I was in a public transport, a lady tapped me from behind and said she had exhausted her call units and needed my phone to make an important call for a minute, I turned her down immediately.
I told her to borrow air time from her network but she told me she’s not eligible because she owed the network money. She asked the driver if she could use his own phone but he told her he has no unit.
I asked the driver if he could make a quick stop at the next bus stop so she could buy call card, he agreed. But surprisingly, she told us to not bother any more. I offered to pay for the airtime should money be the problem, she insisted she can do without the call afterall.
These are dangerous times. Nigerians abuse innocence, love, trust, compassion on a daily basis. No one knows who is in genuine need any more. Many have had all their life savings wiped to the last kobo because someone had access to their phones for just a second. People are in jail because their phone numbers were used by a stranger to call a wanted kidnap kingpin.
My cousin had a roommate in the University who was into scam, although unknown to my cousin. Severally, his roommate complained he had issues with his own bank account, so he uses my cousin’s account for some of his deals. And my cousin innocently strolls into the bank to withdraw cash on his behalf.
During one of his bank visits for withdrawal, he was picked up by the police. He ended up in the Special Anti Robbery quad (SARS) custody explaining how he withdrew monies which he knew nothing of its source.
The family spent heavily to get my cousin out of SARS custody after months of suffering. His only crime was helping a roommate in need.
A friend recently got scammed of over half a million naira by a man in Cassock. He was priestly dressed, bought items worth over half a million naira.
He doesn’t accept online transfer because he has heard tales of fake bank alerts from colleagues, but because this man was a priest, at least he was dressed like one, he agreed to a cash transfer.
This would cost him as he would realize later that he was paid with fake bank alert, and the customer was long gone with all the items before he found out.
We have people coming around ATM’s and asking for assistance to use the machines. Some of them come with stolen ATM cards or kidnapped victims cards and try to get other people to help them do the withdrawals.
Some people come to ATM points looking for lower or higher denominations of currencies. You innocently exchange your withdrawn cash with them only to realize later you swapped your good currencies with fake.
We keep hitting lower by the day. We have sunken so low that people would rather keep driving, face their fronts even when they see pregnant women in labour because they don’t trust people anymore.
The situation is worse in isolated areas as people don’t help others stranded on the high way or just ignore two people fighting in a busy area because they don’t want to become victims of robbers or kidnappers.
We are all witnesses to how people have fallen into traps of evil men who use such as disguise to prey on their innocence.
Accident and gunshot victims are often abandoned because no one wants police troubles that come with being a Good Samaritan.
Social media has become a den of scammers who spin all manner of tales from their inability to pay their children’s school fees, to feeding and affording hospital bills etc and how they need financial support.
Unfortunately, most of these people who tell these tales are very okay but they are just a bunch of lazy people making it hard for people who genuinely need help from others.
Some domestic staff pretend to be good and efficient at first. They lay low to become the most trusted members of the family who have access to all the rooms and kitchen. Then they abscond with huge amount of money, jewelry, while some gruesomely murder their employers who were nothing but nice to them.
What of religious leaders? Some of them take advantage of their members, from raping little girls to sodomizing little boys who are brought for counseling and deliverance. Some manipulate their members into parting with their properties and cash.
Our little children are no longer safe around some neighbors and some relatives whether male or female. They use these children to satisfy their sexual needs. They make them do unthinkable things, and even threaten to kill them if they should tell anyone.
Some school teachers unleash their frustrations and sadistic tendencies on children in the name of discipline. Lecturers of higher institutions are not left out of this madness; it’s either sex for marks or cash or the student won’t graduate. The mentally unstable and people living with disabilities are sexually abused on a daily basis.
Some innocent men have been accused of rape by vindictive ladies and are languishing in jail while some men prey on girls because they render them little assistance.
It is fellow Nigerians who import fake products into the country. Some inject or use toxic chemicals on food stuff so as to make quick money. The government isn’t left out of this scam.
We have lost our humanity, as we all look the other way because we don’t know who is genuine anymore. Fear, distrust, minding ones business and playing safe has become the order of the day.