Three friends, Ayo, George and Hussein are having drinks at Deuce Bar, a midscale bar somewhere in an obscure neighbourhood in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Suddenly, their mutual friend, Bassey rushes in. He is panting as he perches on the arm of the 2-seater Ayo and Hussein shared as they downed their cocktails.
“Guy! Hope no problem? Why you run enter like dat?” George spoke up first.
“Hope sey no be thief dey pursue you so?” Ayo said
“Guys, chill, the dude is trying to catch his breath. Bass, just calm down tell us wetin happen.” Hussein was eager to hear Bassey’s story too, but as always, he could summon his natural inclination to be patient, unlike his friends.
The story eventually comes out after Bassey takes a few deep breaths and has a shot of tequila…
Bassey: Omo, na EFCC o! Dem com raid boys for Club 57. As I dey talk to you so, G Boys wey dem arrest go reach 30!
Ayo: Chai! U no mean am. Dat na real casting be dat o! I sure sey na somebody wey sabi dem wella cast dem. Abi, how EFCC take know sey dem plenty for dia like dat?
Bassey: I no even know. Me wey na pesin I follow go there jeje. Na Dapsy talk sey him guy dey do birthday, sey make I follow am, and as I no kuku get parole before, I sey nothing spoil na, make I no dull myself, na him I follow am go o. I no even know as I take escape sef, as dem dey shoot, I just see myself ontop one Aboki okada wey carry me reach here.
Hussein: So where’s Dapo now? Did he get arrested too?
Bassey: *Stares at Hussein as if he just grew horns on his head* Wetin this one dey talk? I talk sey me sef no know as I take disappear from dat place, you dey ask me about Dapo.
George: Wow, that na real yawa for those guys o! Dem go need real high level connection to comot from this one wey dem enter. I thank God for you sha, my paddy. You wey just dey manage yourself, na so dem for don carry you too. Dem no go know sey you no know anything.
Bassey: Abi, you no see me like dis? Na enjoy me I wan enjoy, no b to de answer for wetin my hand no dey.
Ayo: But wetin dey do dose yeye EFCC sef. Na only Yahoo boys dem go dey find about. All dose politicians wey dey loot awa money since 19kirindim dem no go see dose ones, bastards!
George: No mind them! Bunch of hypocrites. G boys just dey try survive. Abi if work dey dis useless country, who go dey find maga upandan? At least Yahoo boys no carry gun. Dem no be armed robber na, na dia brain dem dey take survive. Make dem free dem jare!
*Hussein cuts in…a pensive look etched on his chubby face
Hussein: Guys, I can’t believe you are justifying what these guys are doing. Yahoo Yahoo is stealing. It is defrauding innocent people of their hard-earned cash. The fact that Yahoo boys do not go around wielding guns doesn’t make them better than robbers; and you guys are here defending them because politicians also steal?
Bassey: Grammarian, na wah! I don forget sey na so so struggle u dey struggle speak d small pidgin wey you sabi sef. But on a more serious note, I can’t blame G boys for their chosen path or lifestyle. We all know this country is a shit hole. There are no jobs and no compensation for jobless graduates. The old people have refused to step down for the younger ones in the political space because they are just too greedy. Electricity and water supply are still a mirage 57 years after independence. The lucky ones are leaving for Canada in droves. The youths are frustrated and that’s even putting it mildly. I honestly can’t say I blame anyone for sorting themselves out any way they can.
Hussein: So, why aren’t you doing it? After all, you have one or two friends who are into it.
Bassey: I no get liver ni. Plus, I still get this my small small contract jobs wey dey sha bring small change. Some of these boys no get hope apart from this runs wey dem dey do o!
Hussein: But I remember that time you were totally jobless, yet you didn’t resort to defrauding people to make money, so you really don’t have a point. The truth is, only pure greed led these guys into what they are doing. They could have chosen to use those same laptops to create content or learn a skill online that will fetch them some modest earnings. These same boys are the reason some of us were rejected visas into the US, they have damaged Nigeria’s reputation among the international community.
Bassey mumbles something incoherently in response to Hussein’s latest argument
Ayo: Both of una get point sha, but mehn, this country dey hard make we no lie. I know Yahoo Yahoo is bad, but I no fit blame anybody wey do am. Las las na pesin wey dem catch be thief.
George: Gbam! You don talk am finish
Just then, George’s legbegbe ring tone interrupts their discussion
George: Hello, daddy! Good evening sir. How’s everything over there?
*Suddenly, George’s wide smile contours into a frown, he shoots up from the plush sofa
George: WHAT?!! Everything? How? When?
The guys stand and gesture to George to tell them what’s happening. The line cuts at the other end and George turns to face his friends.
George: Guys, some G Boys have just scammed my dad of the $5 million he borrowed to execute the Alpha Oil contract. We have lost everything. Everything.
P.S: It’s saddening to see people defend fraudsters under the inane excuse that things are tough in the country. When we consider that some people have actually lost their life savings and even their lives to fraud, maybe we would think differently before making a case for Yahoo boys.