FEMALE PANT THEFT AND MONEY RITUALS BY CONTEMPORARY NIGERIAN YOUTHS I
There is a saying that goes ‘money is the root evil,’ and it may be so, but many can not deny the fact that money brings joy and pleasure. There are things that many people will do for money and of course with money, often times fame and power comes. The thing is, the search for money (especially for those who were not born into it) can be a very rough road and there are times when people want to take shortcuts to get to the top or to have more than or to acquire the power that they seek and desire.
Nigerian as a country has so sunk into the abyss that the theft of female panties has suddenly become an issue of national concern. It is easy and convenient to dismiss the phenomenon with a wave of the hand and to brand it an old wives’ tale, but the alacrity and seriousness deployed in robbing women of their panties speak to the criticality of the issue. Somehow, the increasing economic and financial pressures occasioned by the poor economy has so impacted negatively on the social space that mutual trust and interdependence, even among siblings and others sharing filial relationships, have all but waned as the society becomes increasingly individuated and atomistic.
Now, any and every means of survival seems proper. Survival has been abstracted as the first law of morality and it seems pointless trying to prove the idiocy of the whole matter to those gullible, hapless citizens whose behaviours are bound to be modulated by their beliefs. The police can only charge these panties thieves with stealing, which may not attract the punishment commensurate with the intended crime. It is sad and regrettable that Nigeria has come to this sorry pass, bogged down by banalities when the world has moved on into super modernity. To be sure, the intense poverty in the land is fuelling these desperate antics of survival, but it also has to do with the collapse of societal values. Now, the virtues of hard work, creativity and patience are easily spurned.
Ordinarily, it should bother the country’s establishment that the youth population is ensnared by the get-rich-quick syndrome. Without credible role models for such virtues as hard work, patience and creativity, is it any surprise that those youths who are bereft of talents in music have chosen to be led into nefarious pastimes like stealing panties and buying hair from barbers’ shops and hair dressers’ salons? It has become imperative to work studiously on those desirable values that the country’s leadership wants to dominate the socioeconomic space. It should repudiate greed, graft, living on the fast lane and the get-rich-quick syndrome.
It is indeed worrisome that in all the ugly instances, certain so-called pastors and self-styled men of God of all faiths are implicated in perpetrating acts that erode the value base of the society. The government has a bounden duty to urgently reduce the pressure of poverty and desperation in the country and make survival a less arduous task. Economic depression instigates the people to commit debasing acts, hence the return to the Stone Age as a coping mechanism. The government must solve the myriad of socioeconomic problems and challenges confronting the country.
1.1 Definition of Terms
Ritual: A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Rituals are characterized but not defined by formalism, traditionalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism, and performance. Rituals are a feature of all known human societies.
Money: Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value and sometimes, a standard of deferred payment. Any item or verifiable record that fulfils these functions can be considered as money.
Panties: Panties (in American English, typically called knickers in British English) are a form of underwear primarily worn by women. Panties are most often form-fitting, but they may also be loose. Typical components include an elastic waistband, a crotch panel to cover the genitalia (usually lined with absorbent material such as cotton), and a pair of leg openings that, like the waistband, are often made of elastic. Various materials are used, but are usually chosen to be breathable.
Theft: In common usage, theft is the taking of another person's property or services without that person's permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it. The word is also used as an informal shorthand term for some crimes against property, such as burglary, embezzlement, larceny, looting, robbery, shoplifting, library theft, and fraud (obtaining money under false pretenses). In some jurisdictions, theft is considered to be synonymous with larceny; in others, theft has replaced larceny. Someone who carries out an act of or makes a career of theft is known as a thief. The act of theft is also known by other terms such as stealing, thieving, and filching.
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