Bloom of Swindler

By Oladeji Popoola

Mr Evans Okoli walks into his palatial living room in anticipation. He is accompanied by a young, muscular man who he calls ‘facilitator’. He expects to meet a few new faces. However, he is astonished when he sees those who smile broadly at him. At the sight of them, he whispers, ‘wonderful’ two or three times. Now he stands at the centre of the living room exchanging pleasantries with the attendees.

“The sun is yet to rise,” he said to the attendees, smiling, “but you all have risen from your beds to make it to this place for a training many agile and poor youths who live in this community have despised. You have done well.”

Mr Okoli then motions to the young, muscular man.  He emerges.

“Has the client paid the two fifty dollars,” he asks.

“Yes sir,” he replies.


Mr Okoli who is clad in a jersey and shorts now begins to address the attendees.

“The brave ones,” he begins, “my heart do fill with joy when I see youths who choose to bid poverty a farewell. Our people say Nigeria is good when one’s Nigeria is good. Many youth live in this community; they are educated and poor, hopeless and defeated. Just that they know not what lies ahead of them. They have chosen their Nigeria.  Let them continue their way of life. It is their problem. You have chosen the way and your Nigeria shall be good.”

He paused to ascertain if he is making sense. The demeanor and calmness of his audience shows him the green light.

“We have trained hundreds of youths, educated and illiterate,” he continued, “in this very space. Now they are everywhere. They are spreading around the globe. And no one can stop us not to train more. “

Hearing this, his audience begin to applaud him for the great accomplishment and his courage.

“The wealth makers, this is what we are.” He begins again, “Fear no one. SARS, EFCC, and whatever they call them, they are hypocrites. They would only wail when you denied them the crumbs they would demand from you. They are our friends. People out there don’t understand us and we can’t understand them too. We are not Yahoo boys or fraudsters. We make wealth. Are we on the same page?”

“Yes sir!” The attendees chorused.

Mr Okoli now called upon the facilitator. And the training on how to swindle on the internet and on the streets begins.

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