Nigeria’s Image And The Need For Social Change:
When certain crimes thrive, they do because the society is complicit. Crime is a social thing and would not have persisted if there was no form of social acceptance.
Consider high profile scam cases such as the FBI 80 involving some Nigerians, Invictus Obi and recently, an aide to the governor of Ogun State, Rufai. Dominic Nenge Joshua, a 21-year old who made the headlines for allegedly diverting N2b investors’ fund for personal use is another record of young Nigerians disrupting the global scam market. There are thousands more somewhere holding their phones and on their laptops hunting for victims as I type this.
Many young folks breaking barriers, inventing stuff and doing great for themselves and society through dedication and persistent hard work. It will be a prejudice to claim that all Nigerians are fraudsters. In fact, a survey reveals that Nigeria makes 1 percent of all online fraud, drug and scam related crime worldwide.
Mexico, Brazil, The United States, Panama, The Caribbean, Eastern Europe are some of the places whose depth of fraud related crime will shock the animal world.
However, the concern here is how did we manage to inhibit the few bad eggs among us?
Firstly, the most important issue is the glorification of prosperity at the expense of hard work. Families and friends and indeed the community equate financial prosperity to success.
The biggest spenders receive the greatest honor and praise in a society that do not ask questions about their source of wealth. Musicians celebrate these high profile spenders at parties with such emotional high pitch voice with that will make the head swell. Music videos celebrate money and girls too. By the way, both are like Siamese twins. It is based on the belief that beautiful girls can be attracted with great wealth. Who wants to marry a poor, struggling man these days?
A society that glorifies money against values will produce more criminals. To many, money, cars and houses are direct measurements of glory, where we celebrate the output or result without knowing the input or means.
An adage says, “your child is not into laundry and dry cleaning business, yet keeps bringing in new clothes.” Let’s call a spade a spade. A thief is a thief and we must denounce them, report them and ostracize them.
It will take courage for religious organizations and communities for instance, to reject donations by someone who may have stolen from his work place. When their criminal acts are exposed by the international community and investigation agencies, unfortunately, they will suffer alone.
Girlfriends will desert them, people who have benefited from their philanthropic gestures (fraudsters are the biggest spenders) and lavish spending will suddenly erase anything associated with them. If they are not caught, we associate with them, if they are, we leave them to their fate.