By Gloria Okezie-Okafor

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: Prostitutes are no longer found in hotels and brothels; they live in your houses, they worship in your religious places; they are your wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, girlfriends, fiancees. Much the same way, your husband, your brother, your fiance, your uncle, may be a fraudster. The only difference is the names have changed from what we know them to be, to what we hear now – hook-up babes and yahoo-guys.

There is hunger in town, and everybody wants to be rich – over night. And nearly everyone is in this game: politicians are doing last minutes stealing from the national coffer; kidnappers and ritualists preying on human victims to make money; hook-up babes are building mansions for their parents, even when some of them are known to be just students; yahoo-guys are driving latest cars, irrespective of the facts that some of them are only juveniles.

We are in trouble in Nigeria because of the huge cost of corruption, poverty, unemployment, dearth of morals, failings of the rule of law; as everyone wants to be rich without thinking of the consequences of doing it the wrong way. You can not even open a simple text message because scammers have perfected ways to clear your bank account within seconds – sometimes we hear they work with bankers, shame.

The future looks bleak, even doomed, as we are well labelled a consuming nation of over 200 million people, existing on consumption and not production. Someone should explain what’s happening here.

Videos making the rounds online show young and vibrant women – ladies in their late teens and twenties – being openly identified and branded as hook-up babes. For them, this is a soft way for making good money – who wants to spend 9-5 working for peanuts, struggling with commercial buses, staying long hours in traffic just to survive? Would this routine lifestyle give them the sort of comfort they want: wear the latest designers, eat at expensive restaurants, go holiday-ing in Dubai, and post beautiful pictures on social media?

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For the men: who wants to spend his entire life hustling and not being able to save enough because of inflation and the cost of living; and be able to buy the kind of cars they want or build the houses they wish, and be respected by their women? Who wants to grow old struggling in a country where there are no opportunities; and where you are not even guaranteed what you earn.

For just fifteen thousand Naira, you can get a 22 year old lady in Nigeria to open her legs for you. She doesn’t have to know you, or have any prior dealings with you. You can have her anywhere you wish: in your car, a hotel, your home, office, uncompleted building – even the corner of the road. It’s very easy these days – all thanks to mobile communication.

She could be a tertiary student, a secondary school student, or have a menial job; the idea is making more money through this advance form of prostitution. You don’t have to find them on the roadside at night; they come to you in bars, hotels, social gathering, through referrals, and via social media. You could even pay less or more depending on the level of the lady you got involved with. And they are making better money than those on monthly pay.

When night comes, go to any of the popular shopping malls or visit the pubs, and you will be amazed at the traffic of young men – some of them in their twenties, some juveniles. Many of them parked extensive cars outside, while they spend like crazy on drinks, or load shopping carts with goods worth so much money; and at their sides are pretty chicks – some of them underage.

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In the daytime, these young men have no business outside of their home, because they are busy making the money inside, using laptops and other gadgets that allow for internet communication and transactions. And their alerts are always coming in local and foreign currencies. No, these young dudes are not often kids of senators and governors – we know many of those ones also depend on public stealing to enrich themselves. These young men – some of them presumed to be students – are often kids of poor and struggling parents. This is not saying there are no legitimate remote jobs one can do from the comfort of their homes.

Whether you call them hook-up babes or yahoo guys, honestly the future looks bleak for Nigeria if we have our young people continue like this. We are already in big trouble. Poverty and bad morals is figured to be at the centre of this ills. The real issue here is massive unemployment and poor wages for workers – sometimes we know how workers are owed for months without pay.

Of importance too, is the fact that our money has lost value. A 100k for instance would not take you two weeks for an average family of four or five with growing children; not to mention that you can ever make a decent saving from it. And even if these factors are not bad enough, the lifestyle of our politicians and celebrities is not making things easy. Many of these young people emulate those ones – especially in a country that does not respect the rule of law; and one where the lawmakers themselves are the ones breaking the law.

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The downside is the potential rise in crime. When a population of young people are made to believe that they don’t have to bear the responsibility for how they make money, then expect an increase in criminal activities, a downward plunge of the economy, as well as the brain drain of these viable individuals owing to wrong influences. No one is considering the risks in these trades, and the potential damage it is doing to the nation economically and socially.

These young ones are the same people to whom we would hand the leadership of the country eventually. Currently, Nigeria is reduced to a begging nation because of corruption, where large sums of money are borrowed and no one sees where they are invested or used. The idea of consumption and living on the fast lane, is a proof of mental derangement of a people.

Making money is good; but making legitimate money is better. With a healthy economy and an uphold of the rule of law, Nigerians have an enormous potential to become a wealthy nation and people. We have the human capacity as well as the natural resources. There is a need to go back to the rule of law, and the entrenchment of a healthy value system.

Having a good economy – going from consumption to production; having steady power supply, making our academic system workable and of international standards, ensuring that everyone irrespective of status abides by the laws guiding us, and held accountable – would salvage our nation. Young people need to have skills that are marketable, irrespective of what they studied. This is one of the ways to save future leaders as well as the dignity of our nation before global onlookers.


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