Clashes, stabbings, shootings and killings as cultism escalates in Lagos

– Jibowu,  Onipanu,  Mushin,  Bariga,  Yaba,  Satellite Town,  Ojota worst hit areas

+ Cult groups and their initiation rituals

Cultism, the age long ill that has bedevilled young Nigerians, with many losing their lives to cult clashes, has reared its ugly head again, this time on the streets.

What was confined to the four walls of the university campus has spilled on to the streets, turning it into battlefields and claiming not only gang members but also innocent citizens caught in the crossfire.

Among the worst hit areas which have witnessed an upsurge in cultist activities in Lagos, according to ENCOMIUM Weekly checks, are Satellite Town, Shomolu, Bariga, Mushin, Jibowu, Onipanu, Fadeyi,

Ketu, Ojota, and Lagos Island.

ENCOMIUM Weekly chronicles cultist activities in the recent weeks as the ill escalates.


Police arrest, parade suspected cultists who burnt 65-year-old to death

The police on Monday, January 25, 2016, paraded eight suspected cultists who had been terrorizing the residents of Bariga, Lagos and its environs for days.

The gang was reported to have burnt a house and set a 65-year-old woman, Adejoke Adefuye, ablaze in a cult clash on Saturday, January 23, in the area. The cultists, according to reports, vandalized some vehicles parked along the road in the area, while two members of the Aiye Confraternity known as Bobo and Abayomi Olubola died in the fracas.

Among those arrested and paraded was the suspected leader of the gang, Tanimola Ogbere, nicknamed ‘Who Knows Tomorrow’.


Suspected cultists stab 21-year-old footballer to death

The light of 21-year-old Samuel Owawu was dimmed on Friday, January 15, when two suspected cultists reportedly stabbed him to death in the Ifako area of Lagos.

The deceased, a goalkeeper with Ifako United FC, was killed by Adebayo Ahmed and Ajose Isa, suspected cultists, according to his friend, Salami Jimoh.


Police nab four suspected teenage cultists

In a worrying tale, four suspected teenage cultists, ages 16-19, were paraded by the Lagos Police Command on Wednesday, January 6.

The suspects, Ibrahim Oguntoyinbo (18), Samuel Madeko (19), Babajide Akiola (16) and Bright Oriaku (19) were arrested in December 2015, for cultism and armed robbery in Satellite Town, Lagos.

According to the suspects, they were forcibly initiated into the Black Axe Confraternity.


Scores left homeless as rival cult groups clash in Yaba

No fewer than 20 persons were rendered homeless after suspected cult groups clashed in Akoka, Yaba, Lagos and set fire to their houses.

It was learnt that rival cultists had clashed on Ibukunolu Street on Tuesday, December 29, at about 7pm and had stabbed to death a 17-year-old student, identified only as Rilwan.


Six killed in bloody cultists clash

Residents of Odunfa Street, Ebute Meta, Lagos, were thrown into panic and denied their peace on Monday, December 7, 2015 night as suspected cultists engaged in bloody clash which led to the death of six persons. The armed hoodlums were at loggerheads over which of the cult groups will collect Tax from motor parks in the area.

Five persons were arrested, but the leader of one of the gangs identified as ‘Sunday Terror’ escaped through the waterways.


Three killed in rival cults clash

The streets of Shomolu were the battlegrounds as members of two rival cults, Aiye and Eiye clashed, leading to the death of three people in the area on Sunday, November 23, 2015.

The fight broke out after a member of the Aiye Fraternity, Azeez Akinwumi, a tennis player, was killed by Eiye cultists the day before.

In retaliation, some Aiye members took to Awoseyin, Odunlade and Agunbiade streets where they hacked suspected members of the Eiye cult group to death.


11 cult members arrested during initiation

11 young boys were arrested on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, at a beach in Ajah area of Lagos, during the initiation of new members into the Buccaneers cult group.

Among the suspects were two sons of police officers – Emmanuel Christoper, 25, who claimed his father was an inspector in Lagos and Ali Ikhide, 20, whose dad is a police sergeant in Cross River. Items such as yellow cult caps, a banner showing the oath of allegiance to the Buccaneers cult, charms, knives and machetes were recovered from the gang.

The Cult groups and their identities

There are quite a number of cult groups in Nigeria and they all have their distinct identities…



Supreme Eiye Confraternity was formed in the late 70s as a result of a fallout with Pirates Confraternity.

They are also known as the Airlords, Birds or Flyers, and is affiliated to the Eiye Secret Society. They can be identified in their distinctive blue clothings and blue berets. They greet by shaking hands and then ‘clawing’ (folding four fingers backwards and pressing their thumbs together).


Initiation rites

Would-be members are referred to as Rats, a reference to the fear on their faces when going through their initiation rites. They are beaten with sticks and belts and other dangerous weapons by senior members of

the cult, before being paired. The two people are then required to beat each other to a state of pulp before passing through something called The Devils passage. It involves running through a row of about 100 members who throw punches and kicks and everything else at them.

Expectedly, some would-be members have been known to die in the process of this initiation as a

result of injuries sustained.



Formed in 1972, by Bolaji Crew and others following a fallout with the Pirates Confraternity after they grew indifferent to the teachings and doctrine of the group.

Buccaneers is similar in structure and style to the Pyrates.


Beliefs and sayings

“No prize no pay”, “No brothers in the wood”, “No laughing on board, Blood for blood”, “Let the devil that lead you guide you”.



Vikings Confraternity, also known as De Norsemen Club of Nigeria, was formed by three young men who were former members of Buccaneers in 1984, at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers.  The Vikings wear long robes like those of European Vikings of old, with red as their colour. Would-be members are stringently drilled under very harsh circumstances which make it impossible for many to scale through – some even die in the process.

Their beliefs and sayings include, ‘Blood on the high sea’, ‘Singing songs of Hojas’, ‘Never to hang a leg’, and ‘Even in the face of death’.

Members are referred to as: Adventurers, vultures, Aro-mates.



The Mafia Confraternity, also known as the Campus Mafia or the Mafia, came into existence around the 1990s. The cult is styled after the notorious Chicago and Italian Mafia/Mob stars. At their initiation, the would-be member first has his finger pricked with a needle by the initiator and the blood allowed to drip on a card bearing the image of a saint, after which the card is set on fire. The burning card is passed around from hand to hand quickly to avoid burns. The initiate then takes an oath of loyalty to the Mafia family.


Some of their belief and sayings include:

“It is better for a bastard (non initiate) to chance/provoke a member than for a numbered bastard (member of other cult group)”, “retaliation after oppression”, “secrecy is where our power lies”.



The Neo-Black Movement of Africa (also called Black Axe) was formed at the University of Benin, Edo in 1976, by some young men with the motive of building a body to fight against the oppression against black men (students) at the university. Those who initiated this association are rumoured to be runaways from Neo Black Movement of Africa, an organization in South Africa that fought the apartheid war and escaped into Nigeria for safety.

The initiation of new member involves brutality. The initiate partakes in a blood oath which exposes them to risk of infection, then he is to drink some concoctions, a mix of several drinks to test his “staying power”. His body is marked with tattoo by the initiator and then he partakes in a spiritual rite that results in the wilful surrender of his ego and consciousness to the spirit beings that enter and control him.


Some of their beliefs and slangs include

“The Black man will be freed with an axe”, “No phyuk ups”, “Forgiveness is a sin”, “Don’t betray your brother in the hood”, “Obey before complain or Abeyance”, “He who price must pay”, “mercy is for the weak”, “the strong embrace death with gladness”.

Members are called Aye Axemen, Seven or Amigos.


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