Around this same period in 2018, Nigerian youths on social media revolted against President Muhammadu Buhari over his controversial comment at the Commonwealth Business Forum in the United Kingdom about some young men and women in his country.
Following the exclusive report by TheCable at the time, many Nigerians believed Buhari’s comments undermined the efforts of many hardworking Nigerian youth,; therefore, they trended #LazyNigerianYouths to express their grievances.
Two years after the social media trend, the gruesome killing of 26-year-old job seeker Iniubong Umoren continues to set the social media agog since Sunday morning in a manner that reminds many about Nigeria’s unemployment woes, especially for the Nigerian graduates.
Are Nigerian Youths Truly Lazy?
As confirmed by her friend, Umoh Uduak, Iniubong honoured a call for an interview for a job that turned out to be non-existent and led to her death.
While Uduak was expressing her pains in an interview she granted TVC, she partly said: “I came to Lagos on Monday because I was actually looking for a job and I thought this was the best place to get something doing easily. I looked for what to do in Uyo but I didn’t see anything”.
“She only went to look for a job. She didn’t go missing. Everybody knew where she went. She sent the address and the number of the interviewer to her sister.”
Uduak’s lamentation about the loss of her friend gave an insight into a serious national menace. Nigeria’s unemployment rate has risen to 33.3%, according to the recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics. The aspiration of both Uduak, who travelled from Akwa Ibom to the country’s commercial hub, and her deceased friend Iniubong, who stayed back at home mirrors the constant struggles of young Nigerians in search of viable sustenance.
Also from Uduak’s narration of the event, FIJ observed a reluctance from the deceased both in honouring the interview ot taking up a non-existent job.
Late Iniubong had collected N2,000 from Uduak when she couldn’t afford the transport expense but eventually expressed doubt about taking the job upon getting to the venue.
“She told me the place was too far and will wait to listen to the offer,” Uduak said, recounting her last conversation with Iniubong. “If the money wasn’t favorable, she wouldn’t be going to work to such a far distance.”
Social media came through again
The lead-up to Iniubong’s death further established the influence of social media in our day-to-day activities. Uduak’s first tweet when she just suspected that her friend had been abducted generated almost 20k retweets and subsequently caused the invention of the hashtags #FindHinyUmoren and #JusticeForUmoren.
According to available data, Nigeria had 99.05 million internet users as of 2020, amounting to 46.6 percent of the total population.
Social media users rendered help fishing out the suspected killer, Akpan Frank, by tracking the mobile number with which he had invited Iniubong for an interview, to know his true identity. Aside from this, other victims came out to reveal how the same person had abused them in the past.
Remarkably, the social media campaign beamed light on the investigation of the Nigeria Police Force over the case and has equally given voices to many to report past cases of missing persons and job scams across the country.
Until Iniubong’s death, she described herself as a pragmatic humanist and partly choleric-melancholic and this was confirmed when her friend recalled how the deceased landlord often expressed concerns about her keeping indoors often.
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