For the average Nigerian youth today, the working code is to get rich by any means or die trying. For them, the route does not matter as the most important factor is the destination. The end justifies the means they say! In a poorly planned society where materialism and unequal distribution of wealth and resources have become the order of the day, it is only natural that crime rates and social vices will be almost unbeatable.
The only way to describe what is happening among Nigerian youths is an invasion of the minds of these youngsters with the Get-rich-quick manta and its syndrome that kills them slowly.
Many Nigerian youths are lazy, indolent, and feel entitled about many things, even without any iota of hard work on their part. The Get-rich-quick syndrome has enthroned the culture of getting quick fixes instead of slow and steady progress. Rather than earn money and recognition from diligence, the youths of today would rather choose financial success that happens overnight without any iota of stress or struggle.
If you asked a few youths, they would respond to you with the ‘I can’t kill myself’ mantra, as if their parents and elders before them who rolled up their sleeves and got engaged in honest business have died from doing the right thing.
While society seems to have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to this worrisome situation, with some people, even shamelessly singing the praises of people who got rich by no known or legitimate means, the unlawful and immoral act continues to be rampant amongst our youths.
No matter how you look at it, proponents, supporters, and those who practice the get-rich-quick behaviour are not only opposing what is socially and economically right but they are also engaged in illegal and ungodly practices.
How do these young people manage to get rich quickly without as much as a drop of sweat? They engage in terrible crimes like drug peddling, armed robbers, kidnapping, Internet fraud, and most alarmingly, ritual killings.
In the past year, we have seen, heard, and watched stories of ritual killings on social media and even traditional media. Lots of bodies have been found with missing parts, corpses have been exhumed, and many ladies have been found roaming the street immediately after getting down from flashy vehicles. Stories of young people killing their parents have also made it to the list, with the most recent ones being the stories of teenagers who went to ritual doctors to use their manhood for rituals so they can get money.
Teenage ritual killers are now on the increase, which tells a story of nothing other than a country that is losing its already weakened hold on its morality and positive spirituality. Instead, they are being replaced by slothfulness, heartlessness, and downright wickedness and evil.
Social media has become one of the major places where the get-rich-quick syndrome is massively pushed and promoted as a trend to become a part of. You find the youngsters showing off their exotic cars, designer clothings, and expensive accessories to anyone who has eyes to see. It has become almost impossible to find a handful of youths in every given situation who have earned their dollars, pounds, and naira through a legitimate skill, talent, or career. Instead, the get-rich-quick gospel is getting new converts per hour throughout the country.
As a country, Nigeria can no longer pretend like it is not standing on the precipice, with only a little push remaining before being sent into the abyss of a destructive society that cannot be remedied.
The time has come for Nigeria and Nigerians to take a critical look at its value system or what’s left of it. Nigerian needs to talk about the monsters of materialism and the consumer mentality that has driven the country into so many problems.
Nigeria needs to rebuild its value system, remind the youths about the benefit of honest work, and Nigerians can do this by becoming the productive country it was before. If the country showed the youths that honest labour still pays, this would be able to bring many of them back to the right path.
Nigerians needs to call out their leaders for all that they have failed to do, especially the damage they have done to the country’s socioeconomic and political welfare.
Instead of living in denial and claiming that the recent negative practices of the country’s youths came from thin air or are signs of the end time which we can’t help, Nigerians must admit that the socioeconomic and political systems in the country have failed, and need to be rebuilt if the country wants to move forward. Nigeria must reconstruct the foundation of integrity, truthfulness, justice, transparency, and hard work, on which Nigeria used to be known for.
Apart from the collapse of the values that Nigerian society used to be known for, poverty has pushed people into desperation, and young people now have to cater, not only for themselves but also for their largely unemployed parents.
The nature of parenting in today’s society has also raised a lot of questions, especially when we hear stories of teenagers engaged in kidnapping, ritual killings, internet fraud, and the like. One has to ask what the parents of these kids were doing when they ought to have been training them. Sadly, some parents even push their teenagers into this deranged, demented, and immoral world of ill-gotten wealth.
While some parents have taken their kids to ‘Yahoo Training Schools’ to learn the criminal act of financial crime, the parents of the ‘successful’ fraudsters have set up ‘Mothers of Yahoo Boys’ association where they bond, celebrate their children’s ill-gotten wealth and spend stolen money without batting an eyelid.
At this point, nobody can escape the blame as far as the Nigerian situation is concerned. Everybody must have an equal share in the blame, as well as the solution, including the political leaders, parents, and religious leaders. In fact, no right-thinking and well-meaning member of society is left out of the blame.
Every member of society must rise now and fight the battle against the monster that has reared its ugly head in Nigeria.
We must make our youths understand that honesty, hard work, dedication, and determination are the means of building wealth legally. They must become resourceful, skillful, and useful to themselves and society, rather than allowing greed and selfishness to overtake them.
In conclusion, any youth reading this is encouraged to get involved in skill acquisition, entrepreneurship, and white or blue-collar jobs that are free of crime and corruption. Decide to chase after an honest goal and stop at nothing to achieve it through honest means only. Hard work and diligence are always worth it in the end, just as cutting corners and involvement in crime will always have its recompense. There is no shortcut to success in life.