The ”Neo Black Movement of Africa” (NBM) is a Nigerian confraternity, also known as secret cult. It was founded at the University of Benin (in the confraternity’s terminology the “Futa Jallon Temple”) in 1977. NBM is identical with the “Black Axe” campus cult. However, NBM deny this and any campus activity in public. The group is sometimes also referred to as A(i)ye confraternity. The group is involved in every crime under the sun and is anti-democratic to the core ( https://najuju.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/corruption-cultists-godfatherism-the-role-of-black-axe-aka-neo-black-movement-in-election-rigging-democracy-in-nigeria/ )
History of NBM
The confraternity was founded in the 1977/78 session at the University of Benin mainly as a reaction to perceived excesses by the Pyrates confraternity. The founders of NBM, under the lead of Nicholas Idemudia aka Ibn Godidi the Saddest, consisted of students without previous affiliation, members of the Palmwine Drinkards Club and even members of the Pyrates. One of the initial goals was to set up a new campus magazine. The originally proposed name, “Brotherhood of the Baraccans”, was dropped in the founding meeting in favor of the name “Black Axe Movement”, which was later changed to “Neo Black Movement of Africa”. During this meeting the aim of the confraternity was discussed and, taking the Black Panthers as a point of reference, it was decided that blackism should be the ideology of the confraternity. In the words of Nicholas Idemudia, the founders “wanted an organization that would be as militant and action-oriented as the Black Panthers. […] Our organization would therefore serve a two-pronged purpose. On campus it would keep the Pyrates in check.[…] Outside the campus it would be involved in the defense and protection of the black man. Over time it was hoped that the outside campus activities would become the main focus of the organization.”
In its own words, NBM is today a “registered non-partisan, non-religious and non-tribal organization that sincerely seek to revive, retain and modify where necessary those aspects of African culture that would provide vehicles of progress for Africa and her peoples.” However, this contradicts all other sources that can be found about NBM and its actual activities. The current worldwide head of NBM is Mr. Augustus Bemigho-Eyeoyibo.
Internal organization of NBM: the public face and the campus cult
The confraternity is hierarchically organized and has a constitution and a Manual of Procedure (https://najuju.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/constitution-and-disciplinary-standards-of-nbm/). The organization has its headquarter in Benin City as well as a World Secretariat in Lagos and is divided into Temples, Zones and Forums around the world (a list is here: https://najuju.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/a-neo-black-movement-dictionary/), each of which has a number of officers with specific duties and functions. The Zones were apparently created to “put a check on the notoriety of Black Axe” (meaning the incessant cult clashes by campus members) and to re-brand the movement. The Manual of Procedure states that the Zone should organize and monitor the Temple(s) and particularly the initiations that take place at these. NBM basically consists of two bodies: that of zones and that of temples, with the temples being seen as the source of all problems within the confraternity.
In public NBM state that they are not identical with Black Axe and are not present at campuses. They generally deny being a secret cult after Bayelsa State listed NBM in the 2012 secret cult prohibition bill. NBM also falls under the cult prohibition laws in several other Nigerian states, including Rivers State and Ekiti State. NBM also is registered as a “corporate body” (whatever that means) and they like to point this out when insisting on being a legitimate “movement” or NGO (https://bemigho147watch.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/is-neo-black-movement-registered-with-coperate-affairs-as-non-governmental-organisation/). The Nigerian media and public use “NBM” and “Black Axe” synonymously without exception. A 2012 NBM convention communiqué restated the disengagement from tertiary schools since 1994. In reality this was never the case though, and instead there is now even evidence of expansion into secondary schools. NBM is currently present at about 100 tertiary institutions around Nigeria.
Activities of NBM
The more harmless activities of NBM comprise numerous meetings, regional forums, national summits, monthly zonal meetings, zonal picnics, “black boogie” parties and so on. The principal content of all meetings are administrative and financial issues within the confraternity, supplemented with sorry tales of violence, theft, rape and so on (https://bemigho147watch.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/international-index-of-nbm-wahala-part-1/). The only public activities consist of a few mendacious statements on various issues.
Contradictions, crimes, cult wars and denial
As Ogaga Ifowodo puts it, “the hierarchical structure betrays the tenets of freedom and democracy that their respective creeds trumpet. Secondly, there is the tendency I can only describe as unbridled machismo, a vaunted masculinity that undergirds the exclusion of female students from membership, a practice at variance with the non-discriminatory, radical egalitarian humanism proclaimed by their manifestoes.” Offiong claims that the group’s initial goal of promoting black consciousness and fighting for the dignity of Africans and their freedom from Neo-colonialism has deteriorated into self-serving behavior that is “notoriously and brutally violent”. He maintains that violence has in fact become the cult’s official policy. This sums up at least the campus part of things quite well.
The ongoing brutal cult wars in Nigeria between NBM and other cults, as well as other crimes committed by members and violence within the cult, are a frequent topic of discussion in NBM. However, the approach to campus violence by the zones and the leadership is very contradictory (https://najuju.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/dealing-with-cult-wars-lies-and-denial/ https://najuju.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/nbm-lies-lies-lies-about-killing-killing-killing/ ).
In his 2012 election campaign for the position of the worldwide head of NBM, Augustus Bemigho-Eyeoyibo stated the following: “That campus violence is the main headache of the movement is an understatement; it is the cankerworm that is eating deep and destroying this great movement and this is one of the highpoints my administration will take very seriously [….] With this structure in place ”we shall through public enlightenment, seminars, campaigns and workshops sensitize ayes as to why violence, robbery, rape, murder, thuggery should be totally eradicated.” […] Above all my administration will take up a project that will be public oriented and this will be in collaboration with the government of Nigeria. This will go a long way in laundering our already battered image.”
Another victim of a senseless cult clash
This discussion has been going on for many years. After the Temples had been “abolished” already in 1998 (but only by removing the word from NBM’s constitution), the question was discussed once again in 2003 when one member raised the question whether Temples should be abolished: “Do Temples as they are now constituted serve any meaningful purpose for NBM? One school of thought believe Temples should be abolished as they only end up tarnishing the already battered image of the movement and serving as a production line of thugs, obtainers, hooligans and other undesirable elements. Another school of thought believes Ayes should forever remain rugged, and supremacy can only be manifest through the actions of Ayes in the Temples.” The idea of getting rid of Temples did find some – but not very fervent – support and nothing tangible has been done since. Consequently, the complaints about the never-ending violence continue. In 2012, Augustus Bemigho-Eyeoyibo stated with a “very heavy heart and disbelief the ”spate of violence and bloodbath” that is associated with our great movement in most part of the country especially the mid-western region which is totally out of order. […] The national body of this great movement is working tirelessly in conjunction with the zonal authorities and the committee set up to find lasting solutions to these problems on our campuses that have spread into the towns through the neighborhood watches. We have relative peace now in Benin and Ekpoma that could be termed as fragile that can erupt at any time. I want to warn very sternly that any temple axeman or lord found to be involved in any such violent act that is inimical and not in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, such a person will be de-axed from the movement and thereafter handed over to appropriate authorities for prosecution.” However, up to present Temple Ayes continue to post their ”war scores” in secret discussion forums and on Facebook under the eyes of the leadership without any action being taken by NBM, apart from lying, denying, and bribing them out of prison if they are important enough (see below).
“The Axe did this”
in 2014 alone, around 100 lives were lost in cult clashes involving NBM (https://najuju.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/nbm-the-2014-body-count/).
Meanwhile, the confraternity has not only created zones around the world but has also exported its crimes abroad. In the past years numerous members of NBM were arrested in Italy for offences such as smuggling of drugs, extortion, prostitution, passport falsification, cloning of credit cards, slavery and murder. The cult wars have been exported abroad as well. NBM and other Nigerian confraternities are deeply involved in drugs smuggling as well as human trafficking and forced prostitution in Europe, forming international criminal networks and cooperating with the local mafia. They are referred to as an international criminal organization and Nigerian Mafia by the Italian media.
A sick interpretation of “fighting for freedom”…
NBM and politics
NBM and similar groups are deeply involved in political malpractice. “Nigerians have experienced first-hand massive election rigging, hooliganism and violence. The introduction of democracy in Nigeria has also produced the highest wave of violence amongst Nigerian politicians at local, state and federal level. Few of these politicians have surrounded themselves with criminal gangs and for-hire law enforcement agents willing to carry out their commands. The Nigerian police and other law enforcement agencies have earned a bad reputation as agencies that are highly shady and managed by dishonest superiors who would use their positions to illegal aid the advancement of some of these politicians. These politicians have taken laws into their hands and they are responsible for the mindless orgies of killings, human rights abuses, armed robbery, execution, illegal detention, unlawful arrest, rape, extortions and terrorist activities. Furthermore, few Nigerian politicians and student fraternities popularly known as “Student Cults” have together been linked to the violence activities in Nigeria. For decades, these student fraternity groups have flourished because influential Nigerian political figures particularly senators and state governors are using them as a political instrument to settle political scores.”
In an open letter to governor Adams Oshiomhole a citizen of Edo State expressed concern about the ”government sponsoring violent cult groups” and about their members getting jobs in the state without having the necessary qualifications. In fact, Benin Zone of NBM has received many millions of Naira and dozens of government jobs from the Edo State governors over the years. Cult groups such as NBM are indeed paid to “ensure the victory” (aka rig the elections, intimidate or kill opponents etc.) of certain candidates, who are often cultists themselves (https://najuju.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/corruption-cultists-godfatherism-the-role-of-black-axe-aka-neo-black-movement-in-election-rigging-democracy-in-nigeria/).
Governor Oshiomhole as well as the commissioner of police, the civil defense and security corps and other Edo State institutions sent representatives to a meeting of various cult groups, including NBM, in October 2013. In this meeting they claimed to unite in order to fight armed robbers, kidnappers and perpetrators of other violent crimes (https://najuju.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/nigeria-edo-north-rainbow-coalition-dissolved-following-infiltration-by-politicians/). The obvious political support for these groups that are not only illegal in Edo State but also known to be responsible for much of the crime caused outrage by the public. Members of NBM have not only infiltrated the government (https://truth147.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/illegal-politicians-cultists-in-power/) but all other spheres of power in Nigeria, so that members can pursue their crimes in impunity.
The Black Axe Cult is sponsored by politicians
Some Nigerian states make half-hearted efforts to eradicate cultism, and members of NBM are frequently arrested. These attempts are usually thwarted though and there are several instances in which alleged murderers were released “under mysterious circumstances”, namely after the intervention of influential members of NBM. Their influence became particularly apparent after there was seemingly a drastic change and many high-ranking cultists were finally arrested in Edo State in May 2015, including several politicians. However, no trial ever took place. They were freed in silence and secrecy after an “agreement” was made behind the scenes. Even the charges of cultism were dropped, although they had admitted to being members of NBM, an offense punishable with up to 20 years in Edo State (https://najuju.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/bribery-scandal-arrested-benin-cultists-set-free/). Edo State’s government has truly been hijacked by cultists.
The arrests of high-ranking members was a wake-up call though and has sent shock waves through NBM. Ever since, they have embarked on yet another image laundry campaign which consists of suspending disobedient temples, de-axing all-too-obvious murderers among the temple ayes, and shutting down Facebook groups they feel “tarnish the image” of NBM. After all, those at the top have a lot to lose – they certainly don’t want to give up their direct access to government money and power, but with Nigeria being the corrupt mess it is, there is no real danger of that happening regardless of what they do or don’t do anyway. The self-proclaimed “great movement” will continue to pursue its anti-democratic, corrupt and deeply criminal activities in impunity.
Contents of the “Egedezone” secret NBM forum
Contents of the “NBMarena” secret NBM forum
And everything else quoted on this blog