Even One Person Can Initiate Change!

stop_laundering

I came across a very interesting article on Sahara Reporters website about a group called ChangeNigeria. The first time I heard about this group was a few weeks ago on the same website where a lone man was seen outside a United Kingdom court holding placards during an Ibori trial. I was very touched by this man who paid his way from Canada to the United Kingdom just to prove his point and initiate change. He was meant to be joined by other Nigerians living in the UK but they all absconded.

The latest of the protests was better attended and was targeted at Nigerian banks purported to be the laundering agents for our myriads of corrupt politicians. The salient point being stressed by this group is that it is not possible for our national wealth to get to European and American banks without the help of the local banks. It is so disgraceful that till today; a lot of our treasury find its way out of the shore of the country in large droves. Just a few days ago, the man in charge of monitoring such movements in the EFCC was suspended for his involvement in the inglorious deals. I hope he will be properly charged to court and given the correct sentence instead of the kangaroo sentences they mete to high profile thieves in Nigeria like Tafa Balogun.

Those countries we look up to as being very clean did not become so because the citizens were created by God to be very honest but mainly because they have foolproof system that is not easy to break. Their banking and financial systems are very tight and do not easily allow money movement the way our own banks do. Many Nigerian banks made their money from these clandestine activities and a particular bank was dubbed as the leader of this gang. The sad part of it all is that we worship the CEOs of these banks like gods and shower them with national honors.

I am sure of some things in life. A yoruba proverb says that if the God of this earth do not apprehend you, the one in heaven is watching. The state of our infrastructures are very bad – hospitals, roads, electricity, water supply are all in comatose. Our educational system is not working and yet without blinking – these people buy houses abroad with cash and pay tremendous taxes on same. The blame should be spread on so many strata of our society. The value system, greedy politicians, armed robber banks, etc.

One should also not forget the foreign banks and their lack of conscience when accepting such huge sums of money from the thieves in Nigeria. We would expect that an International organization should exist with the mandate of helping poor African countries to tackle money laundering. The fact is there are existing organs controlling these things including Interpol, but their effectiveness is questionable based on the facts on ground. I believe that a stricter approach should be used to stop this inhumane practice.

When a politician steals – he is not only committing the crime of armed robbery but other heinous crimes like murder. How? Our hospitals are death beds, our roads are death traps. A lot of lives have been cut short due to these reasons and every man/woman who steals from us and prevents the country from moving forward is a murderer in the long run. I just hope someone can analyze this concept to them and believe they get it into their thick skulls.

I will challenge every Nigerian, every African and anyone interested in change to start speaking up. The 2-man demonstration against Nigerian banks in the UK might yield results as some customers who were there when it happened were shocked and decided their days are numbered in the banks. The authorities in the UK might also start investigating them with a view to revoking their license if found guilty. We cannot continue to sit on the fence because we are not affected but looking at it critically – we are all hit by this problems. We drive on the same roads, suffer from using generators, have relatives who are roaming the streets for jobs and if you stay abroad – it is most likely you will come back one day and experience the Nigerian treatment.

Someone analyzed the reason Nigerian banks are trooping abroad to open branches as the need to simplify their money laundering activities. I disagree with this opinion and instead believe it is the time for Nigeria to have global brands but with the latest discoveries that a lot of Nigerian money still land in European bank accounts – are we not supposed to start believing this theory? It is for all of us to decide and take actions. I look forward to a day when a full fledged information about the banks betraying us will be carried out and we will all disgrace them by writing on our Facebook status and other media. Who knows – a lot of us can close our accounts with those banks.

We cannot continue this way. I am so sure that Nigeria will be great!
I am using this opportunity to remind you again that the anticipated series on Mentoring, life/career coaching starts next week. Our first profile is from a wonderful man you will be pleased to meet. Please spread the news.