Hoodlum -Who is a Hoodlum?
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In recent times, people have had reasons to call anyone who breaks into a place, a hoodlum. Lately, the word has been used to describe just about anyone who happens to cause a nuisance in environments.
Hoodlums often times settle in certain neighbourhoods they are familiar with, in order to make their operations even easier. These days, whenever one is caught bullying the next person either for fun or some other reason, people easily tag the person a hoodlum.
Who is a Hoodlum?
According to the 7th edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary, a hoodlum is defined as a violent criminal, who is always part of a gang. A hoodlum is most times a male who is young, noisy and violent.
Though people who are under this category in environments or neighbourhoods hide under the cover of local security agents, they also serve as Vigilantes, providing immediate and needed security in communities. Hoodlums always carry out their operations in groups.
The circumstances which always brings them together is a common ground and this reason keeps them committed to themselves no matter what befalls them.
In Nigerian society, the term hoodlum became rampant in the vocabulary of people during and right after the famous #ENDSARS protest which happened in October 2020. It was said that the protest was hijacked from peaceful protesters by hoodlums who had ulterior motives of wasting the efforts of peaceful protesters.
Reports have it that these hoodlums in different parts of the country where the protests took place broke into shops, stole and even destroyed some of the privately owned businesses and properties. One of such cases happened in the Southern part of the country where an LG Showroom was broken into with hoodlums who made away with some expensive items like refrigerators, TV sets and others.
The state security agents took responsibility, investigated into the theft case and found the offenders.
Right after the protests and its effects had died down in the country, some youths who were also tagged hoodlums were reported to have broken into some supposed storehouses to collect foodstuff which was suspected to have been kept by political officials for less privileged citizens who couldn’t afford daily meals during the lockdown caused by the Corona Virus pandemic which lasted from March to June 2020.
The food supplies were said to be donated by different NGOs in and outside the country and some foreign officials. The donations to be distributed were somehow kept for days, weeks and months in storehouses around the country. In this case, the said hoodlums discovered these locations and ensured that hidden foodstuff was distributed though not appropriately, the masses had gotten what rightly belonged to them.
Example of a Hoodlum
Just like their description, a hoodlum is a person who causes a nuisance, is noisy and is a criminal. A good example of a hoodlum breaks into a place, sometimes a storehouse or a home, to forcefully collect things from people. Most times, hoodlums are out for their selfish gains.
They do not consider the well-being or state of their victims. According to the dictionary definition, a hoodlum is a criminal, and a criminal is one who is involved in illegal activities, activities that call the attention of law-keepers in society and attract a level of penance. A criminal offence is morally wrong.
Hoodlums have been discovered to take up their way of life for various reasons. Some of them happen to be school dropouts finding a means of livelihood. Some, after being caught and interrogated, confess that they are from broken homes and have no shelter or anyone to cater to them.
In other cases, some young men are discovered to be well-educated but take up criminal acts due to unemployment in society.
They end up finding homes on the streets and resolve to steal from the defenceless, threatening and hurting people to meet their daily needs.
In conclusion, the presence of hoodlums in any community speaks of danger to the safety of the people. It is the responsibility of law-keepers to fish out these law offenders and make them face the wrath of the law.