The Nigerian Mafia child of poverty? No, born in the universities


(Translated by Google)

From university brotherhoods dedicated to the discipline of the body and mind to bloody mafia cult. Money and Power. The fast and uncontrolled rise of the Mafia nigeria in our country.

In spite of what one might think, the Nigerian Mafia is not born in poverty and degradation; the uterus in which this creature grew is the university environment. The phenomenon is distorted between the 70s and 80s in the universities of Lagos and Benin City . Talking about it is the writer and sociologist Leonardo Palmisano in a recent survey “ Black Ax. The brutal intelligence of the Nigerian mafia “published by Fandango. The new Nigerian ruling class came to use the Brotherhoods – which were in fact armed and paid – to stifle the attempts at rebellion that came, above all, from university circles. The power they acquired was such, that both political and military ramifications were soon developed. A growth that will see them subsequently forced to adopt a certain structuring. They chose the model of the Italian Mafia , so they created clans with bosses, bosses, sub-bosses, gregarious and simple affiliates, becoming in effect a mafia organization .

Origins and ideals

At the beginning of the 50’s seven young students from the University of Ibidan met to found the ” Pyrates Confraternity”. The original idea was to counter an elite university – attended only by students from wealthy colonial families – to open the doors even to poor but promising students. Certainly they did not think of putting down roots to what would become the most powerful criminal organization in the world.

From the Pyrates other brotherhoods develop and detach. In 1972 about thirty boys, led by Bolaji Carew, were expelled from the Pyrates because they did not adhere to the required standards: high academic and intellectual performance. The result was a split that led to the creation of the Sea Dogs  and the Buccaneers . After a few years, the Neo-Black Movement of Africa, also called Black Ax brotherhood , took possession of the University of Benin in Edo State. After its creation, another confraternity, the Eiye Confraternity, broke away from the Black Axs. The initial objective of the confraternities was the “redirection of minds towards realism and black determinism, the teaching of the discipline of body and mind; the fight against negative images of people of color “. From the Black Ax will come off and form another cell, the ” Supreme Eiye Confraternity “.


The precise moment when things changed was the coup d’état of December 31, 1983, when the military put an end to the experience of the second republic, which lasted four years and, in fact, democracy. At the head of the military junta was General Muhammadu Buhari – current president of Nigeria, returned to power in 2015 – who after less than two years, in August 1985, was dismissed by Chief of Staff Ibrahim Babangida.

The coup d’état created various social and political tensions. Military leaders, struggling with the effects of the oil crisis of the time, realized that the Brotherhoods could be used to their advantage, especially against organized groups – student unions and university staff – that opposed the military regime. They were therefore financed and armed; was the beginning of the end. Sociologist Emeka Akudi noted that some vice chancellors of the universities protected the Brotherhoods, and it is in this period that they introduce new rituals within traditional religious practices: voodoo rituals. Perhaps it was just as a reaction to these changes that in 1984 Wole Soyinka– Nobel Prize for Literature two years later – declared that these cells could no longer operate within any university campus.

The Delta region

In the 1990s, a war broke out between confraternities   that led to the emergence of further urban cells for the first time, especially in the Niger Delta region, an area of ​​the country that covers about 70,000 square kilometers covering 7.5%. of the Nigerian territory. Around 20 million people from 40 different ethnic groups live in the area and speak 250 dialects. The area has seen the rise of many sites for oil extraction. About 2 million barrels are extracted per day throughout the Niger Delta

The birth of the Family Confraternity, also known as the “Mafia del Campus”, dates back to the 90s . To date, it maintains its presence in numerous schools of the state, imitating the same modus operandi as the Italian mafia. Shortly after his dramatic appearance, several students were expelled from the Abia State Univeristy for falsifying some exams. This led to a shift in the activities of the brotherhoods from the university structures of the Delta to the roads and surroundings of the State.

Today most cults in the Delta area are involved in organized crime, from armed robberies to hostage taking. Some of these groups have joined in a single group of activists, known as the MEND, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta , and have made several attacks under this name. In the Delta State every day, every hour and at all times, the members of the different groups kill each other.

1990s the first arrivals in Italy

It is in these years that the first groups arrive in Italy, in particular in Castel Volturno , in the province of Caserta which becomes a stronghold of the organization. The initial imprinting also took place in Verona , where they discovered the great market of prostitution and Italian drugs , which responded perfectly to what were the new objectives pursued by the cult: women, drugs and money. While devoting themselves to criminal activities, the cult items were not particularly violent. Until the 2000s there is not much news. In January 2005 the Italian secret services , speaking of the Nigerians, stated:“The original illicit activities, committed by isolated groups, without a stable organization, have acquired a greater weight in the criminal scene, conquering gray areas of the market, or those controlled by the local organized underworld, which traditionally considered the exploitation of prostitution a low activity performance “.

Italy wakes up

The turning point in Italy comes only in recent years. A 2011 report from the Nigerian embassy in Rome speaks in these terms: ” I would like to draw your attention to the new criminal activity of a group of Nigerians belonging to secret sects, prohibited by the government due to violent acts of hooliganism: unfortunately the former members of these sects who managed to enter Italy have again founded the organization here, mainly for criminal purposes “,

The result can be seen in the comparative figures, reported by the latest report of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies where there is a considerable increase in the increase in migration from Nigeria. A flow that continues to arrive in Italy but “integrates” only with a part of it, as attested by another relationship, that of the DIA . The Italian cities plagued by this plague are mainly Rome, Milan, Turin, Verona, Bologna, Ferrara, Parma, Macerata, Naples, Castel Volturno, Caserta, Palermo and Bari. And from the North East, particularly from Padua, the Nigerian Mafia has strengthened its expansion, Panorma wrote in a recent survey.

We therefore need to ask ourselves whether such a phenomenon appeared about twenty years ago, has been taken lightly and, above all, how much uncontrolled immigration in our country has guaranteed those economic flows indispensable for the growth of the organization. Heroin and opiates are bought in the East, while cocaine in South America: prostitution and drug dealing in Italy to a degree that is not entirely quantifiable, certainly contributed to these investments.

Sources: Ministry of Labor and Social Policies, Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate, Panorama, New Roots

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s