By Ijeoma Uba
See if you are pushing anyone to be like him or even worse. Don’t just shout and shudder.
There has been a public outcry across social media platforms on the outcome of police investigation on the fraudulent activities of Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abass known as Hushpuppi.
The police revealed that upon the arrest of Hushpuppi and 12 other members of his crew, it discovered that fraud amounting to 1.6 billion Dirham (N168 billion) had been committed by the ganh.
No fewer than 1,926,400 people from different parts of the world were also said to have fallen victims to the suspects.
According to the police, 13 luxury cars, estimated at 35 million Dirham (N3.7 billion) were recovered from the house where they were arrested.
One man? Why didn’t he stop? He was too greedy?
Too many questions. I don’t pity him but I understand what the same society (apart from very few right-thinking members) can do to one, the kind of relegation, pressure, insult and neglect if you are seen as a nobody.
Some of the people calling for his crucifixion now were hailing him and getting giveaways. Some of us have pressured others into crimes. Without apology, most Nigerians see crime as a normal way of life.
Let me explain, using myself as an example.
I know some persons who since my appointment as General Manager have fallen out with me because I am not meeting up to their expectations. They don’t want to know what my salary is. That doesn’t matter to them. According to them, as a GM, there’s no way it can just be my salary from the office. “There are things you get from that office naa. Who’s talking about your salary. You shouldn’t even be touching your salary”.
As far as these persons are concerned, three things are involved; 1. I am simply refusing to help from the money I steal. 2. I am plain dumb or 3. I am ” forming” saint because I can’t just be “holier than the pope”. “She dey do make them say she be better person. Na she first be GM”. For this third set, they can’t wait for me to be disgraced out of office so that I’ll know that my “fake holiness” doesn’t count.
For them, it’s very abnormal for me not to do some “deals”. Very very odd. How many persons can withstand the name-calling, pure hatred, general pressure from far and near people? How many persons can withstand the insults that come with all these? It is not easy ooo. At all.
I read a story on Instagram two days ago of a young man celebrating his father who finally completed his first house (a decent bungalow) after ten years of starting and working on it. Some of the comments there will further show you why we have many Hushpuppis in Nigeria. Nobody cared to know how much he was earning and was able to save towards that project. As far as they were concerned, he was a never-do-well. Typical.
I have heard many things.
“He spent 30years as a civil servant, he could only build that 4-bedroom bungalow”. They forgot what his salary was. Forgot that his children were feeding and going to school. Forgot all those times he was called to send money to the people in the village no matter how little.
But if he should get sacked for stealing to build a house in six months and probably jailed, he will become the laughing stock while his family wears the stigma.
Asaba landlords are also breeding many copies of these young man. For a city mostly inhabited by civil servants, I believe that you will be shocked to know the rent for an average two/three bedroom apartment in Asaba. What other businesses are in Asaba to warrant such rents.
Stay on a major road in Asaba for thirty minutes, please note the number of Mercedes Benz, Lexus, Bentley, Toyota luxury cars you will see on the road and the age brackets of the drivers. Check the luxury apartments, apart from those occupied by companies for their staff, see if you will still wonder why there is a Hushpuppi.
Parents and relatives are also guilty. You see that “no be your mate dey do this and that”. ” You no dey shame? Your mates dey send dia wives to Dubai go shop. No be your mates dey buy motor, build house give their papa, train everybody for house before e go marry?”. E don spoil many things trowey for Naija.
As it is, we will only stop having this when we stop encouraging and pushing people into it. By this, I am not excusing anyone from crime or arguing that there are no greedy folks out there. I am only saying we should check our own contribution to these crimes.
Ijeoma writes from Asaba., Delta State. She is the General Manager Trend FM.