2022: A year to be extra careful

“NEVER put too much trust in friends” is the second Law of Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power. With the torrent of heart-wrenching reports of rituals that marked 2021, the need to advise Nigerians – especially youths – is one among reasons that unsheathed my pen from its cap. Hopefully, they won’t turn a deaf ear to my words. Gone are the days when dignity and labour had no line of demarcation between them; the good old days when financial solace dwelled in legitimate work. Isẹ logun isẹ (Work is the antidote to poverty), a salient song matched with action was the one that moistened the lips of the old generation. Regard for humanity was at its acme, pleasure comes after exploits, likewise, human blood was sacred. Lately, the tide had taken a turn. The get-rich-quick syndrome had overwhelmed the thought of the 21st century champs who only want to pop champagne without bearing pain. And the fastest route to that? The “fetish” cyber fraud – Yahoo plus.

Yahoo plus, the deadlier level of Yahoo Yahoo, a Nigerian parlance which denotes cyber fraud, is a pestilence among the “woke” Nigerian youth. It warrants using dubious and fetish means to scam unsuspecting individuals, companies and organizations. Even governments at all levels are not spared of this duplicitous rod. In March 2021, Nigeria ranked 16th in the FBI International Cybercrime report; coming after United Kingdom, Canada and India, that ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. In similar vein, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) disclosed that as at September 2021, 80 per cent of its 978 convictions were connected to cybercrime and cybercrime related offences, an attestation to the alarming rate of cybercrime in Nigeria. With this alarming rate of cyber fraud, it is pertinent to mention that high percent of these frauds are perpetrated with the aid of supernatural effects – voodoo – and the tools used in abetting this are other careless and greedy youths – ladies in specificity. Their heads are used in breaking the fetish coconut. After all, they also want to “chill with the big boys”, hence, their fetish and fraudulent friends/boyfriends make them see “how the thing goes” in the hard way. Many reports of females who were used for rituals last year went round the internet, and sent doubt down one’s spine on whether to pity them or act blind towards their agony.

Although many of them wanted to spend and chill with these fraudulent guys, some were only careless, given the trust they had in their friends who would later cause them misfortune. This is 2022, a year to be extra careful in visiting friends or keeping company with friends with suspicious sources of income. Trust friends less in 2022 – regardless of how good or friendly they are. It’s a crazy era where parents, especially mothers, now form “Mothers of Yahoo boys association” and seek every fetish help for their children’s indulgence, as asserted by the then acting chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu on October 31, 2019. Your friend’s mother could be the devil that would whisper to him to use you for ritual: it’s 2020 and you should be cautious with friends you visit, lest you become a tool for ritual. May God forbid. May you forbid too.

In 2022, be extra careful with the calibre of friends whose company you keep, especially friends with raggedy lifestyle who could belong to cult groups. Many of them have perpetrated crimes against rival cultist groups and when retaliation dawns on them, they get attacked alongside anyone found with them. In 2022, be extra careful too while moving about, especially in unsecured areas. Nigeria is now the third most unsecured nation in the world, only after Afghanistan and Iraq according to the current Global Terrorism Index (GTI). Some of the victims who were kidnapped or sent to their graves in 2021 met their kismet for not being careful with their movements. As Nigeria had failed to protect us, protecting ourselves is an option we must resort to.

The 2023 general election is around the corner: buck the trend of unnecessary political arguments, fights and backwashes. No politician or political party is worth your dear life. Be extra careful in 2022 and do not put your life on the line for any politicians who do not know about your existence or your fights for their political success. Finally, in year 2022, be more careful with cyber security. Phishing and Vishing could fish one’s pond of data through unsuspecting websites and calls. With a click on the wrong links, one’s data may have been exposed to cyber thiefs. A strange call wrongly answered, may expose one to serial hackers. For the next 12 months and beyond, be extra careful with your actions and words. For you and I, may 2022 be prosperous.

  • Amao writes in from Ibadan via hashimlegalbard@gmail.com

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