Monday, April 25, 2016
Capitães da Areia Nigerianos
How student fraternities turned into powerful and well-armed gangs. How did the cults become such a problem? Wole Soyinka, a Nobel prizewinner for literature, helped found the Pyrates Confraternity, the first such group, in 1952 at the elite University of Ibadan. Slowly, splinter groups emerged: the Black Axe, the Klansmen Konfraternity, and countless others. It was harmless fun to begin with. But military leaders of the 1980s and 1990s saw the groups' growing membership as a chance to confront the leftist student unions, often aligned with pro-democracy movements. So the confraternities were given money and weapons. They turned against student activists—and against each other. By the mid-1980s, violence had become so fierce that Mr Soyinka tried unsuccessfully to disband his former creation. As their strength grew, the cults' influence on the universities became more malign.