He sat down under the tree, fifty metres away from the local playground created to meet the football need of the teeming students. The yelling coupled with the low rumbling of a distant thunder provoked in the onlookers a sense of wonder. Yet, he concentrated on what kept him fixated on his phone, occasionally looking up. Suddenly, he let out a loud spasm of laughter which nobody cared about but they all had one thing in mind – “maga ti sanwo” meaning ‘clients has paid’. Ademola, a 300 level student of Tai Solarin University of Education, having lost his parents at a tender age and being left in the care of his uncle, engaged in ‘yahoo yahoo’ as a result of the pressures he encountered from his peers. According to him, it was his second time of receiving money from his foreign clients through the popular scamming network.
Like Ademola, millions of other youth also have succumbed to peer pressures and are determined to fast track their way to success as a result of unemployment, poverty and corruption that has bedevilled every sectors of the Nigerian economy. But is internet fraud the greatest means? Should we really justify the cankerworms that have eaten deep into the fabrics of our nation’s growth?
Internet fraud is a type of fraud or deception which makes use of the internet and could involve hiding of information or providing incorrect information for the purpose of tricking victims out of money, property, and inheritance. For the acts that is slowly digging the graves of Nigeria internationally, who then is to be blamed?
Who else if not the government? Blame the governments who have turned a once flourishing nation into a malnourished one, depriving its citizenry access to employment opportunities, quality education and good social amenities as a result of their greediness and corrupt acts. According to National Bureau of Statistics, over 20.9 million Nigerians are unemployed as at third quarter in 2018. Needless to say, this figure is backed up by the fact that Nigeria scored 27 out of 100 points in the 2018 Corruption Perception Index (Punch, 2018). Therefore, the government’s failure to provide employment opportunities has led the youths to pick up ‘gadgets’ to fend for themselves – albeit through illegal way.
Equally, let’s blame the parents who promote the acts by failing to instill discipline and the fear of God into their wards as the Bible says ‘train up your child in the way he should go…‘’, but these generation of parents have failed in their responsibility of training their children in the right way. The menace of cybercrime continue to surge forward, despite the clampdown by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in recent times, as a result of the support of some parents. According to a report published on International Centre for Investigative Reporting by ‘Kunle Adebajo, ‘There are, in fact, reports about the existence of a certain Yahoo Mothers Association, whose members promote the welfare of their wards particularly by lobbying for their release whenever they are arrested’.
Furthermore, we should also blame the celebrities who instead of campaigning against internet fraud are promoting it directly and indirectly through their music and other activities. Some of them are not only promoting it, they are also practicing it. Recently, a popular Nigerian musician was arrested and charged to court by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on an eleven-count charges for his alleged connection to advanced fee fraud popularly called ‘Yahoo Yahoo’, possession of counterfeit cards and conspiracy to obtain gain. Yet, some ‘Lazy Nigerian Youths’ took to social media and staged a protest outside the courts demanding for his release. What a confused generation!
In addition, let’s blame the youth who chose to engage in the criminal activities as a result of peer pressures and who equally think that internet fraud is the only medium to escape poverty and starvation. As a result of the pressures, many youths are now indulging in the nefarious acts claiming that the governments is responsible for their plights as a result of unemployment. But, should we really fail ourselves even if the government has failed us? Should we keep on contributing negative quota to further tarnish the dented image of the nation?
It is a pity that so many people provide justifications for internet fraudsters claiming that internet fraud is a payback for the slavery and injustice meted out to our forefathers during the Atlantic slave trade in the 16th to 19th centuries. But should we forget the facts that internet fraudsters have rendered many victims useless and so many have turned into living corpse as a result of the acts? Should we really be champions of retrogression forgetting that the world is changing at the speed of light?.
John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of United States of America, once said, ‘ask not what your country can do for you, rather ask what you can do for your country’. The youths must be reminded that they must substitute their stagnant and repulsive thinking to embracing the act of creativity in trying to bring out their full potentials which will also help in building their personal developments thereby influencing the community in a positive way.
Alao, A. (2019, April 30). Yahoo Boys, “Not Too Young To Scam” Trend And The Glorification Of Fraud In Nigeria Retrieved from http://saharareporters.com/2019/04/30/yahoo-boys-“not-too-young-scam”-trend-and-glorification-fraud-nigeria-alao-abiodun
BREAKING: After 10 Days In Prison, Naira Marley Appears In Court For Bail Hearing (2019, May 30). Retrieved from http://saharareporters.com/2019/05/30/breaking-after-10-days-prison-naira-marley-appears-court-bail-hearing
Olokor, F. (2019, January 30). Nigeria Still Among World’s Most Corrupt Countries, says TI. Retrieved from https://punchng.com/nigeria-still-among-worlds-most-corrupt-countries-says-ti/
Sotibi, K. (2019, May 17). Justification of Cybercrime: A Symbol of Losing It. Retrieved from http://www.ucjui.com/2019/05/17/opinion-justification-of-cybercrime-a-symbol-of-losing-it