Since the arrest of the kidnapping kingpin, some Nigerians that are knowledgeable in the field of psychology have been tracing the major factor behind Evans’ criminal disposition to a psychological research on personality and crime that was propounded by Hans Eysenck. The theory is known as “Eysenck Personality Questionnaires, EPQ. The theorist assumed that human beings were hedonistic, sought pleasure, and avoided pain. He assumed that delinquent acts such as theft, violence, and vandalism were essentially pleasurable or beneficial to the offender. In order to explain why everyone was not a criminal, Eysenck suggested that the hedonistic tendency to commit crimes was opposed by the conscience, which he, like Gordon Trasler, a reputable psychological theorist on causation of criminality, viewed as a conditioned fear response.
Besides, those who understands the basics of criminology unarguably agreed with the foregoing psychological theory that holds the view that those that are criminally-minded are ‘hedonists’ who seek pleasure and avoid pain, and ‘rational calculators’ weighing up the costs and benefits of the consequences of each action.
To the sociologist, in Sociological positivism, societal factors such as poverty, membership of subcultures, or low levels of education can predispose people to crime. Adolphe Quetelet, father of modern statistics, made use of data and statistical analysis to gain insight into the relationship between crime and sociological factors. He found that age, gender, poverty, education, and alcohol consumption were important factors related to crime.
Sociologists are also of the view that crime is learned through association. They are of the view that criminal acts learned might be generally condoning criminal conduct or be justifying crime only under specific circumstances. They added that interacting with antisocial peers is a major cause of crime, positing that criminal behaviour will become chronic when repeated, and reinforced.
Without reference to academic theories, it is common knowledge that when criminal subcultures exist, many individuals can learn associatively to commit crime and crime rates may increase in those specific locations. The prevalence of “Area boys” across most parts of the country buttresses this view.
However, to the Christians, as to why Nigerians witnessed the arrest and confessions of a kidnapper in the mould of Evans, the Bible clearly stated in Exodus chapter 9 verse 16 that “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” A similar scripture to the foregoing is recorded in Proverbs chapter 16 verse 4, and it says, “The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil”. In the same vein, Jeremiah chapter 10 verse 23 that says, “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” In as much as this writer is not in an exercise of exonerating the kingpin kidnapper, it is expedient to opine that since God has a purpose for every situation in a man’s life that there are lessons to learn from the arrest of Evans.
Against the foregoing background, one may not be wrong to say that one of the lessons to learn from his predicament is that crime does not pay. For instance, in a chat with the press sometime last week, the notorious billionaire kidnap kingpin, who had successfully carried out several high profile kidnappings and armed robberies within Lagos, Anambra, Enugu and Edo States, advised his fellow kidnappers to desist from the act. According to him, “My advice to them is that as they are watching me standing here with policemen, they should stop everything about that, it doesn’t pay”, Evans tells his fellow comrade. With the level of remorse exhibited by him so far since he met his waterloo in the hands of Nigerian policemen, one may not be wrong to advise those who foolishly think that crime pays to heed the words of wisdom of the kidnap kingpin who has been there, so to say.
It is instructive and wise for those who think that crime pays to desist from such erroneous thinking, and draw lessons from his predicament. There is also wisdom for them to also go back to history and equally learn from the foolhardiness of Lawrence Nomanyagbon Anini, who was one of Nigeria’s most notorious armed robbers that held sway in the old Bendel State (Now Edo and Delta States).Like Evans, he met his waterloo and was consequently executed. Before his execution, he wept, begged and asked for forgiveness but the law took its course. In the same vein, those who erroneously think that kidnappers in the mould of Evans have heart of stones should desist from such erroneous thinking . Just like the infamous Anini, Evans was reportedly begging for forgiveness in the same way his wife and children were begging. While he pleaded to join the fight against kidnapping when pardoned and released, his wife was equally reported to have whipped up sentiment that the Evans she married is not what Nigerians are saying he was. To my view, the foregoing are enough reasons for anyone to desist from the perpetration of crime as it exemplifies shame and equally tantamount to sin against God and humanity.
Without any scintilla of exaggeration, the confessions made by Evans so far were revealing. The beauty of his confessions, so to say, is that an aspect of it impinges on child upbringing. In his confessions, he said his father once disowned him and that the same father has paradoxically benefitted from the ransoms collected from kidnapping as he once gave him N3m cash with a gift of an SUV. The confessions, no doubt, has brought to the fore the discourse that family unit is under assault from an ever increasing array of forces, with children enduring the brunt of the attack.
There is no denying the fact that for ages that parents have been facing almost impossible odds of successfully rearing their children. Yet, God in the bible in the book of Proverbs chapter 22 verse 6 commands parents to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Against the foregoing backdrop, one may not be wrong to say that the waterloo which Evans, to a large extent with his wife, have met has further tasked parents on the need to train up their children in line with the aforementioned biblical injunction. Indeed, the tight spot which Evans parents now find themselves is enough for parents to learn from.
Another lesson to learn from Evans’ predicament is that some of us that are sanctimoniously religious should eschew hypocrisy. Evans’ wife claimed that her husband is a prayer warrior, and that he reads Psalm 23 often. Good! One may be tempted to ask, has he not been seeing the scriptural injunction in Genesis chapter 6 verse 9 that says, “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind”? In fact, if he has been studying the bible as the wife claimed in her emotional plea to Nigerians and the Nigerian Police Force, he ought to have come across the scripture that says in Exodus 21:16 that “He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.” In the same vein, he ought to have seen a parallel scripture in the same bible that says in Deuteronomy 24:7 says “If a man is caught kidnapping any of his countrymen of the sons of Israel, and he deals with him violently or sells him, then that thief shall die; so you shall purge the evil from among you.”
Another lesson to be learnt is that we should desist from envying people whose source of wealth we not nothing about. Many people are wont to envy those that are rich and wealthy without questionably thinking of how such people came about such stupendous affluence. Some were wont to foolishly toe the path of criminals, as long as there is money, without thinking about the consequences.
Conclusively, apart from members of the society, it is expedient that wives try as much as possible to know the source of incomes of their husbands.
Isaac Asabor, a Journalist, writes from Lagos.