He left the civil service unplanned and was face to face with a chequered future, no retirement benefits. Pa Chuka lives in Mowo, a Badagry suburb with the rest of his family members, while his 22 year old son lives in highbrow Ajah area of Lagos Island with a retinue of friends and with the acquiescence of his parents.
Even though he is a student in a University in the neighbouring state, Edwin took a permanent residence in Ajah where he and his cohorts engage in nefarious activities including internet scam, a.k.a. Yahoo.
Meanwhile, Pa Chuka regale friends with the illusion that his son now lives in a priced part of the megacity. He is quick to remind anyone who cares. Edwin education wasn’t so much of importance. And like Pa Chuka used to say in pidgin, ” who school help”? As far as Edwin visit occasionally with his friends in exotic cars and some cash gifts for his parents and siblings, the question of morality, education and good conducts can go to the winds.
It is intriguing, students now lives in hotels doing Yahoo, defrauding people of their hard earned fortunes, they are not studying. They are sorting, bribing lectures for a pass. They only come into the campus with a convoy once in a while to show up or rather to impress (to use campus parlance), their fellow students.
You can not believe it, some lecturers virtually worship them. The boys pamper the lecturers with money and other gift items– exotic wine, expensive phones , laptop computers and sometimes state- of the- art television sets.
In time past, a student shares a room in the hostel with two or three others with double bunks. Now, some of them live in flats and duplexes, just as they ride in some of the latest automobiles.
The craze cut across campuses in the country. According to a senior lecturer at the Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi state, Dr. I. G. Osigbemhe, ” The future is bleak when we talk about Yahoo boys especially as it relates to our educational institutions. In the north here, it is commonplace, especially among the street urchins. However, in the south, it is a ravaging thing such that the academic calendar are sometimes disrupted due to their nefarious and anti- social activities”.
It is also worthy of note that some of this boys engages in what can be described as ‘quasi marriage’. This is a condition where the boys cohabits with some of the most beautiful girls in the campus and often in the city outskirts. This girls cook for them, wash their clothes and all that a woman does for a man.
For these girls, though teenagers at home, they wear the toga of adults in school. With such dual persona, they deceive their parents and guardians, who are still of the assumption that they are innocent. Their itinerary revolves around the school campus, far flung hotels in the cities as well as upscale parties involving moneybags, political heavyweights and other gladiators, who use them as ” blankets” for the night.
Some of the boys and their female counterparts also do drugs, ostensibly to keep them ‘ high’ and goad them with Dutch courage to embark on criminal activities.
Again, Dr Osigbemhe explained thus; ” Come to think of it, they have even gone a step further with Yahoo- plus. This in their parlance aggregates kidnapping, burglary and ritualistic activities that has brought sorrow to parents as well as students”.
—– Best Ofori