Fraternities are Viruses in Nigeria: Part 11 – Slavery?

To be in a UCGF (University Campus Grown Fraternity) member in 2017 under the terms and conditions they currently operate is to voluntarily be a slave unless you are a “Slave Master” or his favoured client. The fight to be a slave master is the goal of many an unwitting ambitious UCGF member or rookie, except where does it get them? (See: Climbing the “Fraternity Ladder”: KIngs of Nothingness

We must be reminded that slavery in the present happens in many spheres of life but not visible like the times’ people were bound in chains; it is perpetuated today as mental bondage and too many fall for it. Masters of such practices abound in arenas where profit and obedience are the chief goals.

Delusion, denial and decompensation twisted into varying arrangements of convenience characterise the self-perception of the vast majority of UCGF members. They are always right regardless of the crimes, abuses or misconduct they frequently engage in or support. The public and those that challenge such acts or practices from within are always wrong. Delusion is a delusion, nothing more. Denial is the dopamine that enables the UCGF member to get further mired within an organisation that would usually discourage his continued participation, especially educated ones. Denials and counter-denials spin such webs of self-deception around the UCGF member that he has no arguments left to shrug off the unrelenting realities that are closer to him than left nostril. Decompensation is the excuse used by members to mask the stultifying learned helplessness towards the range of numerous malpractices, evils and excesses occurring routinely within the UCGF.

Imagine the mentality of someone who wrongfully or disproportionately punishes a brother but expects that same person to embrace, respect them or take no offence for experiencing such blatant injustice. The abuse of the rules do not matter; what matters is the exercised powers and the reign of the brotherhood. That is a classic case of the delusion that permits slavery. Many people in real life when punished disproportionately may dispute the measure of punishment meted upon them. To expel a member for politely disagreeing with a “boss” over an issue where the leadership is so clearly in the wrong [i.e. in an organisation where Truth undergoes shoddy venerated, and Egotism is supposedly abhorred] is injustice itself. It is common, though. However, the inflicting boss and his supporters will expect the expelled one to embrace his unfair isolation with love, grace, happiness and honour for a punishment that is evil, vulgar, distressful or dishonourable. Surprisingly, the majority do. There is even the overriding element of “how dare you to complain?”, injustice or not, by the leadership. Delusion hardly goes much further than that.

Figure the ground-swelling beliefs that members of the public and every other UCGF decisively know how perfect their very fraternity is. Some given UCGFs will claim the whole of Nigeria knows they are not corrupt even though accounts and audits of their significant money handling are either non-existent or will shock any competent forensic accountant beyond belief. UCGF members are very proud that members of the public respect their levels of discipline and sterling qualities. In reality, 99% of the Nigerian public see UCGFs as dens or robbers, hitmen, rapists and drunkards. A growing further truth is that UCGF members believe the same about their fraternities. They know core leaders fleece them constantly and their usefulness focused [unrewarded] for the political, social and economic objectives. Protests against such practices are rare and severely punished. UCGF members are used ‘gratis‘ for electioneering (at the polls), debt collection or intimidation, hits (retaliation/revenge) but it is taboo to talk about such tactics and practices among members. Exploitation in practice!

Contemplate the sensibilities of the man who knows his membership is sheer slavery but cannot do anything about it. He obeys mindless and ill-thought autocratic “orders” from leaders routinely. He pays dues to leadership that steals the money with a constant sense of entitlement, accepts any manner of unjust punishment meted out to him only to reapply for membership shortly after the pain of it all has subsided. Is that not slavery? He spends one-sixth of his annual time rendering valuable hours, effort and resources that only a few at the top of pile benefit from both handsomely and exclusively. He rarely gets anything in return. This subtly but thoroughly brainwashed man has to adopt the agnotology necessary for the perpetuation of the UCGF. Even when this man can no longer tolerate the ‘hide and seek’ game perpetuating his sore ignorance and acknowledges the system is wrong or rotten. His best defence is “if and when a change emerges, everything will be alright” or “you cannot change the system from outside”. Such are lame excuses for enduring unnecessary suffering voluntarily. The instances of [voluntary] decompensated slavery among collective of educated men in the 21st Century might somewhat explain a little part of why slavery so captured the West African centuries back. Why would learned African men agree to be slaves voluntarily and for no reason other than belonging? One has to endure the conditioning to think like a slave to be one.

The “core leaders” and their adjutants live in a “delusional bubble” financed by the belief that they are mighty internally and in society. They despise other members as “goons”, “loyalists”, “peasants” or “plebs” – fools in a nutshell, who can argue with that? Being a core leader is determined mostly by one’s ethnicity and obsequious proximity to the supreme core leader, never merit. The power of core leaders never exceeds the “virtually determined” not real boundaries of the UCGF unless they have earned it sufficiently elsewhere in the real world. Many wannabe core leaders imbibe the delusion of society-wide power and quickly get intoxicated by it. The wannabe core leaders histrionically distinguish themselves by from the ordinary member who is a mere dues-payer, penalty payer, free labour provider and cannon fodder. Leadership is a craft which, when misplaced ensures delusion and denial and can be woven selectively but astutely into all fabrics of the governance of the UCGF.

Some members of UCGFs are very successful in life, socially and economically, but these are a minority within. The majority of members are either average or struggling men (without or without families to support). At least a third of members are struggling at the bottom end of the income ladder. One member who joined in the UK went to Nigeria for an annual convention. When he saw the members entering buses at a popular Lagos motor park, he went back home. His discouragement was the apparent wretchedness of the so-called “elite” members of his so-called elite UCGF. Another member who was initiated in the UK but relocated to work in a multinational oil company in Nigeria was discouraged from continuing UCGF membership because of the rampant begging he experienced from members. Men much older in age and membership would treat him like an unqualified newbie in their social gatherings but in private would beg him for loans or handouts. These are the same people who claim to be “elites”, yes elites. It is an unfortunate reality because if Nigeria were a much better-managed economy, these struggling men would be mostly in good jobs. So no intention whatsoever to mock or condemn their socioeconomic circumstances is attempted, whatsoever, here.

Let the core leaders continue to boast about the elite status and greatness of UCGFs in public. These leaders should never forget that they are slave masters and racketeers. No more deception!


Grimot Nane


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