Over the years uncounted students have been killed in the mad cult wars between rival confraternity groups at Nigerian campuses. The Neo Black Movement of Africa aka Black Axe is one of the most notorious cults in this respect. But how does NBM react to these incidents? Is anything done to stop the killing?
As usual, there are two sides to this story: the secret and the public one. Let’s first have a look at what’s going on in an axemen-only forum.
Here an axeman was injured in a conflict with the Buccaneers. The reaction: “kill Buccaneers”.
Here the comments about a cult war in Sptember 2013. They are updating their fellow axeman on the present “war scores”.
This following discussion thread is dedicated to the question whether the “movement” can survive without H.I.T. (=cult wars). An interesting question if one considers what NBM is officially about…. To summarize: cult wars are seen as a necessary reaction to provocations by rival cults. Also interesting is how they desperately try to interpret cult wars as “fighting against oppression” which is one of the official goals of NBM. What is most shocking though is how normal it is to them that students go around killing each other.
Once they learnt that this particular forum had been infiltrated, we see this below as a reaction. It translates as: “keep killing people but don’t post it here so it doesn’t appear in public”.
There are some appeals by the National Head Augustus Bemigho-Eyeoyibo to stop the wars as can be seen below. The main concern seems to be how the incidents “damage the image” of NBM. Also note that the National Head denies in public that NBM is present at campuses (Temples) and is involved in cult wars (see below).
Now to the reaction in public. In a newspaper article about a cult war the National Head stated:
We are registered by law. We are not the Black Axe confraternity, neither are we a secret cult. Our registered trustees are made up of prominent law abiding citizens of Nigeria. We cannot be involved in criminal activities or murder for that matter under any guise.
Every word in this statement is a lie!
One of the founders of NBM, Nicholas Idemudia, commented on an open letter on Facebook. The comment is interesting for various reasons and clearly shows NBM’s deeply mendacious approach to campus violence. The letter writer appeals to the cults to stop the wars in Benin City. The founder doesn’t out himself as who he is but rants about the psychopaths and criminals (who happen to be mostly members of the NBM he founded). And he calls for Marvel Akpoyibo to be put in charge of a special squad to deal with the miscreants. Now who would have guessed it: Marvel Akpoyibo is also one of the founders of NBM! Of course it would be in NBM’s interest to have him in charge of such a special squad as their own miscreants could be spared prosecution easier!
Is anything actually done against the killing by NBM? The answer is: NO. Every now and then there is a discussion about abolishing the Temples, but this has never found much support. Then there are frequent calls for more “orientation” of Temple Ayes which is thought to stop the killing. However it’s questionable how being indoctrinated with the hollow phrases that are the orientation of NBM would have this effect. Since 2012 there has been talk about a Temple summit and reorganisation of Temples, but no such thing has taken place. The killers are not even removed from the “movement” even though they are known and post their war scores under the eyes of the leadership. Instead, they are bribed out of prison by influential members of NBM when they get arrested.
Judging by the way NBM deals with this issue it can be suspected that it’s in NBM’s interest to have such criminals in the “movement”. It is well known that axemen have been used as thugs in political campaigns. Since many axemen are politicians it is most likely convenient for them to have a number of criminals handy for their selfish purposes.