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Agu meets another money doubler.

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THE above personification might leave many guessing that I intend waxing poetic about the famous prose which we were so conversant with during our salad days. While the Agu described in the popular Mastering English series might have been a fictitious character, his dream of an instantaneous accumulation of wealth is completely symptomatic of how desperate the average Nigerian could be.

When  the famous Mavrodi Mondial Scheme popularly enthused as MMM burst its seams last month, I was sincerely yours, among the pessimists who saw its anticipated renaissance as nothing but a tall dream.

I wrote in a piece way back then that if opinions had been sought from a cross-section of participants probably moments before it ceded to the alleged heavy workload, many would have still described the money doubling scheme as God’s special manna in these hard times. The economy is in dire straits to say the least and the common man on the street could care less about hard lessons learnt from similar ponzi schemes in the past.

A former colleague of mine related how his hopes were salvaged through the ponzi scheme. According to his saccharine-filled narrative, his investments in MMM helped in offsetting his burgeoning debt profile. In a similar vein, a neighbour of mine revelled me with his new lease of life, courtesy of the fortunes accrued from MMM.

The more tantalising carrot was extended to members of the scheme at the beginning of December. The tagged ‘Christmas bonus’ ditched the thirty percent bonus by moving a notch higher to fifty percent. Did members feel the slightest foreboding at that juncture? I sincerely can’t tell. Enthusiasts kept defending that the scheme had remained resilient in the heat of so much bad-mouthing by the House of Assembly, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation.

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When the death knell was eventually tolled, it was stated that the number of those who wanted to get help were more than those who wanted to provide help. If this is anything to go by, one is then bound to wonder where the returns were actually sourced from in the first place? Was the scheme truly sustained by some cryptocurrencies or the same naira which members deposited into one another’s account? Guess your hunch is just as good as mine.

Nigerians of course, were privy to the fate that befell naïve South-Africans and Zimbabweans who swallowed the MMM bait, hook, line and sinker. It was a gamble many thought they could enjoy and go scot free. A few many who were supposed to know better sentimentally gave in to the point that it came as a relief in harsh times. As such, they equally rebuked Nigerian Legislators for witch-hunting those who kept the scheme afloat.

MMM members were still hesitant in admitting that the deed has been done. Accounts have only been temporarily frozen, they say. MMM promises to bounce back stronger and better come January 14. The site still allows people to provide help, etc. Now that operators of the scheme seem to be ready to live up to their billing, I am left with no other option than to have a hunk of my humble pie. Need I still express deep condolences to aggrieved members who licked their wounds silently sequel to the impromptu hiatus last month? MMM promises to come back stronger than it was before. An avid participant intimated me earlier today that he was received a verification code to activate his mavro account before the d-day. Good news you say uh!

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Drifting away from this deja-vu, it is equally apposite to ask if the typical Nigerian would still be willing to stake a lump sum following the unexpected black-out witnessed last month. Has the last four weeks or thereabout suddenly turned the table in such a way now that the number of people wanting to provide help dwarfs the overwhelming horde in need of help? Will this money-churning scheme blaze through the odds which similar schemes of the past had fallen victim to? It is better I rest my case before the teeming audience sees me as an overnight Prophet of doom.

On a lighter note nonetheless, the anticipated defreezing of accounts is reminiscent of the moonlight tale involving Agu; the wretched washerman and the Money Doubler who claimed to have been  sent by the Marine Goddess. Agu’s joy knew no bounds when the few pennies in his pocket were doubled.

Spurred by this windfall, Agu added his nest egg to the lump sum which a friend lent him and gave it to the Money Doubler. Following the rituals, the money was kept in a can and Agu was instructed to guard it jealously for the next two days before opening the lid. Agu did as instructed and when he eventually opened it,  he was left dumbstruck, to behold white papers neatly cut into the size of currency notes. Agu ran back to the river bank where he had first met the Money Doubler but as they say, the rest is history.

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By Kadiri Tolani

 

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National Issues

#ENDSARS: Buhari to address the Nation at 7pm on Thursday

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President Muhammadu Buhari will make will make a national broadcast Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 7pm.

This was stated in a Press Statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adriana

According to him, “Following detailed briefing by security chiefs on the current situation in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari

”Television, radio and other electronic media outlets are enjoined to hook up to the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Radio Nigeria respectively for the broadcast”.

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National Issues

#ENDSARS: ‘Military offensive on protesters is an abomination, Akande -Sadipe talks tough

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Akande-Sadipe

The Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe has called on President Muhammed Buhari to address the killing of unarmed protesters across the nation, while condemning the killing of protesters by Armed Security operatives in the country.

Tolulope Akande Sadipe in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday said, “I weep for my beloved country, Nigeria. This is the Darkest Moment in our Nation. The Current Action is Unacceptable”.

She wondered why men of the Nigerian Army turned on the people they were meant to Protect, firing live bullets at citizens holding the Nigerian Flag and chanting the National Anthem, describing such as an “Abomination”.

“I, as a member of the House of Representatives cannot keep quiet in the midst of this abominable action. I was duly elected to be the voice of my people and my people are weeping”, she said.

She opined that the protests were about a generation trying to end the systematic rot that pervades the society, which had eaten deep into the fabrics of the Nation.

The APC chieftain  continued, “We need to be honest with one another on this matter. We need to face the truth on ground. The youths were out there because they are tired and fed up of victimization, daily oppression, injustice, unemployment, untapped talents, lack of opportunity, poor healthcare, poor education and lack of infrastructure and power across the Nation. The Youths are protesting for a better future for themselves and their children. The #EndSARS PROTEST stands for the systematic ROT in our Nation.

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“This was about the realities on ground. This was about the ROT since independence. This was about genuine service to the people who elected us to represent them. This was not about the President, this was not about the current administration, this was not about North and South, this was not about Religion. This was not about party affiliation. This was about a Generation trying to end the systematic ROT that pervades our society”.

Speaking against the backdrop that there are some external forces pushing for the destruction of Nigeria, the lawmaker representing Oluyole Federal Constituency  said the Federal Government should genuinely address issues.

“Those alluding, that there is a 5th Columnist within or external, there is a solution. If there is a 5th columnist or external negative force, pushing for the destruction of Nigeria, if we do the right thing, by genuinely addressing the issues that have led to the distrust between leadership and our youths, by addressing the rot that has pervaded our Nation. The 5th columnist in our midst or external negative force, would fail. But with this action, what have we said to the Youth and to the world.

“This is the time to make the wrongs right and it is not by bringing out the Army to shoot its own citizens, that we achieve this. We can still put a stop to this inferno. We must realize that no position is permanent and it is the country we make that we shall all live in”, she added.

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Concluding, she empathized with all the families of fallen Youth Patriots, praying that their death would not be in vain.

 

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National Issues

Nigeria Excluded From 2022 US Visa Lottery

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Nigeria has been barred from the US visa lottery application for 2022, a document obtained from the US Government website showed. 

In a 19-page document published on the website, Nigeria is the only African country barred from the visa lottery.

“For DV-2022, persons born in the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than, 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam,” the document read. “Persons born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.”

Although natives of other African countries are allowed to apply, the document explained that “persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt,” it said.

“Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria.”

In the document captioned “Instructions for the 2022 diversity immigrant visa program (dv-2022),” applicants must meet certain guidelines to be eligible for the visa lottery.

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“The Department of State determines selectees through a randomized computer drawing,” the statement added.

“The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than seven per cent of the available DVs in any one year.”

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