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The Day My Mouth Was Left Agape at an Abeokuta Restaurant

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Abdurraheem Saad Dembo

 

By AbdurRaheem Sa’ad Dembo

In June, 2015 I was in Abeokuta on an official assignment but my experience at a restaurant around Panseke has remained memorable. It was a day my mouth was left opened in dismay. It was also a moment I was dumbfounded going by what I had witnessed at that restaurant.

I am from Ilorin but I lived in Kano throughout my secondary school and University education, even though I visited Ilorin at the end of every semester. So is as good as I may not know what is obtainable among the young people in the Southern part of Nigeria.

As usual, I entered the restaurant and requested for rice and beans with two meats; meanwhile, a group of young boys who were gorgeously dressed in polo shirts and three quarters came in. One of them said they should sell three wraps of Amala with forty pieces of meat. The next person requested for two wraps and thirty meats and so on. They came along with big plates or I can call it a slightly big cooler. I looked at my left and right side perplexed.

That was the first time I had witnessed such a scenario since I was born. The woman fetched my food and I did justice to it. But as I was eating, it kept ringing in my head. Haba! Forty pieces of meats.

After I retired to a place I was putting up in the evening, I shared the strange experience with a brother.

“Eyin ara oke oya” meaning you people from the North. He said those boys I saw were Yahoo boys. He explained in detail how they operate, even though he lamented the ill development.

In the same year, I was in Ijebu-Ode on another official assignment and I lodged in a hotel. On a weekend, a group of boys drove in an exotic car and I overheard them telling the hotel receptionist that they would need steady light overnight and he assured them.

As early as 5:30 a.m. the following day they left the hotel and I quickly went out of my room, asked the receptionist who were they. In affirmative tone he disclosed they were Yahoo boys. I then sequentially narrated by experience at a restaurant in Abeokuta to him. He said,” Ema wo Bross, last night when they asked for alcohol upstairs; the ponmo i counted when they were eating may be up to 50 pieces”. That perfectly corroborated my strange experience in Abeokuta.

This piece is not all about my astonishment at the restaurant but uncovering the audacity of the young boys who are supposed to be the pride of our Nation. It is also significant to establish that Abeokuta is a cool city, where one can have good time, so explaining or sharing my experience about Yahoo boys there is not in any way to disparage the city and the people. The city has a special face lift in recent years due to the sagacity and good governance provided by former Governor, Ibikunle Amosun in the instances of expanded roads and bridges that would avail the eyes beautiful glimpse.

Significantly, the prevalence of Yahoo boys is now in almost every geopolitical zones in Nigeria. As parents we must teach our children the way of God so that they won’t go astray. We must not shy away from our primary responsibility of catering for them and monitoring them properly. Parents should not be too occupied to not having time for their children. At the end of one’s career, a person’s success is largely measurable, among other things, within the context of how well one’s children are doing.

*Causes of the Menace*

*Impatience*: The youth of today do not want to do the right thing. They want to cut corners. Get-rich-quick syndrome is what some of our youths believe in. They believe strongly that “Yahoo Yahoo” is the way to go. In fact, there is another level of it which is termed “Yahoo plus” , that is likened to rituals.

*Bad parenting*: This is the stage where “Yahoo Yahoo” is unconsciously nurtured by parents. As a parent it is your responsibility to provide for your child. But once you fail in this regard, you have exposed your children to dangerous or ruining tendencies. Once they see someone who is providing for them, thus they are susceptible to getting unwholesomely influenced. Some parents have indeed contributed to the waywardness of their children .

A social media Influencer, Ayekooto Akindele opined recently on his Facebook post, “Home Training is the greatest thing you owe the country as a patriotic citizen. Give it to your children before you give them smartphones”. Giving them smartphones early in life could lead them to such an unpalatable enterprise, if they are not properly monitored. It is better you don’t even give them.

I have read it online where mothers of Yahoo boys are calling themselves Association of Yahoo boys mothers Association. This is heart-wrenching and despicable. I have also heard that some parents advertently took their children to learn “Yahoo Yahoo”. This is also another sad one. Sometimes in 2020 in Ado Ekiti, the day the soccer maestro Diego Armando Maradona died, I was sitting in front of a restaurant with other colleagues and a young man was driving in an exotic car with some guys with him. Then one of the men who were also sitting close to a Vulcaniser spotted the young man and said ” him head dey there now, na Yahoo boys him dey drive. I was shocked and concluded that he was one of the bad parents contributing to the proliferation of Yahoos.The man by my observation could be in his 60s .Apparently, such a man does not see anything bad in such an unholy enterprise.

*Government attitude*: Our government laxity in providing jobs and enabling environment for private sectors to engage the youths is largely instrumental to the ugly social trend. Of course, the government can’t employ all her citizens; but can provide an enabling environment for private sectors to absolve many citizens.

*Get-rich-quick syndrome*: The youths of today want to cut corners and get rich quickly, forgetting the consequences of such excessive ambitions.

*Quest for luxury and freedom*: They want to belong to certain class in the society who are using exotic cars, Living in mansion and romancing beautiful women around them ,and lavishing the ill-gotten wealth on them uncontrollably.

*Peer group and Societal Pressure*. Mingling with bad boys can encourage innocent young men into Yahoo.Some parents and even the society sometimes mount unnecessary pressure on their sons by vituperating dangerous remarks that may ginger them into Yahoo business.

The National Assembly has huge responsibility towards addressing the threat by coming up with serious legislation that would spell out punishment for those who engage in Yahoo and Yahoo plus. They should also focus on the role of security agents in combating the menace because it has been rumoured that some security agents are also accomplices.

The Role of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in combating the menace is commendable. There have been so many arrests and convictions of young men accros the country who are into Yahoo Yahoo. But frankly, what the EFCC is doing is basically a reactive approach; we must however imbibe a holistic approach that would engender both proactiveness and reactiveness.

A veritable aspect of the proactiveness is good parenting. If parents invest their energy, care and prayers, the children would be far from the various wayward tendencies, such as Yahoo Yahoo. Though we cannot rule out the fact that some parents have been dutiful in their roles, their children have chosen to betray positive moulding. Whichever way, good parenting remains the prerequisite towards ensuring that the menace is reduced to the barest minimum in our society.

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has a role to play here. They should come up with jingles on radio,television and Internet that would dissuade young men from venturing into the menace of “Yahoo Yahoo” ; it would help the entire young population in the short and in the long run. There should also be the aspect targeted at parents, where the jingles would dramatise or explain the consequences of failing to protect and prevent their children from such evil machinations. The jingles should also focus on the Fleetingness of joy embedded in the Yahoo thing.They can equally partner other agencies in order to take the campaign to schools and other places.

It is imperative to establish that Yahoo Yahoo is more prevalent in some regions than the others. Hence, NOA should focus more on the regions where it is rampant. That doesn’t mean other regions should be disregarded. It is a serious threat to our noble existence and collective measures must be taken to addressing the menace. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.

abdurraheemsaaddembo@gmail.com

Opinion

Rivers Boils, Kano Simmer: Political Chaos and Federal Indifference

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Harun Muhammad

For those that have been following with a keen interest, Rivers politics has been intensely boiling for almost a year now. First, a state Governor losing a control of his entire cabinet members, and the State Assembly intended to serve him an impeachment notice. Instead to allow that unfortunate event to happen, he instructed demolition of the House Assembly chamber. This single act could’ve been termed as an absolute abuse of power and treasonable offence against the democratic settings of our land. However, nothing happened.

Secondly, while on that mission of emancipation, we have watched with dismay how the police, under instructions from those close to the corridors of powers, discharge out hot water on the Executive Governor of Rivers, all in the attempt to stop him from having access to the Assembly chamber. However, that didn’t stop him. The Governor, used executive power to present his budget to minority assembly members, which was considered as illegitimate way of democratic processes. Again, nothing happened.

Thirdly, since last few months, there has been tension in the state because the tenure of the existing local government chairmen is expiring tomorrow. As a result, the Wike and Fubara’s camp started throwing heavy threats. The former’s camp is claiming that only the court of law can sack them while the later are saying, based on the orders from the Governor, they must vacate their seats before tomorrow. As I am writing this, it is getting spontaneously tense in Rivers, and only God knows when this melting pot will stop boiling.

Why am I saying this?

Ever since this series of events started to emerge in Rivers, the State Governor and the security forces in the state, despite multiple court orders and proceedings, have been working closely with Gov Fubara. There has never a time when a Commissioner of Police publicly disagreed with the Governor. In fact, the first CP was removed and new one was issued into the state at the peak of the turmoil just to make things easier for the Governor.

Rivers, being one of the oil-producing states, is a critical factor to Nigeria’s evaporating economy. With political instability on ground, a clear threat to the national security is conspicuously aiming to emerge. However, there was never a time the security forces takeover some portion of the state against the State Governor’s order. There was never a time security forces usurped the Executive Governor. There was never a single time.

On the other hand, in Kano, the state government passed a law to revert the Emirate to its status quo, which has been in existing over 100 years ago. The Governor, by the power given to him constitutionally, signed the bill into law. By that single Act, the Governor generously refused to send the dethroned out of the state against the tradition of the Emirate in the past.

Despite this, some political actors find themselves in a position to destabilise the peaceful coexistence of the state, which has given them everything. Consequently, with the help from the above, they have been fanning the embers of resentment which continues to smolder, threatening to reignite from time to time.

It should be noted that, the Rivers and Kano issues are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive events. However, the later seems to have drawn more attention to the security forces and federal government, despite posing significantly less threat to the national security than the one in Rivers. The question is: why always Kano?

Again, it should be noted that the political actors, having been democratically defeated at the polls twice, including the courts, are hellbent to continuously cause unending chaos in Kano State, and therefore prepare them for 2027 election.

We shall remind the Federal Government that the people who are encouraging them to challenge a democratically elected Governor are not doing the entire process a favour. More specifically, what we want the state actors to note that they are setting a dangerous precedence because tomorrow someone with access to power could play a worse syntax against the laws in the land.

The world is watching, and seven years—even if those in power secure re-election—will quickly pass.

Haroun Muhammed writes from Lagos, Nigeria

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Opinion

The Wike ,I never Expect-Abba Hamisu

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Governor Wike making the address

 

Abba Hamisu

Glad to be a resident of Abuja the Federal Capital Territory FCT,glad to have Nyesom Wike as FCT Minister .

Yes in past nine years particularly from 2014 to 2022 I frequently visit Abuja from Kano mostly by air as one of my clients that I provide TV content for them paid the bill on weekly basis together with one or two of my workers at Time Base TvAfrica ,but from the Airport to my hotel all I see then was dust plus harders walking freely around some of the strategic areas of the city .

But with coming of the former Rivers State Governor Wike who mostly perceived to be a stubborn politician ,things have suddenly change overnight.

What I mean by overnight is that the man have change the face of Abuja within one year. I am proud with this development and appreciate the support of Dr. Bunkure ,the State Minister of FCT who was the former Commissioner for Higher Education in Kano State from 2019 to 2023.

With out bothering you much ,what really passionate me about this man is the completion of the Abuja Metro rail which was initiated during the second tenure of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Serial FCT Ministers couldn’t complete this project but Wike did. From Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to the National Stadium down to Edu rail station up to the Central area ,the main Metro stations,was a lovely journey,free of charge for all passengers including me on 7th June 2024 .And according to the plan ,the train will be free up to December 2024.

So Abuja residents like me and Visitors have every right to enjoy this giant project of Wike.

Congratulations Abuja residents and Nigerians by Extension.

My hope is to see Kano light rail soon ,forget about politics ,Governor Yusuf should learn from Wike ,as Prophet of Islam (S A.W ) said “Wisdom is the property of a pious man ,he should pick it where ever he see’s it”.

Kano need modern transportation system fly overs and under passes alone can not provide the needed solutions.

Abba Hamisu Sani ,is the CEO Time Base TvAfrica/Nigerian Bureau Chief Africa Press and the National Coordinator Society For Patriotic Journalism.

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Opinion

Federal Government Agents Must Uphold the Law, Not Cause Havoc in Kano

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Emir Of Kano Muhammadu Sunusi II

 

By Turaki Abubakar

The recent turmoil surrounding the emirship throne in Kano is distressing and alarming. I am compelled to speak out against the blatant disregard for the law and moral integrity by federal government agents and certain political factions.

Governor Kabir Abba Yusuf has signed into law a decision that deposed the five emirs, effectively reinstating Muhammadu Sanusi II as the Emir of Kano. However, federal security institutions, including the Nigerian Army, Police, and the Department of State Services (DSS), are allegedly working against the implementation of this law, undermining the state’s legal authority.

The complicity of former Governor Ganduje and his camp in this legal defiance is evident. They are abusing the judicial process by rushing to federal courts in Abuja for matters that should be under the exclusive jurisdiction of state high courts. This is a dangerous precedent for federal overreach into state matters.

It is shameful and degrading for institutions like the Nigerian military, police force, and DSS to be allegedly compromised in this manner. Their involvement in this unconstitutional stand-off is a direct affront to the resolutions passed by the Kano State House of Assembly and signed into law by Governor Abba.

The jurisdictional issues are clear. State high courts have exclusive jurisdiction over chieftaincy matters, not federal courts. The Federal High Court has overstepped its bounds by entertaining cases related to the emirship that are the purview of state courts.

I urge senior lawyers, citizens, and all those with a conscience to speak out against this encroachment on Kano’s autonomy and legal integrity. The law must take its rightful place. Aminu Ado Bayero is no longer the Emir of Kano, and unless the law is repealed and his appointment reversed, Muhammadu Sanusi II remains the duly appointed Emir.

In conclusion, the federal government must refrain from encouraging impunity and ensure that its agents respect the rule of law. The institutions responsible for maintaining law and order should not be used as tools for political maneuvering and unconstitutional actions. It is high time that the federal government upholds the principles of justice and legality, allowing Kano State to govern its affairs without undue interference.

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