Black Axe

21.01.2023 Featured EXPLAINER: These Greeting Gestures May Land You in Trouble With Cultists

Published 21st Jan, 2023

By Abimbola Abatta

Have you ever mulled over what could earn you a deadly stare or death threats from certain folks? Well, mimicking a cultist can get you in trouble.

Recently, FIJ reported how some cultists suspected to be members of the Black Axe confraternity in Anambra State killed one Nonso Okoye for imitating their greeting.

Although Okoye was not an axeman (a Black Axe member), he was no stranger to the world of cultists. He was a member of the rival Supreme Vikings Confraternity, Vikings for short.

His offence, as gathered, was that he had earlier greeted a Black Axe member as though he were a fellow axeman.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Black Axe Cult Spreads in Switzerland

In one video of the deceased, FIJ found that his right wrist was cut off. This was the hand he had used to greet a Black Axe member.


It is a known fact that rival cults across Nigeria often engage in supremacy battles, and Anambra State is no exception.

Amid the tension between axemen and vikings, FIJ gathered, Okoye’s actions enraged some members of the Black Axe and they went after him.

FIJ had access to another video of Okoye while he was alive. He was in a club with some friends when he and an axeman shook hands with their thumb and index forming a seven-like shape, while the remaining three fingers were folded in a fist.

If a rival cultist could get into trouble for this, what do you think would happen to non-members?

Cultists' greetings culled from the Internet
Cultists’ greetings culled from the Internet

The number ‘seven’ is important to the Black Axe cult. It describes the shape of an axe, which is their confraternity’s symbol.

An axeman can acknowledge the presence of another member by lightly tapping his right index finger on the left index. This is usually used to avoid unwanted attention.

READ ALSO: Vikings Cult Member Greeted Black Axe Rival the Wrong Way in Anambra. They Killed Him

Black axe members can also cross their arms over their chest or head. They can cross an arm with another member’s arm as a greeting gesture.


For Vikings confraternity, identifying oneself as a member requires placing the right arm on the chest while the fingers are clawed.

Members of the Eiye Confraternity, on the other hand, identify themselves with a gesture called clawing. This is symbolic because the eagle is one of their emblems, and all birds use their claws to hold on to things.

The clawing gesture involves clawing the fingers of the right hand like a bird with another member’s fingers.

Meanwhile, FIJ gathered from a source, who does not wish to be named, that these greeting signs may not necessarily trigger a violent reaction, but one cannot be too careful

“To avoid stories, one should not take unnecessary risks. We are in Nigeria, and it’s good to always be watchful,” said the source.

The source also revealed that certain colour combinations for clothes may attract unwanted attention from cult groups.

“Black on black with yellow socks, for instance, identifies with Black Axe, while black on black with red socks or beret identifies with Vikings. Blue on black with blue beret is peculiar to the Eiye.”

Another source, who wishes to remain anonymous, also shared how two guys approached him after he innocently greeted a friend with clawed fingers in 2022.

“They asked me who I was, and which confraternity I belonged to. I was so confused and scared until another friend bailed me out and told them to leave me,” the source disclosed.

Published 21st Jan, 2023

By Abimbola Abatta


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