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Nigeria and the Spiritual Fear of Prosperity
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
July 19, 2009

 

 

I read a story yesterday on Nigeriaworld about a Nigerian woman who gave N3 million that she won from a lottery game to a beggar (http://odili.net/news/source/2009/jul/17/221.html).  She reasoned that since some people who win the lottery usually squander the money and end up in misfortune, it was better to give the money away - to a lucky beggar.  Not only have I had a sleepless night because of this story, but it is a story that symbolizes the psyche of why Nigeria and the Black world are in a state of underdevelopment.  It does not only show the inferiority in our reasoning, but also why we have unproductive leaders and why God dislikes our prayers.

 

People usually pray to God and work hard for financial freedom, peace of mind, happiness, and good health.  People also play the lottery for almost the same reasons.  Growing up as a child in Nigeria, a lot of people had many good business ideas to boost their local economies, but they neither had the capital to start the business nor had the collateral to take a loan from the bank.  This is because the money that could have been used to create employment for them to increase their savings or provide basic amenities to start off a small home-based business was put in the Swiss bank to boost the Swiss economy by the Nigerian officials.

 

A woman who wakes up in the morning to go play the lottery did so because she wanted to and hoped to win it.  If she was not interested in winning the lottery, why play it in the first place?  If she was moved by the spirit and the goodness of giving, she would have given the money for playing the lottery (maybe N500) to the beggar.  She has not only succeed in squandering the chance of another Nigerian, who may have a legitimate business plan or a business, from winning, but has also encourage the weak in mind that the ability to give stupidly is superior to the diligence, hard work, and discipline of  planning and investing. 

 

 

 

If she was so scared of the money she played the lottery for and wanted to give it away, why did she not give it to relatives, church members, colleagues at work, or people living in her locality that have struggling businesses but need a little capital or help to either advertise their businesses or make their products and services better in their competitive markets.  Instead she chooses a beggar, who has absolutely nothing going for her economically.  Despite the fact that the beggar said that she hopes to start a food business, which is commendable and may become a huge success, but what is the probability that she understands the food business and knows how to manage such money effectively?  The story even said that the beggar already started giving the money to other beggars in her locality and we have not yet included her relatives with all kinds of problems.  I will not be surprised if that money finishes within 48 hours.  Despite the fact that we have the right to give to whomever, but was this giving a spiritual act of giving stupidly or was it was a total act of wickedness? 

 

Blacks are stereotyped economically as a people who hate to help each other.  Many would rather have a stranger prosper than their very own.  Just because she did not know what to do with the money does not mean that she should give it to a stranger she knows may squander it, instead of someone she knows that has a higher probability of growing that money to create profits and employment for the community.  She was the one who played the lottery, prayed and hoped for victory, and God granted her request.  She could have kept that money in a short tem investment at a bank for about 5 years to give her time to thing about how to grow that money.  She could have bought land or built apartments for rent, or simply invest the money in a bank to collect interest until the children are grown enough to do something with it (inheritance) for business and community development.  She could also give money to local businesses under a contract, so that they can buy raw materials in bulk to reduce production cost and in turn collect her money back with interest each month.  Asian circulates a dollar within their community for a month and a half, Whites do the same for a month, Hispanics do so for about 2 weeks, but Blacks lose their dollar to other races almost as soon as they receive it - or give a beggar.  This is why we are poor in development.

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Even looking at Nigerian football, you will see the same fear of success.  The purpose of a friendly match against strong teams is not only to prepare the team for the up coming relevant match or to help the coach decide on what techniques and players to use, but ultimately, to increase the psychological advantage of the team in the minds of all their potential opponents and enhance their ranking in the eyes of the football nations.  After Nigeria had a shaky beginning against Mozambique, they needed some hot friendly games to boost their psychological advantage.  They went to Europe to draw against Ireland and beat France at home.  These were not just two strong nations in Europe, but it was enough psychological boosts to earn a World Cup ticket by just riding the wave. 

 

To my surprise, after beating Kenya 3-0, they strategically went to play a 0-0 draw in Tunisia.  Even the Tunisian coach was in grave shock.  He even stated in the news that he taught Nigeria was going to tear them down.  If Nigeria is so scared of Tunisia that they had to carefully play a goalless draw, what did they beat France for and why do they even want to go to the World Cup to play Brazil and Argentina?  You plan a 0-0 draw when you have the advantage, not when you are behind by 2 points to the Tunisians.  If the Tunisian are that good, then get a 1-1 or 2-2 draw with them at their home.   This will put pressure on them when they play us in Abuja in September and give us the advantage to win at home.   Nigeria never learns.  This is how Angola beat us to the last World Cup on head-to-head rule.  We played 0-0 with them in Angola and they played 1-1 with us in Nigeria.  When points are equal, the one who scored the most goals away or had the most goal difference qualifies.

 

Now we have given Tunisia all the power because we did not know how to ride the wave on the psychological victory we had against France.  Now, all Tunisia had to do is come to Abuja in September, fight for a 0-0 draw to maintain their 2 point lead, and beat both Kenya and Mozambique, who are really not a treat to them anyway to get the World Cup ticket ahead of Nigeria.  Nigeria has also cancelled all their friendly games between now and September because both the Coach and the Nigerian Football Federation believe that the friendly games will have a negative impact on the players ahead of the match against Tunisia.  They claim that the Nigerian fans always attack the team verbally and give the players a negative effect before the big games.  Did Nigerian fans attack them when they defeated France?  They only attack when Nigeria lost to a weak opponent, did not play well, or got a strategic 0-0 for no justified reason.  Unless Nigeria beats Tunisia in Abuja in September, we should just get use to the idea that Nigeria does not have the psyche to genuinely compete and be victorious at the table of nations.  Like Maummar Ghaddafi, President of Libya, would say of Nigeria - A big for nothing giant.