Recently, I was twice at the Federal High Court in Lagos. In one court, I repeatedly listened to cases of Nigerians owing dizzying billions of Naira which they can never pay back in their lifetime and the lifetimes of their children and grandchildren. Lawyers to the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) and judges are having a harrowing time dealing with the endless games of the purveyors of the ubiquitous non-performing loans in our financial institutions which are dragging our economy down-down-down. You suddenly realize that much of the outrageous mansions in Banana Island and fancy private jets parked at our airports have been acquired not by hard work but by borrowed money that was never intended to be re-paid. How can our country make progress like this?

In another court, I witnessed at first hand, the ongoing huge national scam in which banks use every pretext and legal maneuver to freeze their customer’s accounts, hold on to their customers’ funds at no interest, sometimes for lengthy periods until the money loses real value, other times, in perpetuity, without any court order. It has become a national epidemic and scandal. Sadly, billions of Naira in innocent customers’ funds have been so wickedly appropriated by bank officials in Nigeria. While senior officials of banks live like kings and princes, their customers face liquidation or die in penury. This is a scam of the worst kind

In Nigeria, many widows walk in dismay, from pillar to post, trying to access money thought to have been saved by their deceased husbands in banks. Do you remember when if any of us wanted to say that something is safe and secure, we said, “It is like money in the bank”? Sadly, not anymore.

As a people, we love the word, ‘peace’. Our false understanding of peace is that you do not question falsehood, injustice, impunity, corruption or lawlessness. You close your eyes and live with them. We hide behind “peace” to promote evil and degradation.
I refuse to hide behind this false “peace”. I go to court to seek justice. I take the time, provide the evidence, get a court judgment and enforce it and set a precedent. I do not do it because I am cantankerous or quarrelsome. I do it because it is the most peaceful and civilized way to ensure that the weak does not dissolve under the pressure of the wicked. If there were no courts, what would be the alternative? We would have no choice but to resort to machetes, cutlasses and short guns, to settle our disputes.

In my several years serving people in the creative industry, I have met good people. I have also met all kinds of crazy and wicked creatures. There are those who are totally consumed by their love of money and of themselves. Their only measure of success is how much of the small pieces of paper anyone has packed at the expense of others. To them, the other name for God is money.
I know a guy who begins to tremble and shake at the sight of any significant amount of cash. Believe me, this guy was not born poor yet money has become his God. When my guy sights money, he becomes an animal. You may not believe it but my guy is convinced that once you see any measure of money, you have a duty to appropriate it regardless of who owns it. To him, any money that comes within your sight is yours and whatever you do to grab it is ok.

Such people believe that everybody is a thief and that if they steal, they have done nothing wrong. In their minds, how can anyone be in control of any significant amount of money and not grab it. To them, the selflessness of Mother Theresa is a fable, the sacrifice of Martin Luther King is stupid and the 27 years that Nelson Mandela spent in prison is nonsense. After all, how much money did any of the purported sacrifice bring? To these people, if you do not worship money, you are either a fraud or a fool.

It is the same crazy love of money that has engulfed our political leadership at all levels. They deploy all kinds of intrigues to milk and milk the suffering Nigerian people. Did you witness the drama at the Nigerian Senate during the week? Did you hear that most of our Senators are now in competition with Julius Berger? They have all become contractors and have been allocated hundreds of millions of Nairo to do “constituency projects”. Chai!

How can there be progress when there is this much free-for-all burglary going on in the land? Too many liars, 419ers, hijackers, kidnappers, armed and pen robbers, and many who think that the world was created just for them and them alone. Today, our country is sadly filled with many people walking around with only their body but no soul. They will kill you for nothing or take everything that belongs to everyone. They believe that they have a right to oppress everyone, and God does not exist except for them. How exactly can there be progress without justice?


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