The story of 13 year old Ricky Daniel Ohikhena who hitched a ride in the tyre compartment of an Arik flight from Benin to Lagos (he thought he was on the way to the US) has the stuff movies are made of. But one hardly noticed factor in the story, as security people grilled the mum to find an explanation for the incident (imagine if it had been a suicide bomber!), is the influence of movies.
Hear the testimony of the mum, Evelyn: "He is always at home. I have never seen anybody come to look for him and he doesn't have any friends".
Continuing, Mum said "He doesn't go out. What I know is that he is always watching films in the house but he doesn't have friends".
Yet, people are still wondering where Ricky got the ideas, motivation and know-how about stowing-away. It's the movies, stupid!
Now, this is just one case that happens to gain prominence. Extrapolations can be made into several other aspects of life: terrorism, sexuality, spirituality, etc etc. Who can truly imagine the consequences of millions of kids glued unto the TV and Internet, while the parents keep beating their chest about their child who doesn't keep bad companies? Who needs bad companies with all the "excitement" available 24 hours on the air waves!
Parents who somehow grasp what' s going on here will understand they need to take extraordinary measures in these extra-ordinary climes.