THEODORE Rosevelt once said: “It is better to be faithful than to be famous.” Research has shown that the word yahoo crept into lexical reckoning through Jonathan Swift’s much read novel Gulliver’s Travels which was published in 1726. It was one of the literature books studied in form one in secondary schools in the 1970s. This shows the great influence the book had for more than two centuries on the literary world. The word became commonplace through the American web services provider founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo. The usage of the word in Gulliver’s Travels was to denote a race of brutes or unruly people. It was reported that the present name is an acronym for ‘yet another hierarchical officious oracle’, but that Yag and Filo preferred the general definition of a yahoo as brutal, uncouth and degenerate human-like creatures. Apart from its association with the search engine, the word yahoo has an immediate and functional usage among Nigerians, especially the youth. It is a term for internet fraudsters. The fraud committed against unsuspecting victims has grown into a large scale business among Nigerian youth. It is a pity that one thing foreigners associate Nigerians with is this internet scam.
Yahoo, as a parlance in Nigeria, has further morphed into “Yahoo plus” to denote an advanced form of yahoo yahoo. This involves performing rituals and the use of harvested human organs in arcane ways to bamboozle prospective fraud victims. These days, the news trend among Nigerian youth is not flattering at all; it is from a sordid incident to a gory incident. These tales make one to shudder about the future of the country with the predilection of Nigerian youth for the occult and the craze for lucre. According to Jose Rizal: “The youth are the hope of our future.” A crime that used to be isolated and far from a regular occurrence is now drawing thousands of teenagers into its web. Teenagers who should still be under parental control are taught in the web of Yahoo plus. This horrendous act has graduated to ritual killings of loved ones and engaging in reprehensive displays as seen in a viral video where some youth were eating bread with faeces.
Everything has been reduced to money. Even God’s work is hardly done for selfless reasons now. The craze for money among Nigerian youth is becoming unbecoming and the church in Nigeria cannot be excused from culpability. Prosperity preaching has displaced salvation preaching in most of our churches today. Our society has come to see success only through the lens of wealth. Being wealthy frees a man from any form of harassment and intimidation and places him in a position to even oppress fellow mortals. The desire to amass wealth is the order of the day. Nigerian professionals are not excluded from the rat race for money. We have fake lawyers, fake doctors, fake police, fake soldiers, fake journalists, fake ministers of God, fake engineers, etc. A politician jokingly said that all of us Nigerians are Yahoo Yahoo folks. We are faced with gargantuan problems in Nigeria today. Vices have become fashionable in our national life. Marathon kidnapping, assassination, raping, cultism, certificate racketeering, plagiarism, armed robbery, election ridding, piracy, corruption and graft are the order of the day.
Despite the army’s motto of : ‘Victory is from God’, the Navy’s motto of : ‘Onward together’ the Air Force’s motto of ‘Willing able ready’, we still have a porous security network in the country. Our judiciary should not negate the legal maxim of : Audi alteram partem. (Hear the other side). The nation`s judges face many challenges. We must make proper use of our education. Parents should teach their children the value of dignity of labour. Yahoo Yahoo has become as difficult as a hereditary disease among Nigerians. Alfred Adler once said: ‘It is easier to fight for principleS than to live by them.” The EFCC and ICPC have found no permanent solution to the ranging problem of Yahoo Yahoo. Many Nigerian professionals travel abroad for greener pastures due to unemployment, insecurity, and socio-economic problems. As a cowardly columnist, I am afraid to travel abroad for fear of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ghanaian’s Ayikwei Armah has a homily in his novel: The Beautyful ones are not yet Born. What a gun can do, a pen can do better. Civilian administrators seem to be more corrupt than the military leaders they often condemn. In God`s ministry, the (MOG), ministers of God are not excluded from corrupt practices. We have prophets of doom among them. There are also “Envelope pastors” who parade the corridors of power as prayer contractors. News have been reported of dubious ministers of God who performed ritual killings to boost their fame or wealth in the attempt to woo many members into their churches. Responsibility is the price of freedom’, Elbert Hubbard once said. The problems of insensitive leaders and gullible masses are the bane of this country. How about survival strategies cum inflation in Nigeria? Do you think Nigeria can survive a second civil war? Remember the gory experience of the civil war period of 1967—1970! Recall the events of the election in 1983, 1993 and 2003? Can you prophesy what might be the outcome of the 2023 general poll? No wonder! A retired army general confessed that he can`t die for Nigeria.
Robert Schuler once opined ‘Tough times never last, but tough people do’. Who would be our “messiah” in 2023? Do you support the clamour for Oduduwa Nation or Biafran state? Or you support the plea for unity in diversity? All Nigerians should choose well and be as swift as eagles for a better Nigeria.
- Olaniyi, a media consultant, is based in Gbongan, Osun State