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Kidnappers value money more than Human life

In the last few weeks, stories of kidnappings and ritual killings have been all over the news in various parts of the country. In Kano, five-year-old Hanifah was kidnapped and slain by her abductors, one of whom was her schoolteacher, Abdumalik. In Ogun, three boys aged 17-20 murdered Rofiat, a girlfriend of one of the killers, decapitated her and proceeded to boil her head as a part of a ritual process before police apprehended them.

These evil acts make you wonder what is happening in the country and why the crime wave has risen at an alarming crescendo. The perpetuation of these acts can be attributed to greed and poverty. You may argue that the country has fallen into hard times, and perhaps the high unemployment rates have driven some into committing evil acts as a means of survival.

Images presented in the media glorifying extravagant lifestyles fueled by dubious means through song lyrics and music videos also play a part; more people are exposed to misleading information, and people make fun of others who haven’t acquired wealth, encouraging them to make money whatever means necessary. There are songs mainly in the street hop genre with lyrics that praise internet fraud a.k.a “yahoo yahoo,” encouraging people who listen to these songs to scam unsuspecting people of their money and live “la Vida Loca”. Some of these songs are tunes we mindlessly dance and sing along to at wedding parties, the club, naming ceremonies etc., including; Cash app by Bella Shmurda was a massive hit at weddings in 2020.

In Jos just a few weeks ago, a university student Jennifer Anthony was murdered by her 20-year-old boyfriend and left in a hotel room, her eyes plucked out. Many of the victims of these evil acts are women who were girlfriends to the men they were murdered by, and even though their only crime was loving someone who decided to sacrifice their lives for money, they are blamed for it. They are branded as money-hungry girls who just wanted to latch on to a rich boyfriend and paid for it with their lives, almost absolving the perpetrator of blame.

The authorities, on their part, do nothing to stop these evil acts from happening; a few days ago, a video was making the rounds on the internet of some young men on the zebra crossing in Owerri, Imo state sitting on a potty and eating their faeces with bread. No one appeared to stop them even though they were indecently exposed and being nuisances, and they just carried on with the activity in the middle of the road.

And when kidnappings happen, the families of the kidnapped go ahead and raise the ransom money because they know involving the authorities would yield little to no results.

The question that begs for an answer remains, is there an end in sight? For how long would we continue to live in fear of our neighbours because you never know who may try to hurt us? When will this scourge come to an end?

Money has been put first before humanity, and people with dreams and aspirations of their own are slaughtered to usher in wealth for others? When did we become a people with no conscience and no regard for God and man?

Poverty and economic hardship is never justifiable reason for murder. However, we should not ignore the fact that if there were equal opportunities for Nigerians to earn money legitimately, there wouldn’t be such a high rate of evil crimes. We should endeavour to play our part in condemning these crimes by speaking up against them, and organizations that regulate the media should ban songs and videos that glorify making money through illicit means. The proper authorities should also step up and put an adequate punishment system for those who engage in kidnapping, internet fraud and other nefarious activities. It is becoming too much to ignore.