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Why Hushpuppi Gained’t Be The Final Nigerian Fraudster

Hushpuppi throughout his arrest

Because the footage confirming the arrest of Hushpuppi storms the Web, Nigeria’s status plummets 100 toes down the abyss of fraudulence reconfirming Nigeria’s pole place because the world capital of swindlers.

For those who can’t perceive why PayPal stops Nigerian residents from receiving funds by way of their accounts, now you can see the clog within the wheel. For those who suppose that Fiverr and different worldwide platforms are unfair to Nigerians, Hushpuppi and his cohort have proven us the reality. The staggering record of alleged crimes in opposition to Hushpuppi and his gang — cash laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, impersonation, scamming people, banking fraud, and identification theft value about N168bn — shed extra mild to the scrutiny that awaits any sane Nigerian seeking to conduct authorized enterprise on the Web throughout worldwide borders.

I’m conscious of the daring defenders of the gospel, in keeping with Saint Hushpuppi, you might be a part of the issue. For Hushpuppi’s loyalists, life may be robust when your function mannequin is having a mid-life disaster behind bars. In case you are an ardent bootlicker for Hushpuppi or you may have began a prayer vigil begging God to indicate him mercy, you might be a part of the issue. At the very least consider the victims, 1.93 million harmless individuals, that’s an equal of 4 nations put collectively — Iceland, Montenegro, Malta, and Suriname. Consider what their households needed to undergo due to one man’s greed.

Nigerian Millennials and the “Get-Wealthy” Scheme

This text shouldn’t be about Hushpuppi. It’s concerning the common Nigerian millennial that believes within the “get-rich” scheme. Once I binge on the “Discover” part of my Instagram account, I see a bunch of Nigerian millennials do the unthinkable — from name-calling to blind praises of micro-celebrities to mudslinging on pages of so-called superstars — you surprise how they’ve a lot time to waste on frivolities.

An unlimited portion includes of gullible minds with vitality and intelligence however determined to accrue wealth by way of fraud. From jobless women recruiting their victims by way of salacious photos and relentless twerking on Instagram to unemployed boys spraying {dollars} at costly golf equipment to sharing pictures with rented unique vehicles, one factor is evident Nigerians love and consider within the in a single day success mentality. They’re all the time looking for the subsequent gold rush. In sharp distinction, hardworking persons are labelled as silly and dumb, however everybody throngs the rich to style their largess despite the fact that the supply of their wealth is unfounded. As social media pervades your area, the idea of micro-celebrity is a monster you should conquer.

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Social Media and Micro-celebrities

Lengthy earlier than social media, influential media homes and exalted fourth property monarchs religiously formed our concepts and beliefs. Earlier than the age of digital transformation, to win the eye of the media and the populace, you should be remarkably profitable. Then, the digicam was one of many world’s strongest instruments, you could be in entrance of a lens within the New York Occasions’s studio or get featured on Forbes’s entrance web page. The media meticulously stamped its affect on distinguished personalities that morphed into our heroes, champions, and superstar crushes. And though the press cherrypicked its celebrities, our sanity was intact and revered. However with social media comes the democratization of the digicam, which has plunged us right into a pool of chaos.

Each time you dive into Fb or Instagram, you feed on a well-served combination of lies and truths. There are not any requirements to censor what makes it to our feeds. Are you stunned that faux information tendencies whereas fact-based information is abandoned like a madman? No benchmarks to weigh the veracity of what we devour. Therefore, the insanity! Sadly, we now not have the media; we’re the media. We select what tendencies, and we choose our function fashions.

The blatant freedom of expression served as a guise for fraudsters to use gullible customers both emotionally or financially. Welcome to a world the place you now not want Forbes’s microphone or CNN’s digicam to grow to be a celeb. You possibly can grow to be a celebrity even in the event you don’t have a job. All you want is a telephone, a digicam, a candy mouth, and a social media community the place you possibly can create engaging personas along with your “bodyguard of lies.” All you want is a cameo in one among Hushpuppi’s movies, and your social media visibility skyrockets.

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Social media, like each different great tool in life, may be abused and used for unethical functions. Social media’s comparative metrics unintentionally serves as an ideal catalyst that fuels greed, jealousy and desperation. Social media is a jungle the place individuals hunt for likes, shares, feedback, and followers. To attain this purpose, many inform brazen lies and fall into the entice of ostentatious show of issues that they’ll’t afford. It’s a rat race. Each time you soar on social media, be taught to make use of your lens of skepticism. You don’t need to consider every little thing as a result of it’s a collage of edited lives.

There isn’t a hard-working particular person that can splurge the “Hushpuppi manner.” I completely perceive that some individuals love luxurious objects and have a reliable revenue to assist their life-style. Though such individuals love opulence, they share different issues that time to how they make their wealth. That’s how you see the distinction. Hushpuppi’s arrest additional validates the age-long cliché: “An empty vessel makes the loudest sound, …”  

Nigeria’s Corridor of Fraudsters

Let’s carry this house with a take a look at Nigeria’s corridor of fraudsters. Who was the beneficiant head of state that despatched Nigeria’s funds to overseas banks? Do you keep in mind the Nigerian governor jailed in London for cash laundering however was welcomed in Nigeria by melodious music and jubilant cheers? Are you aware the younger “Forbes Africa’s 30 beneath 30 entrepreneur” that lately pleaded responsible to an Web fraud of about $11 million? Do you keep in mind the lyrics of a preferred Nigerian music that reeks of “Yahooze!”? I wager the solutions to those questions. “Nigeria,” “fraud,” and “scammers” have been in the identical sentence for a really very long time. Are these not the individuals you invite to your extravagant events? Are they not those you foyer for funds to your group? You simply disown the thieves despite the fact that you share of their spoils and heap praises on them.

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In a damning 2019 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report, 77 Nigerians had been charged with cybercrime, cash laundering and identification theft. Nigeria’s theatrics on this planet of thievery and corruption didn’t begin immediately, and it received’t finish with Hushpuppi. Nigeria’s disposition to crime, corruption, and fraud reveals that we aren’t able to redeem our status. Nigerian anti-graft businesses lack the intelligence to fight cybercrime and our open admiration of fraudsters says all of it. I doubt if we all know how one can catch our thieves (FBI is all the time doing the bust operation for us) or we simply love the way in which they plunder different individuals (Westerners). We’re quiet concerning the evident corruption that occurs in our entrance porches and market squares — from the pickpockets to the diversion of public funds — however we’re fast to inform the remainder of the world to not see Nigerians are fraudsters. It’s a lame assertion, maybe a fast repair we run to, so we don’t have to consider addressing the corruption within the system. How can the remainder of the world belief us once we have a good time our fraudsters with cheers and awards?


Written by Samuel Osho, an award-winning Nigerian author {and professional} engineer based mostly in Canada. Yow will discover him on social media by way of @iamsamosho.

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