Cultism is one menace that has refused to go away in Nigeria despite efforts by the government and other concerned bodies. Go to any university, polytechnic, college of education, and even secondary school and you will see cult groups all over the campuses.
A cult group is a social group that is defined by its unique religious, spiritual, and philosophical beliefs as well as a common interest and goals among members. A cult can also be a dangerous and deadly group that believes in secret, esoteric, mystic, and violent practices.
Cultism is common among youths which is why it is mostly found in schools and campuses. Here is all you need to know about cult groups in Nigeria, their symbols, colours, and slogans.
10 most popular cult groups in Nigeria
1. Pyrate Confraternity
Colours: Yellow, red, and black.
This is the oldest cult group in Nigeria. Founded in 1952 by Nobel Prize-winning author Wole Soyinka and his friends, Aig-Imoukhuede, Pius Olegbe, Ralph Opara, Nat Oyelola, and Olumuyiwa Awe, from the University of Ibadan, the group’s major objectives were to abolish convention, revive the age of chivalry and elitism. The Sea Dogs, as the group was later called, disbanded in the late 1960s to form a new community known as Secret Cults. Soyinka has already denounced today’s groups as vile and evil. However, he is still a member of the Pyrate Confraternity which is now dedicated to humanitarian and charitable endeavours.
The cult’s symbol comprised a skull, two cross-bones, and an anchor. Their slangs are:
- No Friend, No Foe
- Absolute no lagging
- Odas is Odas.
Today, the group no longer recruits students, having distanced itself from violence.
2. Buccaneers Confraternity
Colours: White, black and yellow
The Buccaneers Confraternity was formed in 1972 after Bolaji Carew led a group that was expelled from Pyrate Confraternity. The group also called National Associations of Sea Lords became even more powerful than the mother cult. The Buccaneers are known for their high academic and intellectual standards which are major requirements before joining the group. However, most students join for fear of being harmed by rival cults like the Black Axe and Pyrate Confraternity. The group’s symbol resembles the seadogs. Members call themselves Fine boys, Ban Boys, Alora, Bucketmen, Lords, etc. The group’s slangs are:
- No Price, No Pay.
- No brothers in the wood.
- No laughing on board.
- Blood for blood.
- Let the devil that leads you guide you.
3. Black Axe Confraternity
Whoever hears of the Black Axe Confraternity will most likely quake in his or her boots. This is because the cult group is widely feared in Nigeria. Founded in 1976 by some students from the University of Benin, the group’s original objective was to fight oppression against Blackman (students) in universities. The group is also known for contributing to the fight against apartheid in South Africa which is why many believe the pioneer members were runaways from the Neo-black Movement of Africa (an organization in South Africa). The Black Axe symbol is the axe. Members call themselves Aye, Axe-men, Seven (7), or Amigos, and their slangs are:
- 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 complaining or Abeyance.
- He who price must pay.
4. Supreme Vikings Confraternity
Colours: Black and red
This group was formed in 1982 by some former members of the Buccaneers from the University of Port Harcourt. The Supreme Vikings Confraternity was originally called De Norsemen Club of Nigeria. The group’s symbol is SVC (two crossed axes and a boat). Members call themselves Aro-mates, Adventurers, or Vultures. Their slangs are:
- Blood on the high sea.
- Songs of Hojas.
- Never hang a leg.
- Even in the face of death.
5. Supreme Eiye Confraternity or Air Lords
In 1963, some University of Ibadan students founded Supreme Eiye Confraternity also called Air Lords or HABA-KRIER. The main objective of the group was to positively impact its members’ social-political, cultural, physical, and mental development. Members were generally indifferent to other cult groups. The symbol is a landing eagle and members call themselves Fliers, Airforce, Airlords, etc. Their slangs are:
- No friend, no foe.
6. Mafia Confraternity
Also known as the Family Fraternity or Cosanosyra Mafia Confraternity, the Mafia Confraternity or Ciao-Sons was formed in 1978 at the University of Ilorin in Kwara State. However, the group formally began operating in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in 1980. The group’s ideologies were inspired by the Italian and American mafia. Members who call themselves, Maf or Mafians, attend secret parties, gamble, date girls, keep secrets, and believe in revenge against oppression. They call non-members bastards. Their slangs are:
- It is better for a b*astard to chance/provoke a member than a numbered-b*astard (members of other cults).
- Retaliation after oppression.
- Secrecy is where our power lies.
7. Black Bra Confraternity
The Black Bra Confraternity is also called the Neo Black Queen of Africa. The group is one of the oldest female cult groups in Nigeria. Black Bra encouraged development for women of colour, and members wear black from head to toe. The group’s symbol is a black bra.
8. Daughters of Jezebel
Daughters of Jezebel are one of the most popular female cult groups in Nigeria. Members communicate in coded languages. As a result, little is known about the group as their activities are top secret.
9. Deby Na debt
Colour: Black and white
Deby Na debt is also called Eternal Fraternity Order of Legion Consortium. The group borrowed their ideas from a cult in California, USA where members call themselves the Klansmen. Members worship a demon called Ogor and swear an oath to prove their loyalty. They also believe that they are better than other cult groups in Nigeria. Their symbol is a human skull and slangs are:
- The affairs of a klansman before any other thing in life.
- What concerns a klansman concern all klansmen.
- The status of other cult members is not considered or relevant.
- Oath of secrecy abides by all members.
- Peaceful man in a deadly mood, disagree to agree.
10. Kegite club
Many will argue that the Kegite Club is not a cult. Anyway, it’s a sociocultural group that promotes unity in diversity and the regeneration of the mind, body and soul after a stressful day. This is why members of the group drink a lot, especially palm wine. Members stay true to themselves and believe everybody is equal. The group is particularly harmless and don’t believe in any form of negativity. Their symbol is a green palm tree and their motto is “the basis of Africa unity and world peace is palmwine.”
From what has been written above, it is obvious that most of these cult groups were founded with the best of intentions. Sadly, that is not the case today as many recorded killings, maimings and destructions have been linked to these groups. They have also become weapons in the hands of heartless and desperate politicians who use members of these cult groups to destroy their opponents. No wonder Soyinka’s Pyrates have decided not to recruit any more youths but focus solely on humanitarian services.