Just the night before we were worried about the impact of the lockdown and what it would mean for those who get paid for daily labour. In the morning, we started hearing news from friends in the farther side of Lagos towards Ogun state of robbery and chaos caused by the One Million Boys.
We felt it wasn’t much of an issue since the Nigerian Police Force were on ground, until we began to have sleepless nights, and our fathers, mothers and sons began to sharp cutlasses/knifes to protect themselves from these young touts in training.
They were professional about their attack, they sent letters to areas they perceived was a hideout for dollars right? Well, No. They robbed both the rich and poor. It made me understand they were not all that irrational, they knew what they were doing, they had minds, they thought, they calculated that somehow there was something we were protecting and even if it was N1,000 they wanted to have it.
If you consider stories of armed robbers that made history in Nigeria, take ANINI from eastern Nigeria for example how that he stole and shared it amongst the poor. It created a sort of balance for a while right? Steal from the wealthy and give to the poor. However, ANINI was wrong because he stole the money.
When you ask the average Nigerian what’s the problem of our nation, he’d be quick to tell you it’s the Government. Why didn’t these One Million Boys steal from the Government then?
The answer can be annoying. I realized, It wasn’t the Government that gave birth to the One Million Boys. It was the average Nigerian man. Our problem is the society, we have been somehow conditioned to fight the truth and avoid it. Men have stopped being Fathers.
There’s a flaw in the community. Most men are just giving births without taking the responsibility for being good fathers. These kids are left alone to an isolated world, their fathers are busy smoking pipes at bus stops and carrying too many concubines than their waist can afford.
I’ve seen videos of some of these bright boys killed, beyond their attack I see broken boys left alone in a world that seemed like it didn’t care for them. I do not claim that their actions were right in any way, but what inspired these actions? We need good fathers in our homes. Isaac Newton said ‘if we have seen any farther in life, it is because we have stood on the shoulders of those who have gone before us’
We are quick to say what we need is a better society, better roads, lights and jobs but then the government is only reacting to the system that created it. The system that created the Government is the home.
Even those who claim to be street boys during this pandemic look no different from the One Million Boys, the difference is maybe they have decided not to steal because they have chosen to see life differently. Maybe One Million boys didn’t have that luxury to.
On a final note, these One Million Boys are still amongst us, let’s show them how to live life in our own little way before they become the ravenous beast they turn into when life gets hard and they can’t seem to understand it.
This is what I think. When someone sends you a letter, it means they want to communicate something vital to you.
Written by TheVictorOba