It is no news that the FBI in the United States uncovered and arrested many Nigerians involved in internet fraud this past week. Nigerians back at home are also not left out as the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), arrests and parade many internet fraudsters on daily basis. The culprits here are young Nigerians who have used many terms to label this dubious act. ‘419’, ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’, ‘Wire-Wire’ are all names given to internet fraud and it is becoming rampant in our society.
Out here, corruption (embezzlement and bribery) is attributed to Nigerian politicians while internet fraud takes center-stage with our youths. But people fail to see what is influencing and sustaining the trend. It is true that unemployment and are the strongest reasons why Nigeria’s youths take fraud as a profession, but the real question is “who is showing them how?
Nigerian musicians are not left out in this illicit activity of defrauding other people. When you take internet fraud out of the money made by most Nigerian musicians then they would have nothing. Many Nigerian musicians have used money made from this means to push their career. Others who have attained higher level are not left out as they use music to clean the ill-gotten money.
According to an upcoming artist, “Nigeria is a very hard place to survive in times like this – especially as the leaders are not concerned about its citizens. We therefore need to hustle, and for some us that needed to push our career to the next level, we had to push ourselves. Legit or not legit, we have to make this money”.
The above is the case with many young Nigerians of today. Excessive materialism and fast approach to making money is the agenda. Nigerian musicians therefore use internet fraud to stay up in the game because of the status they have put themselves in. Talk of their appearances in musical videos and lyrics which they also use to promote internet fraud.
So what do you want to ask now? How do Nigerians know what these musicians do to make money? There are pointers.
Music is a tool, which can be used to communicate and spread messages to an audience. Nigerian musicians have been using their music to churn out lyrical contents that encourage fraud thereby polluting the public with ‘bad sounds’. In fact, scammers are being praised by the musicians while they themselves are also not left out.
Studies have shown that artistes in other societies use their environment as context in their lyrics. The Americans talk about thug life, sex, drugs and women in their song lyrics. Nigerian musicians also take a cue from this. They, however, add internet fraud to the list.
Music and the ‘yahoo-yahoo’ thing now go hand-in-hand in Nigeria. Young people now see internet fraud as a way out of the socio-economic problems. They are quick to claim that the socio-economic problems we face on a daily are the cause of all their illicit activities. I went on a really long stroll yesterday. Pen in hand and with N200 in my pocket, here’s what I came back with:
Many Nigerian musicians are not left out in internet fraud. They want first class luxury as their music sales alone can’t provide such, so they take to internet fraud as a way out.Xcoubar
Some are involved in internet fraud. They therefore use music as a cover.Victory
It is not just the musicians; everybody is a scammer. The Nollywood actors, politicians, businessmen and what have you are all scammers in Nigeria of today. There’s scam everywhere.Ahmed
It’s a very bad thing when the people who are supposed to correct and make our society a better place are the ones ruining it. Music is a medicine which can be used to treat the insanity in men but our musicians have joined to promote the country as the corruption capital of the world. The country now has a bad reputation all around the world. Well, kudos to those who still do great music.Lilian
The Nigerian music industry doesn’t make much of songs influencing internet fraud and other illicit acts when you look at songs produced in about two decades ago. These days it is very common to hear internet fraud and fraudsters been eulogized and glorified. 3 out of 10 songs released today have themes of internet fraud. Here is a list of 10 Nigerian songs that has encouraged internet fraud. They are in no particular order:
- Mobolowowon – Dbanj
- Yahooze – Olu Maintain
- Maga Don Pay – Kelly Handsome
- Prayer for Clients – Olamide
- Living Things – 9ice
- Am I A Yahoo boy – Naira Marley ft. Zlatan
- Apala New Skool – Qdot
- Able God – Chinko Ekun ft. Lil Kesh & Zlatan
- Logo Benz – Lil Kesh ft. Olamide
- Yahoo L’awon Ore Mi – Eleniyan.
Nigerian musicians have been arrested home and abroad on the cases of cyber fraud, yet the rate of cyber crimes keep increasing day by day. Some other Nigerian musicians have been trying to fight against this act eating deep into our society. This has led to fight backs from the musicians involved who claimed ‘no one is holy in this society’.
A lot has to be done if this cases of internet fraud will be stopped. EFCC and other agencies set up by the government has to do more to curb this stigma on all Nigerians. I suggest internet fraud can be drastically reduced if:
There’s a proper reorientation of our values: To properly deal with internet fraud, we need to put honesty and hard work back on board. We must do away with our mindset of get rich quick mentality and excessive materialism. Government and multinational companies should help revive our failing educational system and make young Nigerians believe in the system. Poverty, unemployment among other causes of crimes should be properly dealt with.
Regulatory bodies do well to curb the release of bad songs: if there’s a way the NBC and other music regulatory bodies could prevent bad songs from been released and enjoying airplay then we could have things better. Stiffer punishment should be handed over to the defaulters of the regulations guidelines.
Those arrested for crimes should face the wrath of the law: if the law enforcement agencies and other anti-crime agencies want to see internet fraud curbed then those who they have nabbed should face the wrath of the law. They shouldn’t just be released on basis of bail. An offender should be used as a scapegoat for others to change. If only this is done, we could checkmate cybercrime in our country.
As much as music, movies, football and so on are setting us high in the global map, attempts should be made through this means to change the Nigeria’s bad reputation in the world. We just have to play our own part in making Nigeria a safer society for the next generation.
Do well to share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section. Thanks for taking your time to read this piece.