Diezani Alison-Madueke has said that the nefarious activities of internet fraudsters aka “Yahoo Yahoo boys” is fast eroding the values of the Nigerian society.
Diezani who is Nigeria’s former Minister of petroleum resources during the regime of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan said this at a virtual event organised by the Ijaw National Development Group.
“The ones that have swag, the Yahoo Yahoo boys as my son would say; these in short, are the role models they are looking at. These are the ones that reinforce negative societal norms and values.”
“This is a travesty of an unfolding tragedy for us. Why have I spent time talking about fatherless homes and the impact it has on our children? The truth of the matter is that an irresponsible boy tends to become an irresponsible man and it is therefore a vicious cycle. If you plant yam, you cannot harvest plantain,” she told the audience.
Why the Diezani Alison-Madueke Went Viral
If it was a random video, it won’t have trended. However, because Diezani is reportedly wanted by the Economy and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for offenses that have to do with abuse of office, bribery, and money laundering between 2011 and 2015, while in office. Some of the beneficiaries of the corrupt act have been convicted in Nigeria.
According to reports, In the wake of the 2015 elections, Alison-Madueke stashed $115 million in a bank with subsequent instruction to distribute it among mainly electoral officials in the 36 states of the federation to rig the election in favour of Mr Jonathan, who eventually lost to President Muhammadu Buhari.
In order to escape justice, Mrs. Alison-Madueke fled to the United Kingdom on medical grounds in 2015 but was held in London alongside four others. She is being investigated for money laundering in the United Kingdom. During her absence, she government seized properties and jewellery worth billions of naira.
Diezani K. Alison-Madueke is from Port Harcourt, South-South Nigeria. She was the first female President of OPEC after being elected at the 166th OPEC Ordinary meeting in Vienna on 27 November 2014. She became Nigeria’s minister of transportation on 26 July 2007.
Internet Fraud in Nigeria
Beyond the corruption charges against Diezani, the content of her message is very valid. The activities of internet fraudsters aka yahoo yahoo boys have become a big problem in the country. It has gotten so bad that Nigerians are now synonymous with internet fraud. Week in, week out, we hear reports that the EFCC arrested a handful of Yahoo Yahoo boys.
Internationally, we have heard stories of Hushpuppi, Woodberry, and Invictus Obi being arrested for internet fraud. According to the FBI’s 2017 Internet Crime Report, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received about 300,000 complaints. Victims lost over $1.4 billion in online fraud in 2017.
Even Nigerian entertainers are not helping as they sing and hype internet fraud and its perpetrators to high heavens.