To start with, who is descriptively a hoodlum?
In answer, a hoodlum is someone born into abject poverty, in either a rural or urban setting or was born into means but have rather elected to be a deviant. He is not usually able to afford 3 square meals a day. At first schooling age, he may have started hawking on the streets to earn his keeps. A hoodlum was usually always regularly abused and exposed to constant threats, all through his growing up years, in his neighbourhood. A hoodlum has thus, always lived in violence and been exposed to it from childhood. A hoodlum could only have attended public school if he ever did enrol in any schooling institution. Even if he was ever exposed to schooling once in a while, when not on the streets hawking, he may not have had teachers to teach him and for want of earning his keeps, he regularly got late to school and was flogged each time. A hoodlum could not have had needed school books and his home and school looked unliveable, hideously and filthily very much alike. A hoodlum would hardly have benefitted from the schooling within the walls of any secondary school and if he ever did, he must have dropped out without getting anything from such skill, morality, behavioural and knowledge development building block. A hoodlum must have had no mentors, been exposed from an early age to drug abuse and thus, a drug addict. A hoodlum has never got the encouragement for self-development, has had little or no dreams for himself and could never have aspired to become a productively contributing citizen. A hoodlum has had to be his own father and mother from his very early age in the company of many others like him, fending for themselves and resorting to continuous crime, as a means of survival. A hoodlum is usually the son of a hoodlum or ineffective parenthood, with deep anger waiting to be unleashed against his society/ country, which he unrepentantly blames, as the main cause of his unfortunate predicament. A hoodlum is either in prison or his brother, father, or friend or accomplice is in prison. A hoodlum could be either Yoruba, or Igbo, or Hausa, or Irhobo, or of any other tribe in Nigeria. A hoodlum could be either a Muslim, Christian or without any religious beliefs. A hoodlum generally, is the product of uncaring societies /countries that grow an overwhelmingly large number of jobless, unemployed and hungry youths, who are disenfranchised and who have lost hope in their future. A hoodlum is, therefore, the creation of bad, uncaring, greedy, selfish, incompetent, visionless and ungodly leaders of such societies and countries. A hoodlum is obviously, therefore, a Nigerian.
In essence, please you come in contact with a hoodlum today, show him some love and understanding. You may, for all we know, have contributed to making him the time bomb that he is today. Let us all please, think deep, to see how we can make some difference around us. Let us know that we are all vulnerable to the uncontrolled and drugged anger of the hoodlums, that are all around our so-called, fortified neighbourhoods and who are open to manipulation by politicians and despicable enemies of progress in our society and country.
Good morning and please extend your hand of help to hoodlums around you. You never know, you may need them for your protection in our country’s current Hobbesian state of nature and Durkheim anomie.
By Prince Yemisi Shyllon
A lawyer, an engineer and renowned Art Collector, wrote from Lagos