Nigerians are almost always able to convert tragedies to laughter. As a strange lot, they have an infinite inbuilt capacity for endurance. The thick skins are able to explain away all things negative. I think it is more of a frailty than a healthy trait. A skewed sense of gallows humour: When a person about to be hanged tells jokes.
And so, in the wake of revelations that the FBI has nabbed about 80 Nigerians for internet related fraud, 23 more to have their heads chopped off in Saudi Arabia for drugs related offenses and the accusations that the army aids kidnappers and terrorists, each of its “major” tribes is rising to its own defence. New epithets have just been added to the jokes lexicon of Nigeria.
This is how they see the whole thing.The major crimes are divided in 3 equal bits. The North ( Hausa/Fulani) ,Kidnapping. The South West (Yoruba),drugsdealing and The South East (Ibos) ,Internet Fraud. Very neat and tidy.
A) Internet Fraud (#IbgoYahooBoys) .
As the whole world now knows,other tribes insist, Ibos are internet fraudsters. The job is called 419 ,Hustle and the trade name is Yahoo. It looks like the government itself has joined in (and is involved in) the labelling. One of Mr Buhari’s ministers, a lawyer, is reported to be a personal friend of 3 of those 80.To the rest of Nigerians, the minister is Ibo. Twitter and the newsstands are the arena for the show. @Sarki: These #IgboYahooBoys keep bringing shame to our country, they keep dragging our country back. Read the list, Out of 77 Nigerians, none of them is from the North, Imagine if they are northerners.”
But one Ibo, at least, disagrees: @ Chidi Bro, although bad, Yahoo Yahoo is an intellectual game. Don’t ask why no one is from the North. Thanks!!!
Now we move to the second crime.
Well, again, as the world now knows,about 23 Nigerians in Saudi jails will be decapitated. And the names are, oh yes, Yoruba. The other tribes take a joy, if perverse, in this.
Dear @BashirAhmaad am yet to see ur tweet on the disgrace brought to our country by ur country men #Yorubadrugdealers as listed by the 23 Nigerians in Saudi Arabia. @Enugu First Lady wondered.
Another Twitter user, Ibo, naturally:
Ah so Yoruba do drugs tooI [sic[used to think they are saints #Yorubadrugdealers
And the last one:
@ Shadrach E.E
To Arewans trending #IgboYahooBoys, let me remind you that Arewa is the capital of the following
Drug Abuse -North
Underage Marriage -North
Religious/Tribal Clashes -North
Those who don’t use Twitter,and live at news stands even resort to physical fights. To them, crime is no crime; it depends on the criminal and nature of crime.
Oh, before we forget, some have gone ahead to suggest that president Mohammadu Buhari, who is in Japan is on a “scam trip”. And should they have the FBI investigate NNPC, its oil corporation, most of the saints will be serious sinners.
I can imagine why being tagged a nation of criminals isn’t hurting majority of Nigerians. Life is hellish in itself and thus any comic relief will do. It hasn’t also bothered them to try to find out why it has become so easy to think that crime is ok.
The other tribes, those who are called the minority tribes, are happy that they didn’t make international criminal headlines. Edo state, which houses my own tribe, is among the saints, at least for now.