The Teen Ritualists, The Yahoo Kids, And Societal Failure

Abdulkadir Salaudeen

Abdulkadir Salaudeen

People say parental failure. They are right. But can we blame parents alone? When parental failures become very rampant, the blame is shifted to the society. This is true of Nigeria; and by extension, the global society. I have futilely tried to train my mind not to be disturbed again by the deluge of bad news to which we are already accustomed in Nigeria. The gruesome acts of criminality committed by our youths nowadays are mental damaging. No one who is in the know of current events of today’s Nigeria can maintain mental equilibrium no matter how much he struggles in the midst of grotesquely unbelievable crime news that continues to wreck our mental health. We are literally wrecked—a total wreck.

Those who are unable to read real meanings to events as they unfold might think some of us are alarmists. But the reality is that we are in a precarious situation with narrow possibility of redeemability. Why? Because some of us still stand arm akimbo as if we are immune from the series of crimes that are on geometric progression. If you have not been a victim, someone you know definitely have. If you think your home is fortified because it is full of righteous people, do not forget that your supposedly well trained children will, by necessity, relate with peers and larger members of the society. That is why we must be all concerned.

Nigerians witnessed two terrifying events, among others, some days ago. It is about the teenagers who want to become rich ‘now now’ and ‘fast fast’ as we say in our local parlance. Going by their ages, I consider them as kids who if given a N50 note as daily stipend (pocket money) when going to school should be overjoyed. Unfortunately however, at that age, they want to compete with all the Dangotes, the Otedolas, and the Alakijas of this world. They failed to realise that these rich individuals are entrepreneurial, industrious, and privileged; that they do not make their wealth within a twinkle of an eye; and that money, in most cases, comes with sweat and hardworking.

They truly believe that they can make money through rituals. Their conviction of the reality of blood money was to the core—without any tinge of doubt. This led them to do the unspeakable. Their act was both gruesome and nihilistic. It was both inhumane and animalistic. It was both anarchic and archaic. In this modern age? People still believe they could be rich through rituals. These are not just people but kids in their teens.

I hope we have started seeing the influence of Bollywood, Nollywood, and Kannywood in the lives of our kids. Crime scenes that make us grimace in abhorrence, when seen in movies and thereafter conclude that “after all it is movie”, has now become a reality show. Sadly, a daily reality show! I keep asking if this is real. This is fantastically unbelievable. It was indeed incredulous but the truth is that it is real because it happened and we saw it—we did not just read it or hear it.

I am referring to the brutish killing of a teen girl by her teen boyfriends. The killing reveals the level of putridness in our society. For me, details of how this girl was ritually murdered remain unspeakable and unprintable. I cannot narrate it on this page but we have all read it. The girl was also very cheap—morally bankrupt—if the confession of her teen murderers is anything to go by.

But when the responsible clerics preach against fornication, we jump at them that it is none of their businesses. We say it is a free world and a lady can freely use her body the way she likes. We weaponise the freedom of expression enshrined in Nigerian Constitution as our defence mechanism. But now we have realized that absolute freedom leads to absolute doom. It is high time we realized the importance of religion in human life.

Yet, this can be disputed. It can be said; which religion? Some of these teens graduated from a Baptist school. They attend weekly asalatu (a so-called weekly Islamic program), they even go to Islamiyyah as was reported. All these have no positive effects on them. This tells us that our society has failed. Religion which should ideally proffer solutions to our myriad problems has become the problem itself. The reason is not farfetched: many of our religious clerics today are out there just to earn a living, they are not interested in preaching the true gospel.

This is the truth. There are both Christian and Muslim charlatans who claim to be clerics, and unfortunately, with huge followers. They contribute to the rot in the society. They arm yahoo boys spiritually and assure them of God’s forgiveness. Recently one even said clerics should stop preaching against sin because they are not sure of themselves.

Have you also heard about a verbal altercation between the two clerics?  One condemns and rains curses on yahoo boys, while the other extols yahoo boys and prays for them. “What they are doing is right,” he asserts. A cleric even goes to the extreme and claims that yahoo boys are actually doing God’s work and they call on Him. We must really ‘shine our eyes’ to know where we take our religion before we are misled.

As we continue to condemn the shocking ritual killing of a teen girl by her teen lovers in Ogun State, a viral video of three yahoo kids surfaced. If you have not watched it please do. These three kids in their mid-teens (14, 15, and year old) travelled all the way from Delta to Edo State. To do what? “To hustle”, according to them. What kind of hustle? “Yahoo Hustle”, they explained. If you think we are not in a serious trouble, please have a rethink.

To address this get-rich-quick pandemic among our youths—now our kids—we need urgent ‘moral vaccine’ more than COVID-19 vaccine which is comparatively less deadly. Yahoo girls are reportedly coming on board. The children of yesterday whose parents and the society failed to train are the parents of yahoo boys today. They proudly formed Yahoo Mothers’ Association. Now that yahoo boys are gradually becoming parents, the disaster hovering over us can only be imagined. May God help us.


Abdulkadir Salaudeen

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