The Reformed Ogboni Fraternity is not a secret society that people think.
There are noted discrepancies on the date it was founded. A few sites claim it was founded on December 18, 1918. According to the official Facebook page of R.O.F, it was founded on December 18, 1914.
The Reformed Ogboni Fraternity claims not to be a secret society. "The R.O.F is not a Secret Society, It is not a religion, but it is religious in character based on the belief in the Fatherhood of God; Brotherhood of man and the immortality of souls.
"It endeavours to make a good man a better man, a good Christian" reads the 'About' section on its Facebook page. Growing up in Nigeria, we have been made aware of secret societies and cults made of powerful men who control the destiny of this nation. One of such societies we have heard about is the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity.
R.O.F gets its name from the Yoruba cult Ogboni. This secret society has been around since ancient times and indigenous to the Yoruba nation.
The Ogboni secret society was (and is) very powerful, highly influential in the affairs of the state and leadership. A secret society to the core, the practices of the Ogboni is hidden and not revealed to the public. Its members are hardly known.
The Reformed Ogboni Fraternity is the opposite of this. It is not a secret society. Its members can come out and say that belong to the fraternity. It does, however, have the same objective as the Ogboni which is to have a network that elevates its members economically and politically.
Men and women can be members of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity. According to the R.O.F constitution obtained from "refworld":
Membership shall be opened to all who embrace a non-idolatrous faith in God.
An applicant for membership shall be at least Twenty One years (21), if male, and Forty years old (40) if Female, PROVIDED that any applicant who is the wife of a member may be initiated if she is not less than Thirty years old (30).
A member may propose for admission a female offspring or near relation who is a spinster or divorcee of not less than Thirty years (30) of age on giving a written undertaking of good behaviour of such applicant.
Any female applicant who is married at the time of application and whose husband is not a member of the fraternity must produce a letter of consent from her husband. (ROF 30 May 2010d, Sec. 2)
These are the aims and objectives of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity also;
To associate for the promotion of the Principle of Universal Fatherhood of God - the All-Seeing Eye, and Universal Brotherhood of Man, without any discrimination as to Race, Colour, Creed, Sex, Religion or Political Affiliation.
To associate for the principal purpose of knowing God better such that all the undertakings of the fraternity will be in accordance with His Holy will.
To encourage the diffusion of the practice of benevolence, charity and chastity.
To offer assistance (as a bounding duty) to all poor and distressed members and non-members, without detriment to themselves and their connections, or injustice to others who are not members of this Fraternity.
To see to the mortal remains of any deceased members by providing a coffin or financial assistance up to a reasonable cost and to give his/her remains a decent deposit in the bosom of Mother Earth.
To inculcate in all members, the constant practice of the Golden Rule, "to do unto others (members and non-members) as one would wish them to do unto him
To provide necessary funds for the successful prosecution of the business of the Fraternity, according to this Constitution.
To keep and obey the Laws and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and those of any other Country in which one resides. (ROF 30 May 2010d)
As of 2010, R.O.F has 940 conclaves known as 'Iledi' in Nigeria. It also has conclaves in Cameroun, Italy, England and Belgium.