To say that our country has for sometime now stood tall as an alter from where all forms of strange news and weird occurrences emanate is to put it mildly. Who would have believed that Nigeria of all countries would be the first to manufacture a money-vorous snake in this world? A specie of snake that feeds on nothing else other than our highly cherished official legal tender, Naira note. Till date, how this expensive and rare specie of snake was able to swallow over N35m generated from the sale of JAMB forms in Benue has remained a big poser for the Nat Geo Wild team to unravel.
Perhaps, that our dear country is rated as one of the happiest people in the world despite millions of unhappiness causatives may not be extricated from these strange news that also give us some comic value. That some young men, albeit sufficiently misguided have since late last year embarked on an aggressive voyage of harvest of used female pants, as a way of making quick money should ordinarily excite us. The reason is, this might just be the magic wand we need to take millions of unemployed Nigerians out of the labour market. Again, at a moment when the campaign for economic diversification by the federal government has hit its crescendo, used pants probably would have replaced oil which has over the decades remained our mono economy. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect than now that the price of the liquid gold keeps wobbling in the international market.
However, when subjected to rationality, it is difficult for any right-thinking person to believe that a used female pant could be a money spinner. There is absolutely no reason anyone should buy such a heavily decorated dogmatic mendacity. Why is this discovery coming just now? Has it been juju-tically proven like the blood money ritual that’s only potent in Nollywood screen? By their warped and heavily unsubstantiated claim, what the progenitors of pant-for-money are inadvertently telling us is that our mothers, sisters and daughters have been burning/discarding our monies (ego, owo, kudi) since 1600. Or did the need for money become a basic aspect of human ‘want list’ just this morning? This is even more manifestly unbelievable because most Nigerian families have poverty live in their homes with audacious impunity.
The last I checked, there was no single native doctor, whom they claim performs the needed magic in this pant-to-money brouhaha in the list of 100 wealthy people in Nigeria. It’s purely against the natural law of common sense to take the man seriously who has no slippers but hastily promises another person shoes. The native doctors, is it that they don’t have the capacity to flood their shrines with variety of pants, transfigure them to money and permanently bid poverty farewell for good?
In a recent interview conducted by NAN in Lagos, some ladies expressed reservation about spreading their pants just anyhow, like they used to do for fear of yahoo boys-induced death. A respondent, Anita Mbonu answered thus: “When I heard about what was happening in the country, I didn’t believe it at first. A distant friend, who was dating a yahoo boy, needed urgent spiritual attention because she was bleeding from her private part. She died after some days and I was very devastated.” Their tones were uniformed, that the activities of these scavengers of pants is a cause for worry as far as their safety is concerned. Expressing his opinion, Igwe George, a postgraduate student of the University of Lagos, said “The menace of internet fraud is barbaric and an act of laziness. It is also greed on the part of the ladies because only a lady who is not contented would be swayed away by mere cash. Something needs to be done fast to address this issue.” He said sadly, that some ladies often sold their underwear, even with a knowledge of what it would be used for. “I’ve heard of situations where ladies sold their underwear because of the love of money. “Parents need to train their children to be morally upright.”
What is however not in doubt is that, even though the world taunts Africa as an under-developed continent, we don’t care. We’re sufficiently blessed with mystical technology that makes it possible for “village people” to send a message to any of their son or daughter in any part of the world without making use of postal service or the conventional ICT we know, yet what becomes of the situation of the person few days or weeks later becomes a glaring indication that the message was successfully received as sent. That someone is alleged to have died because he dated a suspected internet fraudster who possibly made away with her pant shouldn’t appear strange to you. However, what you should subject to interrogation is whether the pant rained Naira and Dollar notes.
The nosediving moral in our society has no doubt fueled this uncontrollable desire for overnight wealth. Have the parents done enough in raising their children in fear and admonition of the Lord? Has the family, the first social group known to the child succeeded in inculcating in him the right moral of contentment? What about the religious groups? Are the pastors and imams feeding their flocks with the right nutrition and in good dosage of it? Or is it that external forces/peer pressure has made these efforts a nullity? You can’t hate work but love wealth. Those who became rich through the back door have always ended up in fiasco and shame. Even our Holy scriptures said he who does not work should not eat. Today, what we see is a generation who wants to flock the street morning till evening with earphone, yet live in obscene opulence. At best they play Bet Naija lottery while waiting for the big bang.
In a 2017 article titled, Nigerian Youths and The Get-Rich-Quick Syndrome, I emphasized that this syndrome has been largely fueled by the wide gulf that exists between the rich and the poor in Nigeria. This of course has birthed army of criminality in the annals of our country, including broad day bank robbery that has nearly become a recurrent decimal. Who has forgotten the Kwara carnage? Still fresh in our memory is the MMM Ponzi scheme that brought many “investors” injury they’re still nursing.
The infantile brandishing of exotic toys by politically exposed individuals has also engineered some desperation in the minds of our youths, the same way top entertainers have continually bullied them psychologically over their “poor” condition, counseling them on how to hide their faces if dem no get money, while others have continually promoted lyrics that encourage unwholesome practices in the society just to make money. Even some religious groups who have ostracized the poor people in their midst with their constant amplification of the “child of God no suppose poor” template. They’re all guilty.
In concluding this piece, those who think used pant is an emerging oil probably do not know that our markets are flooded with fairly, unfairly and brutally used pants we call Okrika from Benin Republic and other West African countries. Why can’t they come show us sample and convince those of us who have refused to buy into the fallacy, so that we may start looking for our destiny in used pants. Who knows, the government may even set up a National Corporation For Used Pants (NCUP) to help boost our frail economy.
Enemanna is an Abuja based journalist.