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Monday, June 17, 2024

The Must Know Dark Side of Baba Ijebu and how it started

The Must Know Dark Side of Baba Ijebu and how it started

Also Read: Sports Betting: A Source Of Hope Or Misery? ( The 4 Negative Effects And The 4 Ways To Quit)

Some time ago, a very bizarre incident occurred in one of the neighbourhoods of Ago-Iwoye region of Ogun State. It was revealed that a 29-year-old man, allegedly beheaded his 99-year-old Aunt because he accused the dear Aunt that she was the cause of his inability to win ‘Baba-ijebu’. As funny as it may sound, this is to the extent this gambling has eaten into the fabric of almost every neighbourhood in Nigeria. It seems those given to it are bewitched. But why is it so? 

While gambling and lotto have existed for centuries, the rise of premier lotto, also known as ‘baba-ijebu’ has become very elusive but disturbing.

One would ask what have they done differently, and what makes it irresistible to millions of Nigerians who patronize it daily.

Premier lotto has become synonymous with the colour green painted on most kiosks. In most of Nigeria, especially the southern part of the country, this menace that is clothed in appealing apparel is almost becoming a household name.

People were unaware of the devastation it had wrought among Nigerians and in society at large. Many Nigerians believe that because gambling doesn’t include drugs or alcohol, it must be less damaging than other addictions.

This article details how Baba-ijebu, also known as premier lotto, started, and the stronghold it has on most Nigerians.

Origin of premier baba-ijebu

Chief Kessington Adebukunola Adebutu launched Baba Ijebu, also known as Premier Lotto Limited (PLL), as a gambling and gaming company to handle the lottery business in Nigeria. Since the company’s founding, millions of  Lagos residents have played every day. This is an enormous success for any business. And Baba Ijebu has been successful in getting his target demographic to frequent the firm without using any kind of brand promotion or public relations.

The Premier Lotto chief had his business goals figured out early on, having been born into a family of company owners. Unable to launch a large firm, he decided to operate a pool company. There was just a table, paper, and biro in the first pool shop, which was at 8, Bale Street, Alakara, Idi-Oro in  Lagos. His brother was one of the area’s most well-known landlords, thus he had good patronage. In addition, his clients thought him reliable enough to manage their money, and the pool industry demands a great deal of honesty and integrity. He had two more pool shops up and running in less than a year when his pool betting venture turned into a lottery.

Premier Lotto Ltd., owned by Adebutu, was established in 2001 and has now expanded to become a massive franchise with 200 main agents managing 16,000 retail gaming representatives located throughout western Nigeria. The lottery corporation frequently brags about its ability to lower unemployment among the throngs of young Nigerians. Involving young people in Nigeria at various points throughout the business value chain achieves this. The lottery business is still in its infancy, with interest primarily coming from men across all age categories.

How Premier Lotto became known as Baba-ijebu

It is worth noting that the game was registered by Chief Kessington as premier lotto, but as of today, not everyone knows how it metamorphosed into baba-ijebu. 

According to Chief Kessington, the name baba-ijebu was coined on the street of  Lagos by satisfied customers, who were nothing the less enriched by the profit they have made. Out of excitement, and by way of alluding it to be a sure way to make money, they coined the name baba-ijebu. Baba ijebu can be likened to a seer, who tells us what is to come, and it happens as foretold. Though this might sound so hilarious, you should know that one of the many different ways to play the lotto is called sure.

The stronghold of Baba-ijebu on Nigerians

From every street in  Lagos to all the neighbourhoods in the southern part of Nigeria, spreading all over the North, baba-ijebu has become embedded in the way of life of millions of Nigerians, but most remarkable is the negative effects it has on Nigerians.

Premier lotto has become a dead trap for almost everyone who indulges in it, and the stories emanating from different parts of the country make one wonder why the government has not proscribed it. Permit me to show you how much Premier Lotto has affected the average Nigerian negatively.

1. Unbridled addiction

Many have become so addicted to playing baba-ijebu. While some are modest in the act, others play it every day, with the hope of winning a fortune. This addiction has led to misfortunes on the part of those given to it. 

A vivid example was that of Phillip (not real name) who is a gambling addict.

According to the report, while working as a banker in a microfinance bank, he was suddenly disengaged. And while roaming the streets of  Lagos, he saw the kiosk depicting baba-ijebu. He recalled that he had once played it while a student at the University. Since he was idle, he decided to give it a try. And on some occasions, he did win. Thereafter, he was employed as a bursar in a school. By then the addition has grown. From playing the game with his salary, he began using the school money for gambling with the hope of playing, making money and returning the money. Of course, that hope was dashed to the wall as he wasn’t lucky. And now he was in huge debt. A little while later the school found out, and he was arrested.

2. Underaged children indulged in the act

While gambling is meant to be legal for those who are 18 years and upward, baba-ijebu has made it possible for even primary school children to indulge in gambling. The game is structured in such a way that even N5 can be played. And this with a promise of a return of more than a thousand naira.

When at a very tender age, the minds of children are diverted to making quick money without putting in any work, it poses a huge danger not just to their academics, but to their Future in the long run.

3. Loss of purpose and ambition

Many Nigerians who patronize baba-ijebu have become so deceived to think one day they will make it big through this gambling. Hence, they give less attention to their ambition and purpose for living. This has made many to be idle, and not want to indulge in anything to better their lives

4. Den of miscreants

It’s a known fact that most baba-ijebu stands are a den to miscreants in society. In most of these stores, you see young men smoking marijuana and all sorts of vices happening there.


While businesses are done for the sole aim of making money, we must not forget about the ethical and the moral side of it. This I think is where premier lotto and the gambling industry fall short. The vices and ruin that are associated with Premier Lotto are so much that one will recommend that it be deemed illegal, and the business be dissolved.

This alone will solve the problem associated with this menace. And as long as it continues, with its alluring schemes, it will continue to attract more Nigerians, to the end that they end up in financial and moral ruins.

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