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Only those who haven't robbed before, and want to virtue-signal how empathetic they are towards the poor, say armed robbery is always down to "hunger".

Was once friends with a reformed armed-robber and former gang-leader. This is what he told me of his experience. #LagosUnrest
First of all, this guy wasn't poor by any standards. Had several siblings in West who used to send him money regularly. He got into crime through the confraternity he joined while in a SE University. He became "defence minister" of his confra, in charge of ammunition et al.
He started robbing because he had access to weapons to do it, boys at his disposal and there was little danger of getting caught. Worst-case scenario, police stop you on way back from operation, you settle them, simple. They always took the bribe, he said.
He also told me this. "The first time I pointed my gun at somebody and they fell on their knees and started begging for their life, I felt a rush of power like never before. You become that person's God at that moment. They will do anything you say. It's an addictive feeling."
He said in fact one of his main "challenges" in that particular leadership role was to make sure his boys didn't kill someone just for the fun of it when they went on operations. Because he could see the power rush in their eyes.
The real sadists are never the ones who make the most noise. They are usually quiet, don't talk much, but you can see the blood thirst in their eyes, he said. Left alone, they'd kill just for the fun of it. Of course, they were usually high too, so that didn't help.
This guy later "retired" from crime and is now a regular citizen in Nigeria. You'd be shocked how many there are walking around you in suits.

Do you know the percentage of 40 year-olds in high places today, especially politics, who were confra boys that have killed? It's high.
The point of all this is not to dismiss the challenges of the kind of poverty close to 100 million souls go through in Nigeria.

I didn't grow up on "the island" in Lagos. I grew up in Dopemu, so while my own family was middle-class, I saw poverty around me everyday wella.
The kids I played football with on the streets lived in face me I face yous and I knew when they got back from school, there was no food waiting for them like there was for me. I saw their lives up close. And I will never forget the things I saw.
My point here is to let you know the problem is worse than just "hunger" in Nigeria when it comes to crime. That is just one motivator. Nigeria is a society where those at the top deploy violence to get what they want regularly. Violence pays in Nigeria.
So there is now a culture of violence in the country. Young men rob, kill and terrorize not just for money but to feel powerful.

To feel, even for a brief moment, like a "somebody" in a society that respects power and often treats you like shit if you have none.
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