Fraternities are Viruses in Nigeria: Part 6 – The Selection

Fraternities are Viruses in Nigeria: Part 6 – The Selection

If you live in a home with illustrious parents with lots of affluence and you have brothers, think. There is a reasonable likelihood that you have a member of a UCGF in your household. Fact! The primary insidious practices of the Cheaters that run UCGFs have always been to recruit as several members of high ability (used as Suckers) and those with inherited high social status in their ranks (also Suckers). Members of UCGFs from humble backgrounds make up the numbers and used as cannon fodder.

Although, none of the original members of the older UCGFs were medical students or later medical doctors in their own right, they ensured that the most significant number of their future recruits were medical students. Medical students were ten times more likely to be a recruit of a UCGF than those who were studying something else. In the 1970s and 1980s, medical doctors had the best career prospects for any profession in Nigeria. It was an investment in the future for the UCGF.

As other university courses such as Engineering, Accountancy, Law and Built Environment also proved to provide excellent career prospects, the UCGFs focused on recruiting them in addition to medical students. As a result, there are few members of UCGFs from that era with degrees in Religion, Linguistics, French, Archaeology, Physics, Horticulture or Library Science. The UCGFs were very selective about how their recruits will turn out in the future. Such is a far cry from the ostensible claim of UCGF of recruiting like-minded people “to fight against the ills of society” and produce admirable men. The Cheater-led UCGFs were fighting for their growth and prominence in society, and mentoring sophisticated Cheaters.

Nevertheless, as UCGFs grew in confidence, they became ever more impatient to await a generation to get the money and power they desired. Several members who had become successful doctors and professionals had outgrown the campus sensibilities of the UCGF. Decidedly, they focused on their personal lives and careers. This development angered Cheaters. However, the Cheaters soon got the right solution to the actualisation of their self-interest through fresh recruits. UCGFs recruited with intent the children of the rich, influential and powerful in society. Many prominent families were of much interest and subverted whenever their male children got into a Nigerian tertiary institution; it was a very diligence practice.

Between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s, randomly pick ten recent recruits of a UCGF. Their fathers or mothers would turn out be a federal minister, permanent secretary, a commissioner of a state government. Or a professor, a medical director, an ambassador, a police chief, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Or a military general, a king, an industrialist, a corporate executive, a high court judge, a business mogul or a senior priest. It was a ruthless, contrived plan. The children of the humble had to join on unfavourable terms, and it was often visible. Many Grudgers were from humble backgrounds.

In one particular case, they remodeled a chapter of a UCGF with the primary aim of recruiting the sons of a serving federal minister and some other dignitaries. The Cheaters often encouraged these silver/golden spoon UCGF recruits to steal from their parents to fund the “brotherhood.” And secure “special favours” on their behalf. The distress caused by the UCGF subversion to many decent, stable and respectable families in several cases was monumental.

Nevertheless, Imagine a Chief Justice of a State having to bail his son for possessing firearms. Or a Police Commissioner fighting to ensure his son does not get the death sentence for killing another student. Even a Senior Advocate of Nigeria hearing the news of his first son’s senseless murder mutilation. Or a Bishop having to refund the money his son had robbed and squandered as a part of a team of thieves. But also imagine if the following had happened to the son of a schoolteacher, gardener, taxi-driver or court clerk. It is terrible. These parents would not have had such experiences if their children had not joined a UCGF.

Also, imagine that many of the leaders of the UCGFs on college campuses who favoured a two-tier system; they were rich kids on top and had poor kids at their beck and call. A poor kid who was a medical or an architecture student, recruited four years ago is unfortunate. He would have to be subservient to a rich kid that was a one-year-old within the fold. The resentment such a rich kid – poor kid dichotomy produced led to some violent mutinies.

To this day, there are some ex-members of UCGFs that are bitter about the mutinies staged against them, forgetting their haughty excesses. But are acute in remembering the jealousy and inferiority complexes of the poorer members. They make aggressive claims, “I am not responsible for the poverty of the poor members” And “Why did their fathers not become rich men?” Or “I refuse to associate with the lowly and parvenus in society”. These were the men sworn to fight for a just society. Some members call it a case of bad selection. Was it the bad selection of the arrogant rich kids or the envious poor kids?

However, developments after graduating from campus with some pursuing high-flying would ensure that UCGFs could now penetrate government agencies. UCGFs, because they recruit undergraduates or graduates, are able to control a few federal government agencies and many state ones. Many UCGFs are “special interest groups” in their own right, though of a minor kind. The successful members join proper special interest groups; it is far more profitable. It may surprise most that to attain employment in some parastatals, you have to be recruited by the UCGF. A UCGF that is influential within it as a member’s priority. Is this not outright subversion?

Subverting the liberty of the individual, the stability of the family and the moral content of government agencies. That is a UCGF acting like a virus that infects its host, then moves on when it dies. How anyone can reconcile the ruthless subversion practised by psychopathic UCGFs against their claim “to fight the ills of society” may require schizophrenia to resolve.

Grimot Nane

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