BY DENNIS UGBUDIAN
Following the recent trend for some time now that some ritualists, popularly known as ‘Yahoo boys’, have been stealing female pants for money rituals, sometimes at gunpoint, particularly around campuses of tertiary institutions in some parts of the country, many ladies have decided to stop wearing pants to avoid being a victim of this nefarious act.
The developmental effect is that it has drastically affected the sales of pants negatively in the market, promping the traders to cry out in lamentation that yahoo boys have destroyed their business.
It was gathered that undies, particularly of girls between the ages of 16 to 32, are hot cakes for use by ritualists. One pant, according to some residents, sells for as much as three hundred and fifty thousand naira. The price can be higher when the ‘boys’ confirm “ through science that the girl has not done any abortion”,or the pant has body fluids.
According to sources, one of the measures being used by female students to protect themselves against being a victim, is to go out without wearing pants .
This development has greatly affected the traders who sell female pants as a means of livelihood, as the patronage has dropped drastically.
A visit by NewsTimesAfrica to Oka Market in Benin City, Edo State, it was gathered that the buying of pants has reduced significantly.
A trader at the market, Madam Ifueko Ogbonmwan, lamented that since the trend started, she no longer gets patronage as she used to.
:I used to get a lot of customers before now but the moment this ritual wahala started, everthing just change. Apart fom the ederly women who are now buying from us, the young girls no longer buy again, and they are the ones who are our main customers. We learnt that the pant for rituals thing is mostly common in Delta, I don’t know why Edo girls have decided to join them and stop wearing pant. It is killing our business.:
Explaining further, she stated that friends who are also into the same business are facing similar challenges as their customers are mostly young ladies.
At Oshodi Express in Lagos, Joy Enebeli also confirmed that many girls don’t wear pant these days, not because of the pants for rituals saga. but for reasons best known to them.
According to her, the pants for money ritual thing has not really impacted negatively on her business because it has not been a common thing in Lagos.
Hear her, “I have been selling pants here now for a very long time. One thing i discovered is that many girls don’t wear pant. They would openly tell u. Each time i asked them to buy pant from me, some of them would tell you, ‘Sister sorry ooo, i don’t wear pant. Some would even be surprised to hear that people still wear pant. So, it is not really stranged to me.
“As for the pants for money ritual issue, it has not really affected my business. I still make some money i have been making before, eventhough the bad economy has slowed business down. Probably it is because it has not been a common thing here in Lagos. I am not saying it is not happening in Lagos but maybe not as pronounced in oher areas.
“I learn’t that it is a common thing in Delta, especially Asaba area, and that many girls no longer wear pant over there. It is bad news for this kind of our business. I called a friend of mine, Grace, the other day in Ogwa-Shukwu, she usually come to Lagos to buy second hand clothings, she said business has not been the same again since this issue came up. She said many girls are now afraid of wearing pants because of yahoo boys. I really pity her. I just hope government will find solution to it very soon.”
In a similar development, Anne Okonkwo, who sells shirts and trousers at Oshodi, lamented bitterly over the development, saying that the unfotunste scenatio has affected sales of female undies negatively. According to her “Eventhough i don’t trade in that line of business, i have heard many of my friends complained bitterly how it has led to low patronage because many girls are no longer wearing pant for fear of falling victim to heartless yahoo boys. If a girl does not waer pant, will she go to the market to buy one? Of course not. Then it is the seller who is at the receiving end. That is what is happening to them. That is why they are complaining. And it is very sad”