If a member of the public thoroughly wants to understand the thinking that perpetuates the existence of University Campus Grown Fraternities (UCGFs) in Nigeria for their mostly hapless members, the analogy of the “Failed Abusive Father Syndrome” is quite useful.
The failed abusive father is literally a man with a wife and children but by societal standards is a stark economic and social failure. His position in society is definitively one of a figure of fun because he is the ever-available butt of jokes in the community or a figure of fear because of his sometimes senseless extremism in his reactions or in his vehement quest for very trifling things. He cannot attempt greater things. Outside his home the failed abusive father is a constant victim of insults, shout-downs, mockery, humiliation, exclusions, desperation, condemnations, wishes and dreams, dejection, beatings, assaults and rudeness. And there is nothing he could do about it but to faithfully accept such as his immutable lot.
Surprisingly, the failed abusive father has one vestige of honour left in his mind that only he can see and enjoy; the authority to beat his wife and children as he wills. For minor mistakes or offences or for often exaggerated acts or suspicions that threaten his ever-present deep insecurity, he would beat the hell out the family members troubling him. When actually beating his wife or children you can clearly observe an unusual deep-felt dedication in his entire demeanour; it is as if the beatings would compensate in the home for what he cannot be in society. This is a summary of how the UCGFs operate and treat their very own members to feel important within a culture of mindless power grabs and power shows. They know no one respects then outside the UCGF.
“High” UCGFs are those who will tell you that they left the university campuses in Nigeria decades ago and eschew all forms of violence; half-truth. “Low” UCGFs are those that still operate on campuses and are known to be physically violent and occasionally beat their own members to death in the name of discipline.
It must be made very clear that those who run high UCGFs are masters of psychological manipulation and abuse; it is a necessity for the very perpetuation of the UCGF. This often makes them far more sinister than low UCGFs. The African parable of the child who swears it would have been much better and much more bearable to have received a beating by their parent than to torture her with the tongue and psychological pain abyss, applies aptly.
Are [civil] organisations that freely and systematically use mental abuse and torture to correct those members who fall out of line not criminal? Are they not breaking the law? The general membership of UCGFs is mostly unaware of what is going on and how it affects their lives. It is a common badge of honour for a member to choose his UGCF over his wife and divorced her. UCGFs are simply organisations reliant on intensely brainwashing their members through constant perverse conditioning. But how can you explain it to these members? It requires luck or professional deconditioning to free their minds of the insidious grip over their lives. Is this not a sad situation to be in?
Those who run UCGFs use a wide array of techniques to control, condition and abuse their unwitting members. Trumped-up charges, mental ambushes, sanctions as humiliation, coercion to beg publicly, rank demotions, showpiece rejections, punitive entrapment, malicious gossip / smears, the use of closest friends to “turn” a member, spying on members using closest friends, subtle but evident threats, creation of imaginary dependency, isolation from rest of society, amnesia of individual good works and other techniques are commonly and simultaneously employed in their mind games of abuse and control.
In the aftermath, countless members of UCGFs who gave so much to the organisation end up with broken lives and bitter regrets; the smart ones who saw the reality fast got out early. Many members become psychologically disturbed and since they have no life outside the UCGF. The pain of misplaced loyalty is often very devastating. Large proportions of members are locked into a “Stockholm syndrome” of sorts; they have nowhere else to go.
On the other hand the psychological abusers and brainwashers remain on the constant prowl for victims “within”. They simply love what they do and take great pride in it especially if they are “ruining” non-conformist members. The spies in their ranks continue to betray “friends” often in the name of Christianity or anything that will make them look virtuous. Evil mindedness is highly valued by those who run UCGFsand are committed to; it achieves quick and easy results on a substrate of members who are encourage to focus on the “ideals”.
Members of the public must wonder how these same UCGFs can brazenly claim to be the society’s saviours, to operate from a moral high ground and to fight the ills of society. Systematic and unobstructed mental abuse is a grand ill of society. UCGFs should be spying for Nigeria and on Nigeria’s public fund thieves not on their hapless members. So how do UCGFs justify this? You can expect a barrage of fallacies, sophistry, deceptions and utter foolishness presented in defence from members. Non-believers once again are not convinced.