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Monday 7 August 2017

Blood Money: Government, The Church & Communities are Guilty and at Risk! - Tobenna Obiano

As a child, it was once joked that monies and gold line the streets of London and other European cities. Many also were made to think that dollars grows on the trees in America. Till today, maybe in a rebranded thinking, many still "ignorantly" believe that once you arrive abroad, "money falls on you".

Some think that life abroad is the easiest and all the wealth in the world can be made within a twinkle of an eye. Even Davido's hit track, "Thirty Billion for my Account" isn't even helping matters, as illiterate, jobless and helpless few, mainly young people believe once they touch their feet abroad, the billions drops into their accounts magically or miraculously.

In the last one year alone or thereabout, I have done a round trip through Ethiopia to Brazil to Panama to Port of Spain and to St. Lucia. I continued to Barbados to St. Vincent and Grenadines to the United Kingdom. At most places, I met Nigerians right from the airports and the tale of what played out, especially on unplanned meetings are quite incredible.

In T & T, I met a young guy who as we got into a chat, we discussed so many things and when he was advising that I hold a bag for him while he uses the rest room, I told him  point blank to go to the toilet with his luggage. In Nigeria, a young man pleaded that I moved a small parcel concealed in a luggage for him to London, I looked at him and asked him to go and waybill it.

Now, fact is, there is nowhere on planet earth, not one place where monies falls from heaven on people nor is there a place where it grows on a tree. Everywhere, many work so hard, even under intense and extreme conditions for every damn dime they make. Many Nigerians abroad do four to five jobs to keep up and in a bid to maximize their incomes. Every penny made abroad is rewards from hardwork, those who make theirs miraculously, I'm yet to see.

Today, many young Nigerian heads to embassies of various nations of the world, with hope to proceed to nations where they can turn into becoming sudden billionaires. It used to be the US, Canada, UK. It twinkled down to Germany, France, Russia, Australia, Holland. It went further down to Italy, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Caribbean nations and South Korea. All these embassies have a characteristic habit, particularly, the first three in shaming and ridiculing Nigerians with the way they bounce out their requests for visas after paying huge sums that are not refundable for visa processing.

This day, the dream of most young Nigerians have now suddenly trickled down to Dubai, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Indonesia et al. Most of the nations in this class are in the Asian continent. In Asia, death penalty awaits many nefarious activities or crime acts. Nigerians have fallen victim especially in issues related to drug peddling and internet fraud. Nigerians have been killed by firing squad in many Asian nations on drug related offenses.

At a certain time, Australian nationals, Nigerians and Indonesians were caught in drug offenses, and they were taken to court where they were found guilty.

Usually, in Indonesia and Thailand, death penalty was the law for drug related offenses. Australian Government pushed so hard that their citizens be handed down lesser punishments, I listened to the President of Indonesia, a no nonsense man, Joko Widodo say point blank, that no amount of negotiations or diplomacy would stop the law of the land from taking its cause. He insisted that annually 4.5million people consume illicit drugs and over 70 deaths are recorded daily because of the after-effects of those drug abuse.

In Indonesian airports, seaports and other ports of entry, it is boldly written, "Stay Away from Drug Peddling or Death Penalty Awaits You".

Many other Asian nations have death penalty for drug cartels too; maybe they subdue the press in their reportage about how determined they are to deal ruthlessly with drug lords. Indonesia is always in the news because they don't care and they show it to the world.

Many of the oftenly celebrated Malaysian big boys are internet fraudsters. We often relax it just like it's no crime, maybe because most young people indulge in it, well, fact is, it is a big crime to loot by proxy or deception, that's con and it's criminal.

These criminals, drug cartels and internet fraudsters alike return home to shame us all. They cruise on wonders on wheels, have litanies of girlfriends, show off at events majorly weddings, shame us at nightclubs with them spending nearly N5millon at the spot, while we are still struggling via contribution to raise N100,000 to pay for our few bottles of cheap drinks.

Even on social media, they have the balls to ridicule hardworking young Nigerians, recently artistes are their targets. These criminals try to shame them, yet they don't have a defined job, a known source of income and still, they show off Gucci designs like they are brand ambassadors and no one knows their real names, all we see or hear are names like "Hushpuppy" et al.

Karma has a way of hitting back at its own time. Evans was so powerful and had virtually all treasures he so wished for, all to himself, those were gains from a dirty crime record of kidnapping and demanding sums in dollars to release victims. He who kills with gun, will definitely be brought down by same, gun!

Envy no one, shame no one, swear for no one, simply do your thing and let the rest be for God. If you choose, hustle in silence and ball in grace, but many young Nigerians won't take it; they want to rise to the billionaire status as quick as possible and shame everyone. They want to show off to the babes, and if you fail to meet their standards, they push you away. All is vanity!

As an individual, I just don't like seeing young men of less than 50years with questionable source of income been revered and hailed with High Chief. I may be wrong in my thinking, but I just don't like it.

Now, the Government, Communities and Religious circles are guilty as well and lately, they now fall at risk. You can't dine with the devil and hope to run away from its after-effect. If you choose to be a Christian, be same fully till the end; on the other hand, if you choose to fall on the other side, remain there too and fully. Don't interchangeably force two unagreeable "Beings" to integrate into one. It doesn't work that way.

Over the years, Governments have continued to allow individuals who clearly, many know that they have made their wealth either through serial looting or engaging in other questionable means, yet they are allowed to make huge donations to the Government or allowed to build infrastructures, after which most of those monuments are named after them.

The various communities and churches are worse off. In Igboland particularly, traditional titleship is mostly bought by money, power and connections. It's often for the highest bidder, how sad!

In the SouthEast, most of the churches are built singlehandedly by individuals who are super-rich. These guys have made so much money to build churches which communities usually would have needed years of levying to complete. Those same project, an individual begins and finish within a year.

Some of these multi-millionaires who build those churches are truly rich by dint of hardwork and known ventures or sources of income, also, a huge percentage made their wealth through very negative means, especially through returns from drug-dealing abroad, looting of tax-payers monies from the Government and others, through other classes and ranges of fraudulent means, especially  internet fraud.

Also, individuals build community or town union halls, tar local roads, lift and connect streetlights, donate transformers to their communities, sponsor yearly activities of their communities like the mass return, football competition or pageantry. Some go as far as building palaces, homes or buying cars for their traditional rulers who in turn rewards them, an "illustrious" son of the soil with a Chieftaincy title.

These people who foot those bills to finish do not have their monies falling from heaven, many made their wealth through the dirtiest and even deadly means that one may ever think of. This is the fact!

Today it is Ozoubulu, who knows where would be next?

We must rise up to challenge moneybags with questionable sources of income. We should speak truth to their faces. We should subdue the urge and insatiable temptation to accept "Greek gifts" from these criminals. We should be bold enough to diplomatically reject those, rejecting the devil in all it's works and pomps.

Government agencies, Communities and Churches have a lead role to play. They indirectly encourage crime by treating criminals with kidgloves.

Government present political thieves and looters of taxpayers monies with National Honors, Communities honor drug cartels and fraudsters with chieftaincy titles and the churches through her leaders turn the House of God to something else, where they receive tithes in millions without asking questions, they reserve front roll seats for the super rich who often walk in with thugs half way into church services desecrating the church and constituting nuisance and those churches still honour those privileged few with Knights of the church or elders.

The Government, Society and Religious circles have a big role to play. We either face this squarely or else, it would consume us all.

May the Lord repose the souls of the Martyrs of Ozubulu.

1 comment:

  1. This narrative puts blame where it belongs.