Nigeria: Black Axe Confraternity Members Found With a Gallon of Human Blood

What You Need to Know:

Nine suspected members of the Black Axe Confraternity, also known as the Neo-Black Movement, were arrested on Sunday by Kaduna State Police following a search of their vehicle which uncovered various weapons and a jerrycan full of human blood. 

The men were located by police after a tip off regarding a suspected initiation led them to a cemetery close to the Zaria-Kaduna highway.

“A search was conducted on their vehicle, a Lexus sedan, with registration number RSH 712 CW, where two locally made pistols, one Beretta pistol, two jacket knives, two calabashes and a jerrycan, full of human blood were recovered,” said Kaduna Police Command Public Relations Officer Mansur Hussaini. 

According to the suspects, the human blood was that of an elderly man they had killed and dismembered in Igabi Local Government Area. The suspects claimed that the body parts of the deceased were then moved by a separate group of confraternity members. 

Officer Hussaini has announced that investigations are ongoing. 

The Details:

The Black Axe Confraternity has been described as a cult, and has its roots in Nigerian higher education. The confraternity emerged at the University of Benin in the late 1970s, initially focusing on advancing pan-Africanism and black consciousness. In 1994 the Black Axe converged with the Neo-Black Movement, although the inner-workings of the group have been kept relatively secret. 

However, the group has been tied to various criminal acts, such as the 1999 Obafemi Awolowo University Massacre in which five students were killed and eleven injured by Black Axe members carrying machetes and shotguns.

Furthermore, members are known as ‘ritualists’ locally due to their taking of a strict oath of secrecy upon joining. Members must also undergo an initiation before joining the group, which sometimes “takes members to the verge of death,” claims criminal justice journalist Candice Boyers. 

Boyers states that “Axemen are stripped naked and forced to lie in mud while enduring severe physical abuse, crawl through their tormentors’ legs in a process known as “devil’s passage,” and drink blood. Other sources suggest that initiation ceremonies include bonfires, drugs, and the rape of women. Additionally, scholars claim that some initiates are forced into joining the group for fear of reprisals. 

In February, the Neo-Black Movement denied its link to the Black Axe following the release of a news piece on the arrest of Black Axe ‘hitman’ Abdul-Azeez ‘Butcher’ Ibrahim. 

In a statement, the Neo-Black Movement said “Linking the said Abdul-Azeez Ibrahim with our organisation, NBM Of Africa whose nomenclature and modus operandi are visibly different from Black Axe Confraternity is the height of insult, aberration and character assassination of our Pan-Africanist movement. To this end, we unequivocally submit here that the said Mr. Abdul-Azeez Ibrahim is not and has never been a member of NBM of Africa, hence, nobody/person or agency/government should link him with our positive and progressive organisation. We restate categorically that NBM of Africa is not in any way related to Black Axe Confraternity to warrant using the name as ‘alias’. For the avoidance of doubt, NBM of Africa is not a faceless and criminal organisation. It is a properly Registered Pan-African organisation.”

So, What Now?:

Due to the secretive nature of the group it is difficult to ascertain the alleged links between the Neo-Black Movement and Black Axe. However, throughout Nigeria the two groups are synonymous, with their members taking part in organized crime, human trafficking and money laundering.

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.

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