For some years now, Nigeria has been notorious for cyber crime and the notoriety is rising. The “419ners” have given birth to a crop of younger criminals, called “yahoo boys”. As you would expect, times are harder now, and the younger ones are more desperate for wealth. They have discovered other avenues for easy money. The latest is ritual killing.
Recently, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State cracked down on suspected yahoo boys, following the gruesome murder of a student of the Delta State University. The young female was kidnapped and killed, with her breasts and tongue removed, obviously for ritual purposes.
But the brutal murder of Elozino Ogege is not an isolated case. Several such killings have been reported in the last few months, suggesting that our society is clearly a sick and depraved one. However, we must admit that this wicked and anti-social behaviour are connected with the joblessness of our youths and unbridled desire for quick money.
With an unemployment rate of over 40 per cent, there is no doubt that many of our youths are experimenting with evil in their bid to make a living, in a society where money is deified and certainly can solve almost all problems.
If an idle mind is truly the devil’s workshop, then we know why many young people are venturing into crime, fraud and violence. The worst is that society’s love for money is scandalously high. It does not matter where and how people get money, family accepts it; community condones it; society welcomes it, banks hide it and even the church celebrates it.
Some prosperity preachers and donation seekers are sending the wrong message to everyone about money. Hard work is not praised or rewarded publicly. On the contrary, indolence can be rewarded as long as it comes with a deep pocket and flashy cars, ready to throw money around and donate to church projects.
That is why Yahoo boys have grown more wicked and desperate in their search for wealth. The get rich-at –all-cost mentality is strong and spreading. The latest is that some of our young boys, rather than look for work, are now looking for used female under wears for money rituals. How sad!
As the general election draws nearer, chances are the ritual killings will continue. The sensible part of our society must reject this and say a capital, “NO!” Let this evil not become a new normal. Once evil is allowed to grow, it becomes difficult to control or eliminate. In this case, who knows who the next ritual victim will be?