In the past, they were mostly high school dropouts and uneducated individuals. They had some element of sympathy. They spoke broken or adulterated English. “Oga, bring all your money out or I go blow your head off.” They stole and disappeared. Some were in disguise. Some only robbed at night. Most had guns that they barely knew how to operate. They looked scared even when they robbed innocent people. A minor resistance scared them. They would plead when caught and tell the world how prevailing conditions made them do it.
Not today’s armed robbers. They are made up of mostly college graduates with no jobs. Some are ex-cult members with no jobs. Regardless if they graduated first-class, without high-end connections, they are unlikely to get a job. Regardless if they read Banking and Accountancy and graduated first class, they will remain at home while the top politicians’ nephews and nieces that studied Education and Cooking (whatever that is) gets the jobs with the major banks or corporations.
Some of these youths, excepting the ex-cult members are frustrated and driven into armed banditry. They have tried all legitimate avenues and failed. They have applied and begged for a chance to practice what they learned in college with rejection.
Governors continue to maintain hiring freezes while they spend the money allocated to the states buying homes in the United Kingdom and USA. These youths strategize on departing the country for greener pastures but are denied visas time after time without reasons. They get double slammed by the decisions of the embassies not to refund the monies deposited in effort to get an interview. They remain frustrated and dishonored in all ways.
They resort to 419 games hoping to make a dollar through a devious hit while staying with a generous family member that feeds them. Others continue to find ways to make ends meet by seeking any and every opportunity that comes their ways. These are those that resist the high level temptation of armed robbery.
Aged old armed robbers of the past still practice their skills. They are the ones that rob Luxury busses and cars. These are unskilled robbers with simple modalities. They copy the acts of others and break into neighboring homes for minor items.
The college graduates of today that have been neglected by the government are the high-end, highly sophisticated, well-spoken and well-planned armed robbers. They seek high-end opportunities. They plan their acts and don’t engage in frivolous giveaway signs of their acts. They recruit members with complementary values like Police and Army officers. They build a repository of weapons unit. They have top end connections of Lawyers at their beck and call. They play normal and participate in critiquing the act of robbery. They view their actions as a needed cause and justify it as a reward for the ineffectiveness of the government. They operate without fear. They kill their victims without empathy. They recruit police units to be stationed close to their locales of action to erase interferences. They operate with time, often lasting hours. They are never in a rush.
The new wave of robbers don’t snatch purses. They rob banks and highly rich locales. They recruit gang members from colleges for special projects. They are mafia-like in nature. They don’t appear like armed robbers. They weep over the death of there loved ones. They act and appear normal. They are your brothers. They could be your children. They are your frustrated neighbors that suddenly made it rich. They are church members that frequently seek prayers from their pastors. They are your friends. They are perhaps, reading this article and sharing it with you. They are good at buying high-end presents for their pastors on appreciation days.
The new wave of armed robbers as shared with me a few minutes ago by hardworking Nigerians that have been robbed several times and currently live to tell the story, may be willing to change careers if they get the opportunities. I only pray that their actions catch up with them. The government doesn’t seem to realize the sophistication of these daredevils. They have insiders as noted by the recent arrest of police officers that are members of robbery gangs.
The government should strive to create opportunities for the citizens and aggressively attack the wave of growing robberies to deter new recruits from thinking about it as a choice. Hypothetically, if each governor sacrifices a mansion, over one million jobs could be created. These jobs don’t need to be high end. They just have to be engaging and productive.
Now, let’s go pray for the innocent masses that have been victims of these despicable acts of robbery. What else are our options especially when the government allows the Inspector General of the police force, corrupted beyond redemption, to walk away with a slap on the wrist?