History has records of dispensations or ages of human civilization. There was the STONE AGE, AGRARIAN AGE, THE INDUSTRIAL AGE, THE JET AGE, THE ICT AGE, NOW THE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (A.I) AGE.

Today, we have high speed computers that can allow deployment of Artificial Intelligence (A.I) software to do complex tasks in fractions of minutes surprisingly at little to no cost. High end computer hardware and software that were once only affordable to fortune 500 companies can now be deployed to Android based inexpensive hardware and APPs that cost insignificant amounts.

People marvel as Artificial Intelligence apps like CHATGPT write poems, essays, research papers in fractions of seconds with amazing accuracy and ease. There are also A.I. Apps that are deployed for sound engineering and music production to create various sound effects and even talking videos. There are also A.I. software that are deployed to create photo effects involving manipulation to create flawlessly realistic images with new backgrounds, settings, color effects etc

As expected, great technology advancements designed with good intension can be used by evil minds to do great harm to innocent people. The voice of an innocent person can be manipulated by A.I software to create fake conversation to criminalize innocent people. A picture they say is worth a thousand words. Imagine a picture manipulated to show an innocent, high profile woman in a compromising situation? This is damaging to the image of an innocent woman, the husband and her family. Many women have faced shame, manic depression, extortion and even suicide from such wickedness.

Today, greed and wickedness have made some people to resort to internet blackmail. These serial black mailers operate as a syndicate. They have their spotters, who seek for vulnerable people to pry on. They have their insiders who gather fake information and their developers who cut, join, sew the fake news to create convincing but outright falsehood to deceive the public and blackmail their victim.

I chose to call the new age of social media black mail, THE AGE OF HYENAS. HYENA is a dirty animal that is deceptive, wicked, nocturnal, hunts in a pack and devours it’s prey alive. HYENAS are grave diggers. They eat corpses. Blackmailers are Hyenas. They dig for dirt against their victims and when they can’t find they manufacture such and publish. Blackmailers make profit from character assassination. They have destroyed many marriages, tarnished image of high profile people. Like Judas’ Iscariot, they sell information to enemies for a fee. Without divine justice, Judas’ would had been a role model in success by betrayal but he became a blacklisted name forever.

The humongous easy money that blackmailers make is the reason for the sudden rise in ONLINE NEWS PLATFORMS. The blackmailers seldom know that there is a thin line between freedom of information and treason. Government of Ebonyi State pounced on one of the blackmailers from Enugu State not long ago. His associates started begging, pleading, seeking for mercy. Many Religious sentiments were deployed to plead for mercy from Ebonyi State govt which had approached the Court to seek claims for damage. Not long ago, a lady who claims to be a therapist by internet name, BLESSING CEO was arrested and detained for days by the family of her late victim of blackmail. The family of the deceased stamped their feet hard that they will make sure that BLESSING CEO ate her words after prosecution and conviction for not allowing them to grief quietly.

In Enugu, a syndicate hid behind a blackmailer to target DR FAVOR UGWUANYI, Chairman PPSMB. The family of Dr Favor Ugwuanyi approached the undercover security, the Department of State Security which swiftly swung into action, arrested a suspect and gathered very sensitive information. The family of Dr Favor Ugwuanyi mni are determined to approach the court soon to seek for justice from injurious, malicious damages of the many SPONSORED false publications and blackmail on social media.

If you become a victim of blackmail, treat the blackmailer and the negotiator as syndicate. Secretly report to law enforcement agencies. They will put a tab on the syndicate and crack their team. Know for a fact that HYENA is weak when singled out but strong when they hunt in a pack. This means that when the intelligence officers or under cover security single out one person, he will implicate others and the crime is solved. When a blackmailer is caught, allow the law to follow it’s due course so that the blackmailer will confess , be prosecuted, convicted before PARDON if you wish. Without following due diligence and due process of law, the blackmailer will deny every plea and claim that he/she made confession under duress. Blackmailers like Hyena are unrepentant.

A growing intolerance for fake news is on the rise in civilized nations. Nigeria is catching up to this and soon, blackmailers in Nigeria will know that they can’t hide in the internet to tarnish hard earned reputation for a fee without consequences. As long as life exists, the principle of cause and effect remains.

Reputation is like a mirror – difficult to create, easy to break, hard to fix after it’s broken. Say NO TO BLACKMAILERS. They damage reputation for profit.

Tomorrow is here. There will be data centers in Enugu, young ICT experts to automate processes, data analysts and data forensics. Blackmailers will have no future in Enugu. There will be plenty ICT jobs. Hone ur skills to serve with dignity.

Bishop Chinedu Nwoye

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