NIGERIA is in dire need of active policing if it is to succeed in killing off the cyberfraud mentality eating up its vast youths. However, timely events aren’t exactly embracing the police –in Nigeria or anywhere around the world– with a warm fuzzy sensation. Because as the day grows, the previously not-so-good reputation of the police is getting battered even more. And as a matter of fact, the global world is downticking policing operation with a hard long look – no thanks to a massive screw-up by a bunch of defective white officers of the United States’ police which led to the death of George Floyd, a black, innocent man. The criticism is a clear definition of hard times for the law enforcement not only in the US, buy all over the world, including Nigeria. In this scenario, it becomes especially likely for the people to forget all the good works the agency delivers at the cause of their duties, and serve them with a mass dose of tirade instead of applauds for a job well-done.
But however disgraced the law enforcement agencies particularly in Nigeria are, they are still the only recognised legal agency that has the capacity to kick bad guys to the curb, and for good. It would be excruciating, yet impossible, to list out on a white sheet all the troubles the issue of internet fraud has caused stakeholders. And the sad truth is, we all have compulsorily bought into the stakes; directly or indirectly, and how we know is that a certain area of our individual life is pained by it, or if not, our country as a whole. To mention but a few, thousands, maybe millions of well-meaning Nigerians have been frustrated because of the sort of bad image the activities of online scammers have incurred. Some have been denied visas (even way before COVID-19 caused global borders to shutter) as a result. A lot of Nigerian businessmen operating at multinational level are getting the worse experience closing deals and winning contracts. Still, the blame is on battered country reputation! Students, these days, are no longer committed to schooling – don’t even start about graduating; and those learning handworks and other skilled programmes give up half way to pursue yahoo yahoo hustle, which basically entails illegal connivance for the purpose of defrauding people or organizations of their funds. Poor victims!
These lads, good at what they do, scam off people (mostly white women) who are barely trying to make ends meet for their families, get the money and waste it on expensive clothes, women and hotel reservations and then return to square one. Perhaps it never occurred to them that their actions are plummeting the rich, sovereign integrity of our dear country Nigeria in exchange for a few top dollars that wouldn’t last. Poor Nigerian parents are not left out of the casualty party. In truth, they might even be the worse devastated group, seeing as how unbearable it is to toil and moil to bring a child up only to lose them to the yahoo world and watch them waste to nothing without getting a good penny for it. Let’s not even begin to talk about how much it’s eaten up our Entertainment Industry –music, specifically– using the so-called Naira Marley and Zlatan Ibile as poster boys to thwart the psyches of feeble-minded youths. One the scale of one to ten, the performance of our local law enforcement agencies couldn’t possibly pass as average but that’s not to say it hasn’t done a decent task in checking this social malaise. For instance, the EFCC looked very active in 2019, and essentially recorded scores of arrests of online scammer suspects, the most populous being the detainment of Ismaila Mompha among others. But then again, the agency wouldn’t entirely go scot-free from backlashers whip because they haven’t quite done the much needed thing – which includes steering clear from corruption and bringing in the bigwigs to the book. Yet, the former is still tightly held by them while the matter is what offshore police agencies have managed to do for them.
Over the last few weeks, series of successful oversees police operations have taken place, with the most viral being the arrest of Ramos Abbas a.k.a hushpuppy by the Emirati authorities in Dubai for several counts of multinational fraud charges. Now Nigerian, pipped to its own game, is shamelessly fighting for right of custody of Mr. Abbas. Nigeria is a country with over 200 million people, and a vibrant youth population of over 33 million. But a happy countenance quickly frowns looking at how the youths are trailing, like zombie, towards this bad habit called “yahoo-yahoo”. It’s not a smokescreen to say that Nigeria youths are some of the most gifted people on the planet because their competence levels have excelled across geographies; at all sphere of influence –business, education, sports etcetera – we are outstanding, even amongst the big deal “white”.
Despite the ineptitude by the Nigerian law enforcement, the event and others tied to it will have managed what could be called ‘subliminal chain-breaking’ in the minds of millions of young Nigerians who are looking up to these plushy lads as their source of inspiration. Who knows, a couple more top level catch could work to obliterate the evil tradition forever so the Nigerian youth gets back on for a full credible service for country, home or aboard. What Nigerians can do, however, is to shun quick money-making schemes and connect back to their naturally endowed productive mentality, while the law enforcement agencies must always meet bribery advances with coldshoulder, and create a good community-based image that will enable locals to trust them enough to help them fight whatever crime there is to fight.
- Onuorah writes in via email@example.com
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