The study focuses on the Black Axe Confraternity cult’s activity on major Nigerian university campuses. As a result of constant fighting with competing cult organizations, the cult group causes a lack of peace and stability on campus.
The Black Axe Confraternity cult’s operations began at the University of Benin and extended to other campuses. Members of the Black Axe cult are also involved in armed robbery, drug trafficking, abduction, election manipulation, and other forms of political corruption. Every year, newly recruited members are inducted into the cult and swore an oath of secrecy. They swear loyalty to their leaders on that day.
The consequences of the Black Axe Confraternity cult include the disruption of the academic calendar, a lack of peace of mind, insecurity and uncertainty among students, the death and injury of many members, including innocent students, the destruction of university property, and the involvement of election violence and civil disobedience.
The solutions to the problems of the Black Axe Confraternity cult group on Nigerian university campuses include a public awareness campaign about the negative effects of cultism, moral reorientation, discouraging politicians from financially assisting cult members, merit-based admission, and expulsion of students involved in campus cult violence. Parents, community, government, and religious groups all have a bigger role to play in resolving the crisis afflicting Nigeria’s higher educational system.
INTRODUCTION : History Of Black Axe Confraternity – Neo Black Movement (NBM)
The Neo Black Movement of Africa (NBM), also known as the Black Axe Confraternity cult, was created in 1977 as a university campus cult organization at the University of Benin, Nigeria. It was founded by a group of nine undergraduate students led by Nicholas Idemudia (alias IbnGodidi the Saddest), who was concerned about the plight of the Black Man.
The Black Axe Confraternity arose in response to the Pyrates confraternity cult’s reported excesses. Taking the Black Panthers cult as inspiration, the Black Axe Confraternity cult employs Blackism as the cult group’s proper philosophy, which is combative and action-oriented. The Black Axe Confraternity checksmates the operations of the Pyrate Confraternity (one of its main rivals) on campus and helps to fortify the black man (Adewale, 2005).
Due to an escalation in violence between the Black Axe cult group and other competitor organizations on the campuses of southern Nigerian institutions, graduating members of the Black Axe Confraternity cult (popularly known as “the Lord”) removed the cult group’s activity from university campuses in 1994. The Lords (ex-cult members) eventually changed the name of the Black Axe Confraternity cult to Neo Black Movement of Africa, which arose and became prominent in numerous Nigerian institutions in the late 1980s (Ajayi, 2010).
The Black Axe Confraternity’s objectives include engaging in research on traditional African religions, directing all attentions towards Black Realism and Determinism, as well as stopping bad images of Black populations, directing people discipline of the mind and body, and public action through a regular magazine of the cult group named Uhuru (Ajayi, 2010).
The Black Axe Confraternity was founded on the campuses of the University of Benin over two decades ago. They were accused of masterminding violent crises that erupted at the University of Benin and other universities in southern Nigeria, as well as kidnapping, drug trafficking, hired killing, election rigging, and other political aggressiveness in Edo and other south-south and south-eastern Nigerian states (Adewale, 2005).
BLACK AXE CONFRATERNITY CULT TREND – Neo Black Movement (NBM)
According to several Nigerian press accounts, the Black Axe Cult gang is responsible for a spate of shootings and killings on and around university campuses. The murder of students at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in 1999 prompted former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to give the university administration a six-month deadline to find a permanent solution to the problem of cult organizations. For many years, the Black Axe has been linked with horrible inter-confraternity strife in several colleges (Fasanmi, 2006). According to Offiong (2003), the majority of Black Axe Confraternity cult adherents were from Southern Nigeria’s two prominent tribes, Yoruba and Igbo. Apart from its origin, the University of Benin, the Black Axe Confraternity cult occupied and became active other universities such as Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, and University of Nigeria Nsukka, among others.
The Black Axe cult group’s insignia (Figure 2a) is an upright axe with a large blade attached to a short handle, and its motto is “Aye! Axemen.” The cult group’s declared policy is to engage in violent conflict. Each individual member of the cult group is referred to as the “Axe-neb” or the “butcher,” and each cult member’s objective is to cause violence on campus.
The Black Axe confraternity cult changed names many times, first to Black Baraccansto Brotherhood of the Baraccans, then to Black Axe confraternity, and finally to Neo Black Movement of Africa (NBM) (Fasanmi, 2006).
The axe has become the new emblem of Africa’s Neo Black Movement. Cult members wear white shirts, black pants, a yellow tie, and a headgear with a yellow ribbon. White represents harmony and purity of the body and mind; black represents sympathy with the black race and their self-esteem; and yellow represents members’ intelligence (Ibeh, 2005).
CEREMONY OF INITIATION : Black Axe Confraternity – Neo Black Movement (NBM)
The initiation ritual, dubbed “Blending” by cult members, took conducted outside the campuses of the institutions seized by the Black Axe Confraternity cult. The gathering of freshly recruited soldiers for the initiation process is known as “Jolly or Jollification.” This is done so that undergraduate students might become acquainted with the cult’s activities. According to Offiong (2003), the original goal of the Black Axe cult organization was to promote Blackman awareness, struggle for their emancipation against neocolonialism, and protect their human dignity. These early Black Axe cult members’ goals have devolved into selfish and narcissistic behavior that is undeniably and savagely aggressive. He maintains that the cult’s formal policy has been violence. During the initiation rites, newly recruited members are subjected to arduous tasks such as bodily activity and stamina tests under the guise of the “FM or Football Match” for each cult member. This includes whipping cult members, chopping off parts of their bodies, consuming human blood and other concoctions, and paying homage to the deities sanctified by the organization. During the ceremony, members go around the constructed campfire in the bush multiple times, uttering incantations and other invocations known only to cult members. The majority of their initiation ceremonies took held at night and in an unnoticed location (Jekayinkfa, 2008).
Oath of Confidentiality
The freshly recruited cult members sign an oath of secrecy that is obligatory on all members. They pledged themselves that they would never expose their secret to non-members, that they would never violate the cult organizations’ rules and regulations, and that they would obey the cult leaders completely. This is extremely important to cult members and their actions (Ogidefa, 2008).
Violent Activites Of Black Axe Confraternity – Neo Black Movement (NBM)
The Black Axe Confraternity and other college cult organizations are heavily active in political misbehavior and civil disobedience. Nigerian society was subjected to massive electoral manipulation, hooliganism, and viciousness. The development of democracy in Nigeria brought a comparable high degree of violence between politicians at the municipal, state, and federal levels. A few of these politicians have surrounded themselves with an unlawful gang of criminals and dishonest law enforcement officials who are prepared to do whatever they want for money. The Nigerian police and other security agencies have a terrible image as one of the government groups that is particularly corrupt and controlled by untrustworthy personnel who use their positions to illegally support some political people in the country. Furthermore, a tiny number of Nigerian politicians and members of a student cult have been linked to violent acts in Nigeria. For more than two decades, these cult members have prospered thanks to the support of powerful politicians in Nigeria, mostly state governors and senators, who utilize them as a political instrument to settle political scores (Omoegun and Akanle, 2007).
The federal ministry of education, in collaboration with the National University Commission (NUC), stated that cult-related violence has increased at numerous Nigerian universities. The majority of this violence occurred on campus between the Black Axe Confraternity cult and other competing cult organizations (Ogunbameru, ’97). The amount of violence in major southern Nigerian institutions has been reported in the following Nigerian newspapers:
On May 7, 2009, the DailyTrust newspaper reported a violent battle between members of the Black Axe Confraternity and members of the Vikings cult at the University of Abuja, which resulted in the deaths and injuries of numerous students. On March 15, 2010, This Day newspaper reported a brutal confrontation between the Black Axe cults and the Markvites cult, which resulted in the deaths of nine cult members. Similarly, on October 22nd of the same year, the Vanguard Newspaper reported that a deadly clash erupted between the Black Axe cult and the Maphites confraternity cult at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, in which seven cult members were killed and several others, including innocent students, were injured.
Similarly, on October 27, 2011, The Leadership newspaper reported on the worrying pace of the Black Axe Confraternity cult’s operations at Delta State University. As a result, the fight between the Black Axe Confraternity and the other rival cult erupts virtually every day at the institution. For example, on August 11, 2011, the Vanguard Newspaper reported that a cult group conflict with the Mafia cult group resulted in the killing of some university students (Ogunsanya, 2012).
Furthermore, violent clashes have occurred on several occasions between the Black Axe Confraternity cult and its main rival cult group, the Eiye Confraternity cult group. For example, on March 12, 2009, This Day newspaper reported that a group of cultists suspected to be members of the Black Axe cult kidnapped the son of the Ovia local government council in Edo state. The youngster was released in return for enormous quantities of money, while the Vanguard newspaper reported on May 26, 2011, that eighteen people were slain in cult-related violence at the University of Benin between the Black Axe cult and the Eiye Confraternity cult. Similarly, on August 7, 2012, around 5:00 p.m., a newspaper stated that a battle arose between members of the Black Axe cult and those of the Vikings Confraternity cult at Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, where two cult members were slain in cold blood (Opaluwah, 2009).
Similarly, on 7th July 2011, the Daily Trust newspaper reported that thirteen students were injured as a result of a rival cult conflict between the Black Axe cult and the Aiye Confraternity at Ekiti State University. Similarly, on 19th March 2012, the Vanguard newspaper reported a bloody cult war between the Black Axe cult and the Aiye Confraternity at Ijanikin and Ikorodu area of Lagos State (Ogunbameru, 2004). On the same day, the Vanguard newspaper reported that at least twenty persons, including cult members, had been killed in various districts of Benin City as a result of the ongoing cult battle between the Black Axe cult and the Aiye Confraternity.
The Effects Of Black Axe Confraternity On The University Educational System :
The actions of the Black Axe Confraternity cult had a significant impact on Nigeria’s university educational system. Cult violence has severely impacted several Nigerian colleges, particularly those in the south. Some of the consequences are as follows:
Academic calendar disruption: The academic calendar of the country’s university was disrupted due to the ongoing violence between the Black Axe cult and other competing cult organizations on and off campus. These violent acts have had a significant impact on the development of higher education in the nation. Academic activities were frequently halted or suspended, and as a result, all types of pupils were affected. As a result, the university administration extends the academic calendar by several months or even a year. The naive pupils are frustrated as a result of this.
Life threatening condition: Violent clashes on campus between the Black Axe Confraternity cult and other cult organizations result in the loss of lives and university property worth millions of Naira (Nigerian currency). Many cult members were slaughtered, including innocent pupils. The disagreement goes unreported, which might evolve to a full-fledged fight that spreads outside the school. Cult members, wherever they may be, have no peace of mind and live in fear and uncertainty. They may be assaulted at any time, at any moment, and at any location. This ailment made it difficult for them to concentrate on their schoolwork.
Living in bondage: Due to a lack of freedom, the majority of cult members live in bondage. They have already committed their rights to the cult group by swearing an oath of secrecy during their initiation procedures. They are devoted to the cult leaders. This emphasized that cult members have no control over their life; they are always under the direction of their cult authority, who tells them what to do next. Members who attempted to disobey their leaders would face the repercussions. The education of the cult member is jeopardized since they do not attend courses and tests, resulting in full failure and departure from the university.
Expulsion of Students: The majority of cult members were expelled from university owing to low performance and examination malpractice. Those that were dismissed automatically dropped out. They are likely to join a group of criminals such as armed robbers, kidnappers, or even hired murderers in order to make a livelihood. Some of them respond by hitting teachers who fail them in exams or students who reveal their malpractice or illegal activities. They carry out their objective using sophisticated weaponry such as rifles, pistols, axes, machetes, or powerful acids.
Solutions To The Problem Of Black Axe Confraternity Activities On University Territories
To successfully combat the problem of campus cults, all educational agencies must provide comprehensive education on the repercussions of cultism. As a result, religious institutions such as mosques and churches, as well as parents, schools, administrators, the government, and society in general, must work together to combat cultism in Nigerian universities.
If parents are members of communal cults, they should stop becoming members and discourage their children from becoming members as well. Similarly, parents should set a positive example by instilling in their children a fear of God and moral discipline. Nonetheless, parents should engage in providing therapy for their children as soon as possible, and find out with whom they are socializing. What were their academic and social activities on campus like?
Admission to the institution should be based on intellectual and moral quality. Although adequate care must be initiated to address the pupils’ wellbeing and academic demands. Similarly, the university administration must provide a comprehensive orientation for all newly accepted students, highlighting the detrimental impacts of cultism on campus. The university administration should now guarantee that any personnel discovered engaging in cultism or supporting cult members in any manner is dealt with appropriately. To prevent cultism on university campuses, university security should be adequately paid, educated, and equipped.
The government has a critical role to play in combating cultism on university campuses. Political leaders should lead by example so that their followers will follow suit. They must learn to curb their thirst for monetary gain and prioritize Nigeria’s interests over their own. Similarly, the government should avoid figurative measures in favor of developing actual policies to reduce the country’s unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, and corruption. Furthermore, the government should aggressively execute Decree 47 of 1989 to combat the threat of college cultism.
The religious organization also plays a significant role, particularly in the struggle against crime and occultism. Moral reorientation and campus cultism preaching should be forcefully launched and implemented on all university campuses. Similarly, society is a location where children are reared at home, educated in schools, and eventually culminate in a sophisticated society. Instead of enjoying money, society plays a major role in crime reduction by putting self-esteem and veneration on hard work, dependability, and moral behaviour. Similarly, political leaders must constantly fear God, especially while acquiring money and material goods at the expense of the populace.
Cultism is a major societal scourge that has engulfed Nigeria’s academic institutions of higher learning. Violent clashes between the Black Axe cult group and other competing cult members made it extremely difficult to eradicate cultism in society. Nonetheless, actions may be taken to significantly reduce the negative consequences of cults in Nigerian colleges and society in general.
The elimination of the campus Black Axe Confraternity cult and its competitor cult groups on university campuses necessitates the engagement of the general people and every facet of Nigerian society’s social structure. In order to find long-term solutions to the problem, the strategy of social control must be reinforced in the family, school, religious organizations, government, and society.
Leave a Reply