AFRICA/NIGERIA - New measures against criminal sects that threaten Ogun State in the south-west of the country

Thursday, 21 September 2023 criminality   sectaniarism  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - The government of Ogun State, in the south-west of Nigeria, will set up a special court to judge cases related to so-called confraternities or sects. A joint anti-cult security task force will also be set up, comprising all major security agencies, with a mandate to rid the state of the menace of “cultism”. These measures were taken after at least 20 people were killed in Sagamu on Sunday September 17 during a violent clash between two sects: the Eiye and Aye Confraternity groups.
The State also proposes an amnesty program for potential "cultists" who wish to hand over their weapons. Announcing the measures, the state governor stressed that the new approach to security would be implemented in collaboration with traditional institutions, religious and community leaders, youth groups and other stakeholders.
The confraternities or sects born in academic circles, initially with the aim of socially elevating their followers, have transformed into criminal organizations, which also use forms linked to traditional or "magical" cults to keep their followers together. According to Ike Onyechere of Exam Ethics Marshall International, between 1996 and 2019, as many as 10,000 people were killed in cult-related violence across the country. More and more cult groups are appearing and most, if not all, of them are immersed in witchcraft and fetishism. The phenomenon is fueled by corrupt politicians who use followers of these sects to intimidate their opponents and manipulate elections. The ten main confraternities (or “cults”) in Nigeria are: Pyrate Confraternity; Buccaneers Confraternity; Black Ax Confraternity;. Supreme Vikings Confraternity; Supreme Eiye Confraternity (Air Lords); Mafia Confraternity; Black Bra Confraternity; Daughters of Jezebel; Deby Na debt; Kegite club. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 21/9/2023)