Diezani: Case of a Yahoo Grandmother’s Message to Yahoo Boys


Wonders shall never end with the shameless always battling to make the headlines for desperate attention either for the fun of it or to launder their battered reputations caused by the sordid past through unabated crime while in public office.

It beats an imagination that even the sacked, ran away and one of EFCC’s most desperately wanted suspects, former petroleum resources minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke had the guts and temerity to pass negative comments on the activities of her most junior colleagues in crime, the yahoo boys.

Was it nemesis that caught up with her to have made that laughable comment on her comrades in trade, or just looking for an escape route from her already established crime or laundering an already battered reputation? It was really a case of a kettle calling a pot black or calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

Diezani of all creations talking with guts on the disintegration of societal values in a country she stole to bleed? What a funny world!

Diezani had the guts at an Ijaw National Development event to say that societal values have disintegrated to the extent that online fraudsters better known as yahoo boys have become role models in the Nigerian society.

That was a typical case of a pen robber on an Oath of Allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria that abused public trust, insulted the Holy Book and ‘sentenced’ several innocent souls to early graves shamelessly calling her like minds the armed robber a criminal for robbing an individual.

The former minister said: “The ones that have swag, the yahoo yahoo boys as my son would say, these in short are the role model they are looking at. These are the ones that reinforce negative societal norms and values”.

She added; “There are no shortcuts to working your way up the ladder of life. Progressing in life in work and relationship marital or otherwise is always dependent on consistent and hard work” And she finished. I clap for Diezani for such a ‘wonderful’ thought provoking statement from a suspect in hiding.

Agreed, there is no short cut to working your way up the ladder of life as she proffered. But having known that, why then for God’s sake did she follow the short cut way up the ladder by robbing the public with her pen as a petroleum minister? Why did she divert part of what she stole to fund the victory of the political party she desperately wanted to remain in power pauperizing the people? If she is innocent of all the allegations heaped on her as she claims, let her gather the courage to return to Nigeria to prove that innocence she claims.

From my little understanding, there is nothing wrong with Diezani preaching moral values that she glaringly lack to Nigerians at a time the productive youths are engaged into internet fraud. We all know of the growing concern on the rising cases of cybercrime in the world at large not only in Nigeria. These crimes among the youths, has led to the enactment of harsh laws by many countries to contain it including our Nigeria.

However, the questions begging for answers are: How did Nigerian youths find themselves in the unlawful thriving business of internet fraud? What motivates them to get into it despite the consequences associated? Are their actions due to the country’s hostile environment where survival remains for the fittest or because of the high rate of corrupt practices and stealing of public funds by those in leadership positions? Or lack of employment opportunities for engagement or envy of their peers who have made it through legitimate means?

It could have been better for Diezani to have pondered a little and reflected on the causes of the mess which she remains an unpardonable contributor.

To begin with, how Nigerian youths find solace in the yahoo yahoo business, one has to look at the country’s rising rate of unemployment, dilapidated healthcare system, comatose educational system, crippled agricultural development, poor industrial policy and electricity supply, high scale of resource mismanagement, insincere policy implementations, dwarfed security system and laughable and directionless leadership style at all levels . In the last few years, unemployment and insecurity rose exponentially in the country courtesy of lukewarm attitudes from those in leadership positions.

For instance, unemployment and underemployment became more glaring as our tertiary institutions continue to churn out many graduates into the already choked-up labor market without a policy to engage them out of idleness.

While I may agree partially with Diezani on the disintegration of societal values in the country which turned the youths to yahoo boys to become negative role models, lack of good leadership and jobs opportunities for the teeming youths are contributing factors to the bad trend.

What about the menace of corruption? It is only in this clime that an identified highly corrupt public figure gathers guts to shamelessly and pretentiously stand before the innocent to condemn corruption while temporarily forgetting that he is corruption personified and that is exactly what the society sees him to be. Politics which ought to be used to foster growth and development has become the shortest and easiest route to illegal wealth to water ostentatious living style that attracts the youths to take to crimes. The former minister knows this fact because she is a contributor to the disintegration of societal values. We have seen how public funds budgeted for educational or socio-economic development are tampered with by itchy-fingers and ends up looted through fictitious claims of service.

Diezani could have saved what remains of her already battered reputation by making a distinct difference between the yahoo boys she was referring to who swindle their victims at any slight opportunity and our politicians, her course mates in the college of corruption and those civil servants who muster the art of looting, stabilizing stealing and diversion with impunity and still feel proud and pompous on the corridor of power.

While a segment of the society probably looks at the yahoo boys as role models as said, others emulate the likes of Diezani who allegedly feed fat or are living in opulence from proceeds of crime(corruption) and with fear of the obvious or nemesis, the law of retribution at the end of it all.

Let Diezani and her course mates not dear celebrate the exit of Magu from EFCC, Magu may be out unceremoniously but a better and more ruthless AbdulRasheed Bawa is on seat to continue with the onerous task of ridding the society of the locusts and their boastful associates. The message delivered by Diezani to the Ijaw youth is factual for the records but let us all believe that it originated from a grandmother of corruption who madly stole so much from her country, abused the trust reposed in her and swiftly fled to exile under the guise of medical attention that seems to have no end. To me, Diezani Ali-son Madueke lacks any moral value to correct any wrong in any society even after repentance from crime. The woman has already abused public trust, is a huge disappointment to womanhood, an insult to mothers and a big disgrace to educated Africans that should be kept at a distance. It is better for those in leadership positions in Nigeria to know the naked truth that majority of the people have lost confidence and trust in them. They are seen as part of the problem not the solution. In most cases, they are fooled to believing they are loved and respected for what can be squeezed from them. They are only tolerated for the provisions of the law against jungle justice but are not desirable. That is my take!

Muhammad is a commentator on national issues.

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