There is an Igbo adage that cannot be fully translated into English because that worldview and concept is wholly Igbo. But to help non native Igbo speakers get a hand on it, I will make an attempt here;
“Our elders say that one who hunts a Snake fully aware that it will eventually end up with a pot of “perppersoup”. If he kills the snake, he will use it to prepare a peppersoup. But if the snake bites him, he will equally be mandated to lick hot pepper soup, because antidotes for snakebites are prepared in forms of pepper soup.”
In other words hunting snakes is a “licking licking” business.
I have no doubt that this renewed zeal to crack down on the patrons of the MMM Ponzi scheme is being engineered by the banks and other financial institutions.
In a very depressed economy where millions lost their jobs without proper compensation and no safety nets. Schemes like MMM will surely get a lot of patronage.
Years ago, the government through the Central Bank clamped down on many wonder banks across the country, froze their accounts with the excuse that they want to protect depositors funds from fraudulent operators of the wonder banks.
The funds, running into billions of naira confiscated by the apex bank were not returned to the hapless depositors till date. What happened to those monies? Nobody asked. Thousands lost their investment and those at the CBN made a quick kill.
It turned out the deposits were safer in the hands of the “fraudulent” operators than with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Today, similar shrill calls in witchcraft tones are being heard across the length and breadth of the country against MMM and other such schemes. For the avoidance of doubt, people have the right to join any group and participate in any form of financial transaction based on mutually agreed terms. Unless you want to tell me that the local cooperatives (ajo) is illegal.
Is there any Nigerian who does not know that our banks are simply fleecing agents that milk customers to no end,with no value addition to those they use their deposits to make kills daily?
The banks should be contented that the MMM subscribers are using the banks as channel for the transactions thus contributing to the rate of transactions passing through the banking system on daily basis.
The government should be contented that many see this Ponzi scheme as succor in a very hostile economic environment that has led many to their early grave. MMM and the likes are at least giving many hope and giving people expendable income at a time government has run out of ideas on what to do to give Nigerians hope.
This may sound stupid and irrational but who rationalises stuff in an irrational time?
Is a Ponzi scheme the best for Nigerians?No.
Is it serving a purpose for now? Yes.
Should government clamp down on it? No.
Those who subscribe to it seem aware of the risks. If you don’t want it, leave those who want it to continue with it.
They will either lick snake peppersoup or herbs for snake bite.
The choice is theirs…….