Recent activities of secret fraternities in Edo and Anambra States of Nigeria have once again brought to focus the impact of the activities of the nefarious groups on the polity. Not too long ago, two prominent movie stars were brutally assassinated in Edo State in what was alleged as a frat-related offensive, which culminated in the death of about twenty individuals. Most recently inhabitants of Anambra state were terrorised by frat men, who held the state capital hostage in a brutal frat war between members of two rival groups, which has claimed the lives of many. Like volcanic mountains littered round the country, frat wars intermittently erupt around the country with devastating consequences.
Secret fraternities, sororities, and corporations have been among the prominent landmarks that have dotted the landscape of world history. Ranging from the various corporations or nations in Europe to the North American fraternities and sororities, such as Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Gamma Delta, Kappa Kappa Psi, to the Ivy league fraternities, such as the Skull and Bones, Scroll and Key, and the Wolf's Head Society at Yale; the fraternities have one way or the other been used to define and determine various future outcomes in the world. It is a common knowledge that most United States presidents have been members of one fraternity or the other, and the presidents had as well used the services of their mates in powerful organisations such as CIA, State Department, and Pentagon to sustain the development of their country. Fraternities are basically formed to foster formidable social groups through which various community and humanitarian services could be delivered. Such groups also help to foster professional advancement, and encourage scholastic achievements of members.
No doubt that it was in view of these noble ideals that the first fraternity was brought into the Nigerian landscape in the early fifties to combat elitism and colonial ideologies. In the fifties and sixties, when the existing higher institutions in Nigeria were more or less controlled and dominated by Whites and colonial ideologies, various forms of machinations were employed by the Whites to intimidate and lord things over the black staff and students of the institutions. Victimization, oppression, nepotism, and violations of rights were among the tools used by the Colonialists to carry out certain pro-colonialist agenda.
At the height of this, few black students gradually began to rally round each other to draw strength and support, in order to check the perceived excesses of the Colonialists, who dominated and oppressed them in their very homeland.
The need for the establishment of a fraternity was also heightened by the rising political tension in the country. The 1950s also marked a heightening of the nationalist movement and the sad recourse to tribal alignments in the country. "Quick as always to absorb the worst tendencies of many nationalist movements, the University College, Ibadan, itself became a breeding ground for the worst kind of tribal clubs. The Students’ Representative Council, all forms of students’ activity, including sports; became mere expressions of tribal pettiness" (National Association of Seadogs website, 2005).
It was not long before some of the students who felt energised by the need to turn things around for the positive; by fighting the perceived anti social tendencies both within and outside the university environment, seized the bull by the horn, and began to transmute some of the already existing social clubs into opposition groups – to resist the unwholesome acts and the negative effects on the Nigerian polity.
In the frontline of these crystallizing opposing groups was the Pyrates Confraternity, founded by the renowned Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka in 1952 at the University College Ibadan, in collaboration with six others - Ralph Okpara, Pius Oleghe, Ikpehare Aig-Imoukhuede, Nathaniel Oyilola, Olumuyiwa Awe,...
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