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[Article] The Opinion Writer - "Before you crucify Yahoo boys, who are you"


I want you to imagine any ten hit Nigerian Hip-Hop songs currently in the Nigerian music industry. Seven of them will involve money or something about making/getting money. According to Nigerian music, the reason to make money is to assure women, buy Benz, alcohol & weed, stunt on haters, and rub shoulders with other wealthy people. It’s the same with churches: prosperity is the sermon, but let’s not go into that right now.
The importance of money in human life is similar to the importance of food for the body. You can definitely solve most of your problems in life if you have unlimited supply of money. If you have lots of money, you won’t be facing basic problems of life like food, water, shelter or clothing. Burna boy recently reminded Nigerians about the need to make money in his song Titled Dangote, where he said ‘Dangote still dey find money’ which is true because despite the wealth he already has, he is still looking to make more
Last month, a video surfaced on the internet by Azeez Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley where he urged Nigerians to pray for Yahoo boys, saying they are the reason why money circulates to the common man. This video triggered a three day critique about Yahoo Yahoo and it is the birth of this week’s piece on The Opinion Writer. The most hilarious defense i heard was Yahoo boys are retrieving Nigeria’s money from white people. Are you kidneying me?
Davido brought in the notion that no one is “holy” hence no one should condemn the crimes of another. This is a major angle that most ignore. The Yahoo boys are not ghosts, they live among us. Some ladies date them, some have them as friends, they we judge them as criminals. There is so much hypocrisy in our society but we’re not here to attack but rub minds.
There is a long list of formats used by yahoo boys to defraud people which range from proceeds from lottery winnings to online sales or fake cheques, email hijacking, romance scams and many more. Majorly the youth is involved in this ‘hustle’. To keep themselves awake and creative through the long night, they have the necessities; weed and alcohol or women. These are their own little motivation.
The trend has, however, advanced beyond Yahoo yahoo to what is generally known as Yahoo Plus. This set are just a bunch of ritualists claiming to be Yahoo boys. We used to have armed robbers flaunt as yahoo boys but we are now in the era of ritualists posing to be yahoo boys. The ones that kill people or steal destinies to make money. The most baffling are the ones who steal female pants and bras, now ladies are scared to wear pants.
The prevalence of high rate of unemployment, harsh economic conditions and poor educational systems contribute immensely to the proliferation of cybercrime in Nigeria. Youths are no longer facing the reality of working hard to make money, it’s an era of ‘get rich quick’
Let us not even talk about the impact fraud has on Nigerians who are in other countries or who are struggling to get investors for their legitimate businesses.
The present high value for money and other acquisition regarded as yardstick for determining the status of individuals in the society seems to have worsened the plight of youths. Our attitude to money and emphasis on it or how much acquired – as the elixir of life. Nigerians at all levels, from the marketplaces, public offices to religious centres, worship money. We put too much of pressure on ourselves (public office holders, business tycoons, public figures, professors, family benefactors, etc) that once we reach the top of the ladder, so much is expected of us materially and financially, which tends to push to the elastic limits.
In my opinion, I think Yahoo Yahoo and other sibling crimes are not a consequence of unemployment, poverty or lack. They are a consequence of greed and an erosion of social values. Some people divide crimes into different levels, for some it is a serious crime and some, it’s not a major, after all politicians do far worse. Could you share your opinion on this in the comment section?
Although, I strongly doubt that Yahoo Yahoo can be totally eliminated, but i think can be minimized, just yet to figure the how. What would you suggest to be done to bring this menace activity to the barest minimum?

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