Please don’t steal my pant! by Buchi Obichie (Opinion)

Please don’t steal my pant! by Buchi Obichie (Opinion)

Editors’ note: The writer, Buchi Obichie, expresses alarm over the recent occurrences of pant theft. She blames the get-rich-quick mentality, plus social media, for this unorthodox and deadly practice. She also blames the church for promoting a message of ‘mega riches’.

When I was in university, I used to have this flat-mate who loved to hang her panties outside. My goodness, that girl was truly something. She had this plastic bucket where all the undies were soaked throughout the week and then washed and hanged on Saturdays.

And so, if you came to visit me on any given weekend, you were bombarded by an assortment of undies; as the hanging rope was just beside the door of our flat!

I know don’t how she managed to wear so much, but without exaggerating, I can honestly say that on any given weekend, there were nothing less than 20 panties on the ropes – and they all belonged to her!

I, on the other hand, have never loved the idea of spreading my undergarments outside. I’ve always used indoor hangers placed strategically for ventilation. I just don’t fancy the idea of sunning my inner garments in full glare of the public!

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Anyway, as the news about the recent recurring pant theft in various places in the country spread, I couldn’t help but wonder if my former flat-mate – I wouldn’t mention her name – still spreads her undies outside.

When I first heard about an occurrence of pant theft, I couldn’t understand it. According to that particular gist, some gunmen had stormed a particular eatery and ordered all the women to submit their panties. The ones who weren’t wearing any were given new ones to wear for five minutes and then submit.

No money was stolen, no gadgets stolen...just panties.

As I told the story to my brother, he said: “Ahhh, Bubu, are you just hearing the matter? It’s not new na. It’s even worse in Delta oh. They say when they meet a victim, it’s either ‘your pant or your life’!”

Say what? My pant or my life keh? It would have been funny if it didn’t have such deadly consequences!

As I hear, one of such stolen pants can be bought by ritualists for as high as 350,000 naira; and the money can even get higher – as much as 500k- if there’s ‘bodily fluid’ on the undergarment. And if your pant is taken, they say it has serious spiritual and physical consequences!

In Effurun, Warri, there was an alleged case of a woman who was said to have suddenly started vomiting money after her pant was stolen. The people who gave eyewitness accounts said she vomited both naira and dollars. They added that it took the intervention of a pastor, who resorted to serious prayers, before she stopped vomiting the money!

One other lady who was reportedly dating a ‘Yahoo Yahoo boy’, allegedly started bleeding from her private part, after her panties were stolen by the said guy!

So, when did all this start?

Well, the issue of money rituals - and all that go along with it - is not new to Nigeria. It’s always been a deadly consequence of what I refer to as the get- rich-quickly-and-by-any-means-necessary syndrome, ravaging our Nigerian (and African) society.

There is such a hunger to become rich – stinkingly rich – that people now resort to any means to achieve their aims.

In recent times, however, a lot of this need to get wealthy at any cost is fueled by the Instagram culture where people want to mimic private jet-riding, constant oversees traveling, champagne popping celebs who have to keep up such appearances to ‘stay relevant’.

Everybody wants the good life; and that’s why some young men will go as far as doing ‘Yahoo Plus’ which entails going ‘spiritual’ to achieve wealth.

And not spiritual in the sense of praying to God. Nah. Spiritual in the sense of going to see a ‘baba’ who will require you to do things that are beyond human comprehension; like eating feces and bringing female panties!

But then, it’s not just social media that’s the problem; it’s also the church. Yeah, the church.

In today’s 'Jehovah over-do' climate where so called men-of-God harp on the message of ‘mega riches’ and how Jesus was ‘not a poor man because he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey no other man had ever sat on’, there is a tendency to feel out of place if ones does not display the ‘outcome’ of his personal relationship with ‘Jehovah Jireh’.

And it also doesn’t help when you are bombarded about tithes and special seeds and made to feel like you are ‘cheating God’ if you do not ‘leave your naira notes on the altar’!

These so-called pastors make this 'great prosperity in Christ' message seem as easy as reciting A.B.C…

And so, it’s a rude awakening for some people, when they discover that while the Lord’s ears are not closed to hearing, and his eyes not closed to seeing, his ‘timeline is not our timeline’ and he cannot be ‘forced’ to rain down dollar notes from heaven whenever we want him to!

And then when that realization sets in, in a fit of desperation, they may resort to unorthodox means to get rich quickly - like stealing pants and taking them to ‘baba’!

But you can be sure that after ‘baba’ does his work, they’ll ‘redo’ their stories, come to church with testimonies and ascribe to ‘God’, what was done by ‘satan’! So, while unknowing folks celebrate with them, a victim is somewhere dead, or dying!

There has to be a change.

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We have to come to the point where people begin to question sudden wealth and shame those who acquire wealth by fraudulent and illegal means, instead of celebrating them. We have to get to a point where young people value hard work and older ones lead by example.

We have to get to a point where we value life, and value each other. Where other people are seen as an extension of human society and your kin-at-large, even though they are not related to you by blood; rather than seeing them as ‘money-making machines’.

We need to reclaim our morals and stop living life based on what we see on social media. We also need to have our pastors return to an all-encompassing message of hope, love and faith, which would make heaven happy. They need to stop harping on sudden wealth that should come once a person becomes born-again, and focus on turning the flock to a loving relationship with God. I mean, the Father does know how to take care of his own; let Him do His job at His own time!

Then we need to learn patience, and we need to put those ‘baba's’ out of work.

But while we are working on getting to that point, please, don’t steal my pant!

This opinion piece was written by Buchi Obichie.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of ( -> Same great journalism, upgraded for better service!

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