Yahoo-Yahoo boys

• Jail or rehabilitation, the bottom line is crime does not pay

The decision of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to open a rehabilitation window, in dealing with youths involved in cyber-crimes, would touch a chord in many, just as it triggers an alarm in others.

Rehabilitation or prosecution (and eventual jail, if guilt is returned), the point must be made: cyber-crime is abhorrent, and every decent society must frown at it, and reserve its right to mete out stiff punishment to offenders.

If rehabilitation does not vitiate that stern message, then the EFCC’s new agenda would be welcome. But rehabilitation must not be interpreted, nonetheless by the Yahoo-Yahoo boys themselves, as though the state is getting soft on that aspect of the crime. Should that interpretation come, the society is sunk?

That is why the EFCC, in implementing this new approach, must strike the right balances to ensure this reform, of the approach to law, does not turn a deform of the society’s moral fiber.

Still, the two principles propelling this new approach is both welcoming and alarming.

From the EFCC’s explanation, exploring rehabilitation, over prosecution and jail, is recourse to that good, old adage: prevention is better than cure. You could even throw in another concept: that of hating the crime but loving the criminal.

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Loving the criminal but hating his crime entails that the person involved is only human; and that if he can do crime — and time — he can also, with the right approaches, be weaned of crime.  That means though crime is to be condemned and punished, a criminal who has served his term need not remain a criminal forever. Everyone, after all, deserves a second chance.

This thinking is behind the relatively new approach of regarding prison less as punishment, more as the correction. Incidentally, the EFCC new thinking is coinciding with the Nigerian Prison Service changing its name to Nigerian Correctional Services. We hope both are not happenstance; and are fired by the common philosophy that the Nigerian state won’t give up on even criminals until they are reformed.

But even better than reform after the crime, “prevention is better than cure” averts crime ab initio, by ensuring proper and decent behavior. That is why the EFCC proposal to go

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work closely with universities and other tertiary institutions, to ensure less and fewer undergraduates travel that criminal route, is welcome.

The question though is if prevention, at that stage, is not already too late, since these youths would appear to have imbibed the bad habit; and also developed friends and peers that reinforce the bad habit, of wealth without a sweat.

Inasmuch as the EFCC should not be discouraged from its new approach, it will perhaps achieve more if it does a more basic family enlightenment drive, maybe in concert with the rather comatose National Orientation Agency (NOA). That way, it targets the home and the virtual cradle.

That brings the matter to the alarming aspect of EFCC’s revelation — its claim that most of the cybercrime suspects it has arrested (and been arresting) are undergraduates. That really must trigger some alarm — except if that statement was a careless hyperbole, to underscore the unacceptably high number of undergraduates involved in cybercrimes!

Undergraduates as leading cybercriminals — how did we get to that terrible pass? By its Nigerian evolution, universities were not only beacons of hope (for the socially humble to climb up the social ladder, by a dint of intellect and scholarship), it was also a peer leveler, as youths from every background: rich or poor, high or low; products of expensive private schools or those from cheap public schools, find themselves as peers studying under a common atmosphere.

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In such a setting, crime would be an anathema, as everyone is focused on a brighter future, dependent on how they push their young minds, during their university days. What then has changed? Is the situation now then so hopeless that even undergraduates now see a better future in cybercrime, and not the sweat of their brow?

That is the grim question that came from EFCC’s communication. The governments, federal and state, would do well to pay special attention to this new plague.

That pushes the argument back to the very beginning: rehabilitation, in lieu of jail, is a wonderful idea; but only if it doesn’t give the wrong impression of justification or abdication.

Updated: September 3, 2019 — 11:39 am

27 Comments

  1. SEE, Yahoo or no yahoo there would still be crime, forgery and dubious acts in nigeria so we either use taht to our advantage or it becomes a disadvantage.

  2. This is a very good move by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Nigerian youths have taken this Yahoo of a thing to be a priority

  3. I think if they do that all the yahoo boy we stop because no body want to learn work nowadays most of are youth are doing yahoo I think thats his the right

  4. youths of this days are so much in hurry to get rich illegally. I pray they change for good.

  5. Crime is a crime no matter the level of it and very one involve should be treated as a criminal no matter his age if at all he can defraud someone of his hard earn money you know if care is not taken that person can kill you to get your money.

  6. Yahoo stuff brings more money now but I will be glad if something must be done on it before thing getting out of hand…

  7. They are already in it, is just to advice them to put more effort.

  8. They should always punish them anywhere they catch them with their criminal acts

  9. this is a good decision taking by the economic and financial crime commission to sanitize the internet

  10. If there is a way of easy job in the country i there will be no way of draging the youth attention to yahoo

  11. This is really a beautiful approach by the EFCC, I hope it becomes fruitful

  12. Jail or rehabilitation, the bottom line is crime does not pay. People should start buying sense cus it’s cheap.

  13. I hope this rehabilitation we are saying will not attract many to the prison yard. Let start building our children properly in schools. Government should rehabilitate our schools to reduce nuisance in the society.

  14. Yahoo business is gaining more ground in Nigeria because Nigerians are in the habit of celebrating these lazy criminals, all because of wealth they display.

  15. They should try and end this yahoo yahoo abeg oo because this is giving Nigeria a very bad name

  16. let them face there issue as long as they decide to do what is wrong let tjem face it

  17. Thanks you so much for the information about yahoo yahoo boys i have never one day like all those yahoo boy.

  18. The truth is that a lot of jobless and get-rich quick youths in. Nigeria are still doing underground yahoo business.

  19. All I look forward to is a great and better Nigeria where Nigerians will be proud of being called Nigerians.

  20. Sometimes I blame our youths for indulging in scams but most times I don’t blame them.

  21. Thanks be God before now this issue of yahoo yahoo boys was getting out of hand in this country

  22. Fraud everywhere in this country ,young youths engaging themselves in fraud business because of no jobs availability in this country .this country is just the survival of the fittest the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer ,our government should do something to create job opportunity , you can imagine youths who graduated from the university searching for jobs for years so any little opportunity he sees with bad guys around he buys the nonsense idea of becoming a fraudster

  23. in actual fact, this yahoo thing was getting out of hand, but thank God for the intervention of the police

  24. They have already in it, is just to advice them to put more effort.

  25. Loving the criminal but hating his crime entails that the person involved is only human; and that if he can do crime — and time — he can also, with the right approaches, be weaned of crime. That means though crime is to be condemned and punished, a criminal who has served his term need not remain a criminal forever. Everyone, after all, deserves a second chance.

  26. I think if they do that all the yahoo boy we stop because no body want to learn work nowadays most of are youth are doing yahoo I think thats his the right

    1. The agency should adopt the rehabilitation and reintegration module. Especially their reintegration into the information technology sector of the nation.

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