These past weeks, Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria, has been home to some of the worst cases of homicide ever witnessed in the country. Clashes between the cult group, Badoo, and the residents of the place have left dozens dead. There were claims that the cult group moved at night in various homes committing horrible crimes. Their motivation, according to the residents, was not to steal money or material possessions but to harvest human organs. They took vital organs from the dead bodies of each of their victims. They were also involved in kidnapping of people to harvest more organs. The residents, tired of the incessant slaughter perpetrated by the group and the lackadaisical attitude the authorities showed in arresting the situation, took the law into their hands and paid them back with jungle justice. They mobilized and became their own security to eradicate the strange gift of cultism. Once a person is suspected of being a member of the group, the crowd pounce on him, beat the living daylight out him, kill and burn him to ashes. There was no remorse.
While so many have condemned the attack on both sides, they also concluded that the cultist and rise of cultism is the creation of the state. That, if not for the high rate of unemployment, cultism will not exist. That when a man is not occupied, he is easily attracted to other things just to survive. A few emotionally opined that it is one of the legacies and bad luck following the ascension of the current President, Muhammadu Buhari. That the incessant killings and madness is a result of his rejection by the most high God, even though we all know that cultism and incessant killings preceded May 29th, 2015. Their submissions insinuated that the state is responsible for the conduct of a full grown adult. That the error of a people’s leaders or the poor state of the system is responsible for the position of their moral compass. That citizens who steal, rob, kill, and commit every other heinous crime get their inspiration from the lack of good jobs around. I disagree. Being a good person is a choice. Being a bad person is a choice. Being a cultist is also a choice. Every adult human has, fully developed, body tissues, organs and systems that allow for independent thoughts and the execution of freewill.
Unemployment is not responsible for the activities of brutal cultists. Poverty is not responsible either. The killings of innocent people, stealing, harvesting their body organs and robbing them of their wealth, is not the result of unemployment but the destruction of the perpetrators will for good, the gradual transplant of evil thoughts and greed into their minds and their love for vain. Cultists don’t kill or steal because the society denied them jobs but because they want a quick route to what they assume entails personal happiness and fulfillment. There are so many unemployed people in Nigeria and other parts of the world who would never take to homicidal acts or other crimes because the society offered them no job. The government’s policies have no effect on their sense of morality. They have chosen to be good irrespective of what the society throws at them. This is because they don’t harbour evil thoughts for their fellow human beings, they don’t admire proceeds of evil and they have great love and respect for human life. The bottom line is, before anyone who steals steals, they are already corrupted. Before anyone who is a cultist became a cultist, they already have in their minds the characteristics of cultists.
We have seen that even in countries with better standards of living compared to Nigeria, the crime rate from the activities of cult gangs is devastating. The reason anyone picks up a gun to shoot at another person is simply the wickedness of man. Wickedness that has been planted and pampered in the mind over time that it matured into giant ugly fruits. Let’s leave unemployment out of this. Trinity Gay, daughter of the famous sprinter, Tyson Gay, was killed at the age of 15 by stray bullets outside a restaurant in Kentucky, USA. Three guys exchanged gunshots which landed on her and she lost her life. You can’t be poor and still afford a bullet. What could be the excuse here rather than wickedness? Not only did the killers ruin themselves in the process but also ruined the happiness of the family and people who have no idea why they are fighting or shooting. The bullets and guns used by these cult groups are not cheap to begin with and one begins to wonder why a man reeking of poverty and unemployment, chooses to invest in guns rather than start up something small with the money used in getting a gun. It is simply because he was never ready to get a decent job in the first place.
A mind that is eroded can do anything and they are mostly bad. A mind that is damaged can do many things which are mostly damaging to himself and the society he lives. A mind that has lost its sense of self and human value and wears a mask over its humanness, to project a false identity, has the potential of ending up as a cultist. No matter the standard of life delivered by the government, no matter the daily stipends paid to unemployed and poor people, no matter the amount of care shown them by their society, once their minds are crooked and unsound they will always pose great harm to the society. We have seen examples in countries with high rate of employment and government responsibility to stop making this argument. Norway is at the top of human development index worldwide but it was in the same Norway that the terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, killed 8 people in a van bomb and shot 69 others. While our system suggest good behaviour, it is our choice to respect the system. So, we must blame any adult who committed murder or other criminal actions through cult association for choosing to act that way.
A bigger monster is obtained when we keep pushing the blames on unemployment. A greater monster that oils the wheels of our sorrows. Young people in stature and mind are watching and our words and responses have a way of shaping their words and behaviours tomorrow. When a child is continually told or repeatedly hear or shown that the reason an adult misbehaves is because of the actions of an ailing government incapable of providing jobs, we are encouraging that child to imbibe such protest pattern against epileptic governments. When we respond to crime and cultism by playing the unemployment card, we are indirectly justifying crime and cultism. The awareness that so many are behind you, some even ready to make excuses on your behalf, have a psychological effect on the mind. It is like an incentive given to a human to achieve anything. You know the government and not you will be blamed for exercising your freewill. This is very dangerous and we must stop it.
You are responsible for every action you take. A person’s attitude towards you should not define your attitude. You don’t have to become bad because another person chooses to act bad towards you. And your negative actions towards that bad person can never be deemed good. Once you do what an evil person is known for you corrupt your soul and must work towards a sound mind. Parents should implant this into the minds of their children. Adults who respond to questions on TV, Radio and other media shouldn’t be making statements describing cultism as a form of protest because it is not. Young people should discourage that idea wherever they find the topic discussed. When you call cultism a result of unemployment you are justifying the same cultism you are trying to condemn. When you blame the rising rate of cultism on government’s inability to provides jobs you are suggesting a form of protest to the jobless youths around. The energy these gangs dedicate to the cause could achieve anything if applied positively. As human beings, we should always try not to give evil wings.