Fraternities are Viruses in Nigeria: Part 12 – Corporate Delusions

“We are bigger than U.S. Steel” many members of UCGFs (University Campus Grown Fraternities) in Nigeria will tell you, vaingloriously about their “brotherhood”. Do not take such folly seriously; it is evidence the ‘mask of sanity’ fraternities has fallen off the cliff that once held them so high. However, now they see themselves as large facsimile corporations. Just as on LinkedIn, you will see corporations that have thousands of employees, UCGFs make favourable comparisons with such organisations based on their thousands of members.

There is a big difference between corporations and social associations. UCGFs are common corrupt social associations, not proper corporations. The older UCGFs in Nigeria think they are facsimile “Big Corporations”. Nevertheless, UCGFs do not even deserve the derisory title of “pseudo-corporation”. For a corporation, competence and credibility are the first necessities, and even if they existed abundantly within their ranks, the repressive and decadent culture of the UCGF would cannibalistically devour them. UCGFs are routinely and robustly run like “street gangs” or “hunter-gatherer squads”. UCGFs lack any definite form or shape of corporate culture but have hierarchies which they ‘none-the-wiser’ conflate with organisational structures; for them ‘the map and the territory’ are the same. Big corporations either make big money as profits or handle big money as donations. UCGFs make sizeable money as extortionate incomes from subscriptions, penalty payments and restitution payments imposed upon their slavish members.
UCGFs are often self-ascribed as “corporate” when leaders and “special favourites” want to practice financial ruthlessness as if they were genuinely operating in free-market rather than within a brotherhood. Being “corporate” in this sense is about systemic money collection from poor and struggling members who receive treated despicable treatment, deprived of welfare entitlements, deprived of voting rights even though arrears must be paid sometime in the future. You lose the $500 you were entitled to on the death of your mother because you owe $150, but you must pay off the debt and make future UCGF payments or face expulsion. But your $500 entitlement is lost for good. To the UCGF leader, this is a “corporate act”. UCGFs can thus be characterised sincerely as “brotherhoods without brotherhood”.
The claim of being corporate can be easily tested by the requirement to produce accurate and valid accounts. UCGFs handle money without record in most cases. The rules of financial tracking and tracing are not essential to their management of funds. No strict budgets, no certain expenditures, no accurate reports, no definite mistakes. Good money comes in, and good cash goes out, no proper records of it coming in, no good records of it going out. Is this the stuff of so-called world-class corporate entities? Tax-free organisations without tax-free status.
Let any UCGF proudly show you their books or accounts.
What do UCGFs produce? Nothing. UCGFs provide no goods or services to the public, private groups or for themselves. Perhaps souvenirs. Corporations are supposed to deliver products and services with clear goal-consistent ethical rules, but you must have goals first, UCGFs are definitively “goalless”. Yes, definitively goalless – wasting everyone’s time in the industrial activity of “producing nothing”. Why do they exist? Some of these UCGFs rakes in over $1 million a year tax-free but the outputs are the “swollen personal pockets” of the leadership without any work done other than herding members by enslavement to no constructive purpose.
There are many ‘much too late’ press releases by heads of UCGFs that appear in the media after the storm or relevance has passed, ‘hot air’ or ‘tosh’. There are many instances of well-publicised shoddy “acts of charity” where meagre groceries and trivial sums of money make a parade to a motherless babies’ homes or a leprosy colony, the groceries provided, if assessed, would not feed a 30-member chapter adequately for a single meal. There are the legally registered investment programs for members that are always short-lived because of high the incidence ever-predictable internal fraud and greed. The rare charitable projects by UCGFs that does succeed ends in quarrels, fights and expulsions over the “proceeds”.
Let any UCGF tell you what they have produced with concrete evidence.
UCGFs that cannot verify the integrity of documents; lack the capacity to lift, store and analyse fingerprints; lack the will to conduct financial audits; lack the discipline to write their history accurately; lack accurate records of membership, and the like. But will demand forensic proof for self-evident allegations or factual events under the pretexts of being a “world-class corporation”. The forensic evidence is only in demand when the complaint or fact goes against the interests of the leadership of UCGF or a “special favourite”.
If a UCGF receives $50,000, but it does not reflect in the official accounts or accounting of the organisation, any question raised about the money will provoke the leadership to demand proof that the $50,000proof from the complainer to show the funds were the subject of misuse. Evidence and the Burden of Proof also get abused! If a member is caught on camera leaving a short-time hotel room with another member’s wife, the leadership of the UCGF will ask for DNA evidence that sex took place between them in the hotel room, i.e. if the alleged member is a particular favourite. Failure to provide forensic evidence will result in expulsion. When evidence does emerge in future, the singular excuse is “hindsight is 20 / 20”. This exceedingly perverse demand for forensic evidence as a means of denial or the perpetration of injustice is supposed to make them “corporate”.
Let any UCGF tell you what standard and efficient forensic equipment and techniques they have in place to verify evidence.
One of the most delusional thoughts and phrases of UCGFs is “you cannot compare any organisation in the world to our UCGF”. The incomparability of a UCGF is an unending folly. How can a UCGF be a world-class corporate entity without benchmarks, standards and comparisons? The UCGF members reject comparisons with other real-world organisations because they know how badly they will fare. In this case, the rejection of comparison is both a defence-mechanism and an indicator of 360 degrees insecurity; such is an exercise in face-saving denial. Everything that makes up a UCGF are cherry-pickings undifferentiated from the vocabulary and practices of U.S. fraternities, Christianity, Islam, the military, the Mafia, popular fiction, pop academia, school culture, world events, the local culture and more. There is nothing that has an iota of originality in the makeup of UCGFs.
Let any UCGF tell you what makes anything about them unique or incomparable.
Another delusional belief firmly held by members of UCGFs is that they are paramilitary organisations. Gangsterism is very different and very distinct from military or paramilitary practices. UCGFs lack both the guts and know-how necessary to even attempt organising a paramilitary outfit not to talk of running one. No UCGF member is ever-receives paramilitary training. They were beating up members and non-members, assassinating members and non-members, staking out easy targets. Such is the stuff of gangsters not the military. Doing a once-in-ten-years cross-country run, inflicting frog jumps and ‘pick pins’ as punishments or engaging in petty sabotage does not equate to military activity. The only military thing about UCGFs is they use military time scales; midnight is 00:00hrs. Shooting, stabbing, poisoning or immolation are as much gangster or spy activities as they are military, are they what make UCGFs paramilitary?
Let any UCGF tell you how and why they are paramilitary.
Grimot Nane



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