Gambling encouraging Yahoo-Yahoo among Nigerian youths
A police advocacy group, Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV), has expressed concern over gambling addiction among youths.
According to their National Coordinator, CSP Ebere Amaraizu, while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Wednesday, gambling remained a pull factor pushing young minds into social vices amongst others.
On the recent dangers of gambling addiction and the challenges and way out for young Nigerians; Amaraizu stated that youth gambling addiction is an ill wind that blows no good to anyone.
He stated that there is need for an advocacy for a holistic societal approach where all hands will be on deck by all relevant stakeholders to checkmate the emerging trend with a view to revising it.
He noted that one of the main draws of gambling for the youth, was the promise and expectation of great reward and this had left gambling-addicted young persons, to try at all costs to have money at all times for betting/gambling.
He further maintained that young minds often struggle to properly deal with losses and tend to overcompensate by throwing even bigger money on this game of chance. According to him, gambling encourages reckless and irresponsible behaviour and inhibits the ability to properly assess risks and consequences.
It is obviously a pull factor to vices, depression, suicide and some cases of mental disorder among others.
He stated that a conducted survey, revealed that gambling-addicted youths are prone to missing school, having low grades in schools, and school dropouts. It destroys academic life and career successes.
Amaraizu noted that youths addicted to gambling are more prone to substance and drug abuse which increases the pathways and engagement in criminal activities.
Such criminal activities included sexual and gender-based violence, advance fee fraud also known as Yahoo-Yahoo, and ritual killing (Yahoo Plus) all of which are Serious and Organised Crime (SOC).
He added further that gambling is all about risk-taking and so, this increases the chances of young minds getting into the pathways of risk-taking which eventually exposes them to psychological and behavioral issues.
He however, recommended that curbing gambling addiction would require the participation of all relevant stakeholders through holistic societal approaches.
He said that another action necessary to curb the menace is mentoring and reorientation.
He also said that there is also a need to create a better and safer environment for children to grow and thrive through adult guidance and parent support programmes, which will concentrate on the negative consequences of gambling/betting.
He added that various regulatory and re-orientation agencies should rise up to the challenges for a safe, peaceful, and secured society and a better nation.