A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, says societal values have disintegrated to the extent that online fraudsters otherwise known as ‘Yahoo boys’ have become role models in Nigerian society.
Diezani said this while delivering a lecture at a virtual event which was also attended by her former boss, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, on Friday.
Speaking at the event organised by the Ijaw National Development Group on Friday, Diezani stressed the need for mentorship of Ijaw youths.
The videos were posted on Twitter by bloggers.
The former minister said, “The ones that have swag, the Yahoo Yahoo boys as my son would say; these in short, are the role models they are looking at. These are the ones that reinforce negative societal norms and values.
“This is a travesty of an unfolding tragedy for us. Why have I spent time talking about fatherless homes and the impact it has on our children? The truth of the matter is that an irresponsible boy tends to become an irresponsible man and it is therefore a vicious cycle. If you plant yam, you cannot harvest plantain.”
Diezani said there are no shortcuts to progressing in life, adding that only hard work could guarantee success.
The former minister added, “There are no shortcuts to working your way up the ladder of life. Progressing in life, in work and relationships – marital or otherwise – is always dependent on consistent effort and hard work.
“As we create more responsible young men, we will generate more responsible fathers which will in turn engender a more sustainable society and build a greater nation of successful Ijaw men and women.”
Diezani said societal values had collapsed mainly because of weak family bonds caused by broken homes.
She said in some instances, children raised by single parents do well in life but it should not be the norm that children should be brought up by single parents.
Diezani thanked her former boss, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, for empowering women during his tenure.
The former minister, who is being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, for alleged fraud running into billions of dollars has been living in the United Kingdom since 2015.
She was reportedly appointed as a Commissioner for Trade and Investment by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of the Commonwealth of Dominica and handed a diplomatic passport which has helped her to evade prosecution despite being in London for over four years.