Jola Naibi

Writer and amateur photog. I seek to inspire and inform with the words I write and share and the photos I take. I have written a book of short stories: Terra Cotta Beauty, and I am working on a lot more. Reading and writing fuel my energy. In reading, I explore this vast and diverse world, in writing, I employ my over-active imagination and address the 'what-if' questions that life often throws at us.

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Here we go again…

By on December 11, 2006

Just when you think you have heard the last of it…it shows up like a bad penny…the story of the Nigerian email scam artists. The American News Network ABC News featured the shabbiest piece of investigative journalism that I have ever encountered last week under the guise of unearthing the ‘Nigerian scam artists’. Among the many string of words that were used to describe Nigeria was an unnecessary reference to Lagos as a disgrace of a city.

It is true that Nigerians have been villified for years as being the perpetrators of the worst kinds of ‘get rich quick schemes’ but may I point out that every country has its fair share of these. Brian Ross’ so called investigative analysis (portions of which can be seen online at http://abcnewsgo.com ) presents a pretty unbalanced point of view.

There’s the good or shall I say greedy doctor who receives an email from an anonymous source claiming to be in possession of millions of dollars in black money and which could be the doctor’s if he would only send thousands of dollars to pay for the chemicals used to clean the black money…of course it is a scam…but what gets to me is that Brian Ross paints the doctor as a victim and the Nigerians as criminals…let’s assume that all went well and the scheme worked and the greedy doctor was millions of dollars richer…who would be the victim then? Did the doctor ever ask himself whose money it was and was he planning on declaring his new found wealth to the IRS. I seriously doubt it.

Mr Ross…now proceeds to use the poor helpless doctor as a pawn to snare a set of so-called Nigerian criminals and has them follow through a similar scheme and then walks in all cavalierly making it seem like he was the one that got to the bottom of the whole thing.
The Nigerian government established the EFCC which for a long time now has been working to arrest and punish criminals even government officials who have even a whiff of corruption in their portfolio.

The BBC in the video below does a better job than ABC of portraying a balanced view of email scam artists and how they are caught in Nigeria

While I don’t support what the Nigerian scammers do, it is important to point out that the fact that there are folks like the greedy doctor who are willing to fall victim to their selfish greed is what is feeding this so called frenzy of Nigerian email scams.

Has anyone ever wonderered why the scams are done? What are the dynamics in Nigeria which makes otherwise intelligent young men sink to the criminal levels and indulge in all these get rich schemes? Well that is a discussion for another time…let’s all be objective in our views please

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