Advertisement

Journal of African American Studies

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 269–285 | Cite as

Violent Fraternities and Public Security Challenges in Nigerian Universities: a Study of the “University of the South

  • Ifeanyi EzeonuEmail author
ARTICLES

Abstract

A number of public security challenges confronting Nigeria since the late 1980s have been traced to the activities of violent student fraternities in tertiary institutions, especially the universities. Using individual and focus group interviews of 30 participants, this study discusses the structure and violent activities of these fraternities in a university anonymized as the University of the South. Data from the study demonstrate that brutal hazing practices and inter-group conflicts associated with these groups are the principal causes of violence at the institution. The study also suggests that a class kinship between the country’s indigenous bourgeoisie and members of these fraternities undermines government’s interest in confronting the problem.

Keywords

Student fraternities Public security Violence Hazing Inter-group conflict University of the South 

References

  1. Achebe, C. (2012). There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra. New York: Penguin Press.Google Scholar
  2. Allan, E. (2004). Hazing and Gender: Analysing the Obvious. In H. Numer (Ed.), The Hazing Reader. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, E. (1999). Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, E. (1994). The code of the streets. The Atlantic Monthly, 273(5), 80–94.Google Scholar
  5. Archibold, R. C. (2011). “Trinidad and Tobago Declares Emergency Over Drug Crimes.” The New York Times. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/world/americas/25trinidad.html. Accessed: January 22, 2012).
  6. Berg, B. L. (2004). Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.Google Scholar
  7. Casey, C. C. (2008). 'Marginal Muslims': politics and the perceptual bounds of Islamic authenticity in Northern Nigeria. Africa Today, 54(3), 67–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clarke, C. (2006). Politics, violence and drugs in Kingston, Jamaica. Bulletin of Latin American Research, 25(3), 420–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Community Leadership Initiative (2011). “The Birth of Nigerian Campus Cult/Gang Groups and its Consequences.” (http://www.campuscults.net/index.html . Accessed: December 22, 2011).
  10. Danielson, G., & Numer, H. (2004). Hazing and Sport and the Law. In H. Numer (Ed.), The Hazing Reader. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Decker, S. H., & Van Winkle, B. (1996). Life in the gang: family, friends, and violence. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Doyle, D. (2005). Ritual male circumcision: a brief history. Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 35(3), 279–285.Google Scholar
  13. Eguavoen, I. (2008). Killer cults on campus. Secrets, security and services among Nigerian students. Sociologus, 1, 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ekpo, A. H., & Agbo, A. (2005). Behind the Mask: The Untold Secrets of Secret Cults in Nigeria. Port Harcourt: Wordcraft Books.Google Scholar
  15. Ekwe-Ekwe, H. (2006). Biafra Revisited. Dakar and Reading: African Renaissance.Google Scholar
  16. Ekwe-Ekwe, H. (2011). Readings from Reading: Essays on African Politics, Genocide, Literature. Dakar and Reading: African Renaissance.Google Scholar
  17. Esbensen, F.-A., et al. (2001). Youth gangs and definitional issues: when is a gang a gang, and why does it matter? Crime and Delinquency, 47(1), 105–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ezeonu, I. (2013). "Campus Gangs and Public Security In Nigerian Tertiary Institutions: Lessons From a Southern University.". Waterloo: A Research Report submitted to the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).Google Scholar
  19. Fajana, A. (1972). Educational policy in Nigerian Traditional Society. Phylon, 33(1), 33–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Felde, L. H. (2011). Elevated cholesterol as biographical work—expanding the concept of ‘biographical disruption’. Qualitative Sociology Review, VII(2), 101–120.Google Scholar
  21. Finkel, M. A. (2002). Traumatic injuries caused by hazing practices. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 20(3), 228–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fitzpatrick, L. (2009). “Stockholm Syndrome.” Time Magazine. Aug. 31. (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1920301,00.html. Accessed: March 30, 2013).
  23. Florquin, N., & Berman, E. G. (Eds.). (2005). Armed and Aimless: Armed Groups, Guns, and Human Security in the Ecowas Region. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, Graduate Institute of International Affairs, Geneva.Google Scholar
  24. Gamson, W. A. (1992). Talking Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Gatkuoth, P. R. (2009). "The Maasai Youth Cultural Transition." Sudan Tribune. October 10. (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article32732. Accessed: March 10, 2013).
  26. Hearst, P. C., & Moscow, A. (1988). Patty Hearst: Her Own Story. New York: Avon.Google Scholar
  27. Hollmann, B. B. (2002). Hazing: hidden campus crime. New Direction for Student Services, 99, 11–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Houston, J., & Prinsloo, J. (1998). Prison gangs in South Africa: a comparative analysis. Journal of Gang Research, 5(3), 41–52.Google Scholar
  29. Human Rights Watch (1999). The Destruction of Odi and Rape in Choba (December 22). (http://www.hrw.org/legacy/press/1999/dec/nibg1299.htm. Accessed: May 10, 2013).
  30. Ikelegbe, A. (2005). The economy of conflict in the oil rich Niger delta region of Nigeria. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 14(2), 208–234.Google Scholar
  31. Jones, R. L. (2004). “Examining Violence in Black Fraternity Peldgeing.” In Hank Numer (ed.). The Hazing Reader. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Keating, C. F., et al. (2005). Going to college and unpacking hazing: a functional approach to decrypting initiation practices among undergraduates. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 9(2), 104–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kivel, P. (1999). Boys Will Be Men: Raising Our Sons for Courage, Caring, and Community. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers.Google Scholar
  34. Lynd, R. S. and H. M. Lynd (1937). Middleton in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company.Google Scholar
  35. Malszecki, G. (2004). No Mercy Shown Nor Asked’—Toughness Test or Torture?: Hazing in Military Combat Units and Its ‘Collateral Damage. In J. Johnson & M. Holman (Eds.), Making the Team: Inside the World of Sport Initiations and Hazing. Toronto: Canadian Scholar’s Press Inc.Google Scholar
  36. Manwaring, M. G. (2007). A Contemporary Challenge to State Sovereignty: Gangs and Other Illicit Transnational Criminal Organizations in Central America, El Salvador, Mexico, Jamaica and Brazil. The Strategic Studies Institute (Monograph, December). (http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/pub837.pdf. Accessed: January 10, 2012).
  37. Martin, P. Y., & Hummer, R. A. (1989). Fraternities and rape on campus. Gender and Society, 3(4), 457–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Marvasti, A. B. (2004). Qualitative Research in Sociology. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  39. Maasi Association (2013). "Facing the Lion: By Maasai Warriors." (http://www.maasai-association.org/lion.html. Accessed. March 30, 2013).
  40. Matusitz, J., & Repass, M. (2009). Gangs in Nigeria: an updated examination. Crime, Law and Social Change, 52(5), 495–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Miller, W. (1958). Lower class culture as a generating milieu of gang delinquency. Journal of Social Issues, 14, 5–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Montague, D. R., et al. (2008). Hazing typologies: those who criminally haze and those who receive criminal hazing. Victims & Offenders, 3(2–3), 258–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Moreland, R. L., & Levine, J. M. (1989). Newcomers and Oldtimers in Small Groups. In P. Paulus (Ed.), Psychology of Group Influence. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  44. Nuwer, H. (2001). Wrongs of Passage: Fraternities, Sororities, Hazing, and Binge Drinking (p. 2001). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Ochoa, R. (2012). Not just the rich: new tendencies in kidnapping in Mexico City. Global Crime, 13(1), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Okonkwo, J. M. (2003). Taming a Three-Headed Monster. Enugu: SNAAP Press LTD.Google Scholar
  47. Okpala, O. M. (1992). Set Free at Last: Confession of a Saved University Undergraduate Occultist. Enugu: Gospel Communications International LTD.Google Scholar
  48. Padilla, F. (1992). The Gang as an American Enterprise. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Peoples, J., & Bailey, G. (2009). Humanity: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Belmont: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  50. Press, A. L., & Cole, E. R. (1999). Speaking of Abortion: Television and Authority in the Lives of Women. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  51. Rodgers, D. (2006). Living in the shadow of death: gangs, violence and social order in Urban Nicaragua, 1996–2002. Journal of Latin American Studies, 38, 267–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rodgers, D. (1999). Youth Gangs and Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Literature Survey. LCR Sustainable Development Working Paper No. 4. Urban Peace Program Series. (http://www.ansarilawfirm.com/docs/Youth-Gangs-and-Violence-in-Latin-America.pdf. Accessed: January 10, 2012).
  53. Rodgers, D., & Muggah, R. (2009). Gangs as non-state armed groups: the Central American case. Contemporary Security Policy, 30(2), 301–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rotimi, A. (2005). Violence in the citadel: the menace of secret cults in the Nigerian universities. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 14(1), 79–98.Google Scholar
  55. Sives, A. (2002). Changing patrons, from politician to drug don: clientelism in downtown Kingston, Jamaica. Latin American Perspectives, 126(5), 66–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Soyinka, W. (1972). The Man Died: Prison Notes of Wole Soyinka. London: Collings.Google Scholar
  57. Spitzer, S. (1975). Toward a Marxian theory of deviance. Social Problems, 22(5), 638–651.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sullivan, M., & Vorsanger, N. (2000). Understanding Adolescent Violence: An Ethnographic Approach. New York: Vera Institute of Justice.Google Scholar
  59. Suter, E. A. (2000). “Focus Groups in Ethnography of Communication: Expanding Topics of Inquiry Beyond Participant Observation.” The Qualitative Report. 5(1 & 2) (May). (http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR5-1/suter.html. Accessed: January 3, 2012).
  60. Tedlock, B. (2000). Ethnography and Ethnographic Representation. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  61. The Economist (2008). “Cults of Violence: How Student Fraternities Turned into Powerful and Well-Armed Gangs.” (http://www.economist.com/node/11849078?story_id=11849078. Accessed: December 22, 2011).
  62. The Guardian (2011). “National Association of Seadogs/Pyrates Confraternity: Disclaimer.” October 18, p.9.Google Scholar
  63. Venkatesh, S. (2008). Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Street. New York: The Penguin Press.Google Scholar
  64. Vigil, J. D. (1988). Barrio Gangs: Street Life and Identity in Southern California. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  65. Whyte, W. F. (1993). Street Corner Society: The Social Structure of an Italian Slum (4th ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Winerip, M. (2012). "When Hazing Goes Very Wrong." New York Times. (April 12). (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/education/edlife/a-hazing-at-cornell.html?pagewanted=all. Accessed: July 12, 2012).
  67. Winslow, D. (1999). Rites of passage and group bonding in the Canadian Airborne. Armed Forces and Society, 25(3), 429–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada

Personalised recommendations