with extreme eagerness without trampling on the fundamental rights of their colleagues and members of the public. They never displayed the level of crudity and barbarity that has become the vogue among the cultists of the present day Nigeria. The history of the University of Ibadan, shows that the bulk of the first class and second class upper honours students are usually found among these groups of students. He claimed that the first seven founders of Buccaneers are all Ph.D holders. Research shows that the Confraternity has about twenty four Ph.D holders, two hundred and fifty Masters degree holders and about seven hundred and ninety First Degree holders with about 78 Lawyers.
The Pirates have also done well in academics. Apart from having the first Nobel Laurete from Africa, they produced distinguished academicians all around the globe. The two groups have their students Magazines - The Pirates published the "Scorpion Magazine", while the Buccaneers published the "Water Serpent Magazine." The University of Ibadan saw the Confraternities as part of the University tradition. For example, the University provided the Confraternities with trucks and some amount of money for their drinks. They actually made the "Rag Days" colourful.
In the Nigerian Universities of today and in other tertiary institutions, there is now a drastic change. This started in 1982 with the emergence of the Black Axe Movement, also known as the "Neo Black Movement" from the University of Benin.
• TYPES AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PRESENT DAY CULTS IN CAMPUSES
There are many types of cults in the Nigerian tertiary institutions as of today. From the University of Benin, there emerged in the 80's the Black Axe Movement. From the University of Ife, there emerged the Maphites who are Seafarers. From the University of Jos there emerged the Vikings which also started as Seafarers with no proper definition or character. The new cult groups in the tertiary institutions now include the Eiye Family, The Mafia, The Dragon, The Belf Boys, Red Fox, Klaman, Jurists and so on. There are about thirty-six different cultic groups in the Nigerian campuses as of recent. There are also female cult groups such as Daughters of Jezebel, Black Bra, Virgins and the Amazons. They are always in conflict with rival groups and they always strive to undo each other!
• SOME OTHER CHARACTERISTICS OF PRESENT DAY CULTS ARE:
» Illegal possession of firearms
» Drug abuse
» Violent crimes like armed robbery
» Illicit sexual escapades
» Killing of innocent students, academic and non-academic staff
» Arson, rape, extortion, threats, physical attacks, blackmail and other inhuman practices.
» Factional struggle and war of supremacy culminating in bloody clashes between the cult groups.
» Inter-cult clashes involving the Black Axe, Vickings and Buccaneers. The Pyrate Confraternity, Mafia and so on, with their disastrous consequences.
• WHY STUDENTS JOIN CULTS
Majority of the people who join new-age cults are between 18 - 24 years old at the time of first contact i.e. the immediate post-high school period. Though persons as young as 14 years have become victims because of various reasons which include:
1. Some young students in cults have experienced very unstable or non-existent family relationship, but they do not constitute the norm.
2. Many students have experienced varying degrees of communication problems with their parents.
3. A number of students have known the pains and deprivation of a single-parent home and perhaps for this
reason, some have strongly identified with older students who provide a parental image.
4. Some young people who have problem backgrounds and have experienced varying degrees of "failure." Those people that come from broken homes or have a history of emotional problems and unresolved personal conflicts.
5. More than anything else, the young people pursuing cults today are involved in search for identity and a quest for spiritual reality that provides clear-cut answers to questions.
6. The chief target of the cults are the children of affluence, these ones may be suffering from identity confusion or identity crisis and they want to be identified with re-known group and so, they are easily carried away by the activities of the cult.
• MENACE OF SECRET CULTS ON CAMPUSES
The institutions of higher learning which ought to be ideal places for the training of minds have become war zones where cult groups unleash their terror in the community.
Some of the menace of the secret cults in our institutions of higher learning are:
1. In 1997, at the University of Benin, the Secretary General of the Students' Union was killed by cult members when the students gathered to discuss on commercialization and rationalization of courses.
2. The Principal Assistant Registrar of the Delta State University - Peter Otobo was murdered in cold blood by cultists over issues burdening on school administration.
3. Mr. Ileoje, the Head of Department at the Institute of Technology (IMT), Enugu was shot in his office by a female cult member early in 1997.
4. Early in 1997, a final year Banking and Finance student at the Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti (OSUA) was killed for deflection. He was murdered in his hostel after renouncing cultism.
5. On July 10,1999, seven undergraduates of the Obafemi Awolowo University (O.A.U), Ife, were murdered in cold blood in their sleep by secret cult members from within and outside the campus.
6. At the University of Ibadan, the Chief Security Officer was brutally killed by cult members in the presence of his wife and children.
7. In the past few years, the University of Ilorin, Ogun State University, University of Calabar, Kwara State Polytechnic, Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education nationwide have witnessed serious conflagration as a result of cultism. The Degree of blood bath and level of sophistication is appalling and something must be done to eradicate it.
» Culled from The Internet
• HOW TO ERADICATE CULTISM IN THE CAMPUSES
Cultism is a social crime and the activities of cultists are sometimes laden with blood. Through the cultist's activities, many lives have been lost, many people maimed and many students have been rusticated. There is the urgent need to put an end to it. Some people have openly declared that cultism is as worst as armed robbery. So, in order to curb cultism, there should be:
1. A definite legislation that will give a death sentence to anybody found guilty of cult activities in the campuses.
2. Moral education should be made compulsory in the primary and secondary schools in the country.
3. Cultism and its consequences should be treated in the General Studies courses in all tertiary institutions in the Nigeria.
4. Parents should take time to understand their children, give enough time to listen to them at home and satisfy their emotional, psychological and physical needs.
5. Parents should watch the friends their wards are keeping in the institutions. Take time to watch any misbehaviour put up by their wards and correct immediately.
6. Aggressive evangelism of wagging war against cultism in all tertiary institutions should be allowed by all religious groups in the country.
• ARTICLE TAGS
- Cults in Nigeria.
- The Mau-Mau cult of East & Central Africa.
- Origin of cults in Nigerian campuses.
- The origin of secret cults in Nigeria.
- The Black Beret.
- History of cults in Nigeria
- History of cults in Nigerian campuses
- The Zangbeto cult.
- Types of cults in Nigerian Universities.
- Types of cults in African Universities.
- Secret Cults in West Africa.
- Secret Cults in Africa
The "PDF" file for this documentary will be uploaded soon on this website!
- Ucheonye Nzubechi
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