You are currently viewing Insecurity and Cybercrime in Nigeria; True Life Experience

Insecurity and Cybercrime in Nigeria; True Life Experience

In Nigeria, we have grown deaf to the ruse we call safety and ignored signs that ring alarms in a sane society. Hence, there is no dilemma; we are merely perfect at what we have done in recent years: ignoring the truth. In the following paragraphs, we will look at cybercrime in Nigeria using a true life experience.

The customary prayer, ‘May Nigeria never happen to you,’ is harrowing. It tells us that our actions are gambles, and even a correct step might lead to tragedy. It appears we are living on narrow ice, forged from a refusal to acknowledge the result of what we have condoned. 

When Insecurity Knocks 

On 26 July 2023, I awoke from a dream into a nightmare made flesh. Armed robbers broke into my home in the early hours of the morning. In that instant, pandemonium seized my heart, and anxiety filled my veins because I was unprepared. With fear, my family surrendered until the robbers were pleased with their loot. Our lives were spared, but our possessions were not considered.  

Being a Nigerian, I have often heard tales of armed robbers breaking into the homes of acquaintances. Growing up, I always knew someone who knew another person who was robbed. However, it is different when you are the one who gets robbed. Since that incident, we have locked our doors twice each night.

A few hours after the incident, my relatives had their bank accounts emptied. We were victims of armed robbery and cybercrime in one fell swoop. Both violent and non-violent crime intersect, and if one kind is ignored, the other will bite in the most aggressive manner. People expressed shock when I relayed the news. They were surprised because they thought armed robbery incidents no longer occurred and ‘Yahoo was the reigning crime.’ Nonetheless, they did not realise they lived in a bubble. Insecurity exists, and it never sleeps but preys on the unsuspecting Nigerian.

cybercrime in Nigeria


Since the past decade, terrorism has hit Nigeria in various forms—bombings and mass abductions. Media houses coined the term ‘unknown gunmen,’ to ascribe the infamous perpetrators of these attacks. Nigerians, particularly those who live in the northeast, have lived through hell. However, to people who are not victims, these deaths have become statistics—figures seen on screens and heard on the news.

On 14 April 2014, Boko Haram completed a mass abduction of secondary school students in Chibok, Borno. There was an uproar, and the masses called for the President’s resignation. It seemed colossal that terrorists could dare abduct students and make heinous demands for their return. Since that daring abduction, over 1,680 Nigerian students have been abducted. Over the past month, female university students from Zamfara and Katsina have been kidnapped from their hostels. Yet there have been no protests, and most Nigerians have ignored this news because it’s merely another news event. Without a doubt, insecurity has become a blight we have grown accustomed to in Nigeria.


One thing we do in Nigeria is assume the country is unique. We believe the country defies economic laws, and the general order of the day is chaos. Due to this belief, we fold our hands, complain, and watch the country rot.

Poverty does not exist in a vacuum; it lives in the open while consuming lives and dreams. On my way to work each morning, I walk past Oshodi’s bridge in Lagos. Under this bridge, young boys who dream of a better life spend their days looking for menial jobs, which entail lifting loads for passengers. Yet they are depraved living quarters and the absence of a viable future leads to these young boys spending their days on the meals they can afford and drugs.

Some of these boys survive by pickpocketing, and their goal is to prey on the unsuspecting passersby. In the past few years, Tunde Onakoya has positively impacted lives with his Chess in Slums foundation. However, the government has to intervene because only a few of them can be saved by charity foundations. If the rest turn to crime, we will ignore the cause and examine the effect of their actions. 

We have come to have two kinds of theft: the violent kind, which involves armed robbery, and the tolerated but nefarious kind, cybercrime. A growing depravity is the rise of Internet fraudsters, popularly known as Yahoo Boys. Today, young boys in secondary school are getting involved in internet fraud because the men they look up to in society are actively participating. So, the end goal is money, with greed as the driving force. Some of these boys receive encouragement from their parents and live in HKs (Hustle Kingdom), where they are taught the workings of internet fraud, which commonly involves romance scams, phishing sites, and identity theft. 

People tend to allude poverty to the rise in cybercrime, yet they forget greed’s role. These boys want to make money for reasons they will allude to lifting their families out of poverty at the expense of ruining the lives of their victims. A worrying fact is that cybercrime has become ingrained in families to pop culture—and music. Nonetheless, Nigerians who live with an honest wage exist in abundance, but when our society rewards rather than shames these acts, dishonest living becomes the new fad. 


Nigerians love to separate themselves from the state. ‘The government is useless and corrupt,’ people proclaim. However, there is a role the individual plays in the state. The obligations of the ideal citizen are to pay taxes, vote, and obey all laws. Choosing to heed these duties according to one’s convenience shows complicity in the decay of our state. In the public and private sectors, people engage in corruption—either through inflating government contracts or registering as ghost workers. Unfortunately, it seems our values exist solely for public outcry, and we are failing the younger generation. Upholding the values that define our moral fabric is our prominent role as Nigerians. We must fight the narrative that the easiest path to success is to engage in crime. If parents fail, the community has to step up and reinforce the path of moral uprightness. 

Olorunfemi Olaleye

Olorunfemi Olaleye is a Nigerian writer and cinephile who writes about culture, life, and society.