SEE ALSO : NIGERIA IS NOT WORKING. THIS IS THE TIME TO CONFRONT YAR ADUA’S GOVERNMENT. -A Must Read!!!
WHY WE TARGET NIGERIAN BANKS ABROAD By ChangeNigeria--Facts You must know!!!
The ChangeNigeria group of Canada is at it again. You may remember them as the same group that stopped the Nigerian Ambassador to Canada, Ambassador Hagher, from attending the Independence Day celebration in Toronto, Canada on October 11, 2008. At the time, the group vowed to use every legal technique available to draw attention to the problem of corruption in Nigeria by taking the fight to the international arena. They argue that the only reason apartheid ended in South Africa was because the regime was facing economic ruin from sanctions and global political pressure. They intend to follow that model.
In line with its sworn objective of taking on all the forces of economic and political oppression in Nigeria, a member of ChangeNigeria group of Canada flew to England to stage one man protest at Southwalk Crown Court in London, England during the recent court appearance of James Ibori's money laundering trial. The protest was intended to draw the attention of Nigerians and Britons to the atrocities perpetrated against the Nigerian people by former Gov. Ibori and his co-conspirators. Although many Nigerians in England were invited and promised to appear for the demonstration, none of them showed up on the appointed date, leaving the lone demonstrator, Magnus Akim Inneh, to wonder whether Nigerians are actually ready for a change. The demonstrator was verbally attacked by two people believed to be shameless supporters of the Iboris. They claimed that Ibori's looting could not be called stealing because he used the money to liberate his family from poverty. But asked why Ibori has been charged with fraud in Nigeria and Britain, these apologists could not answer.
Following their "highest impact" approach to using demonstrations to highlight the shameful role of Nigerian banks in the looting of the country's resources and perpetuation of the oppressive political system, Magnus Akim Inneh and his now increasing number of demonstrators followed up the Southwalk Crown Court demonstration with a demonstration at the London branches of Zenith and Guaranty Trust Banks. While demonstrating at these banks, he handed out flyers warning customers and the public against the risk of entrusting their money to money laundering operations called Nigerian banks, especially during this period of global bank failures. The employees at Zenith bank scrambled to make telephone calls to Nigeria to appraise the management of what was going on. It is not clear what the reaction of management was in Nigeria.
From Zenith Bank, the demonstration moved from to Guaranty Trust Bank. It appeared the manager of Guaranty Trust Bank had his own strategy for dealing with the demonstrators. Immediately the demonstrators arrived, he called the Metropolitan Police, the same body that is seeking to imprison James Ibori, his wife and accomplices. Upon arrival, the police lectured the manager and his employees on the demonstrators' rights and warned them against attempting to stop the demonstrators with any illegal means. The demonstration continued after that. The demonstration continued for hours despite pleas from the employees that the bank opened only a few months ago and that the demonstration would have a negative impact on their business. Nigerian and foreign employees of both Zenith and Guaranty Trust Banks wondered why the group did not target UBA, the Nigerian Bank that was fined $15 million dollars for money laundering and regulatory non-compliance by United States regulators. The employees' opinion was that the demonstrators should target UBA before any other bank since they were the "grand daddies" of money laundering in Nigeria and they provided some insight on how the demonstration could be packaged. Questioned why the did not actually target the UBA, the demonstrators responded that the Zenith and Guaranty Trust Banks demonstrations were test runs, and that they are targeting UBA New York branch for an unprecedented demonstration that will draw Nigerians from Canada and the United States. They claim that the amount of information that will be made available during the UBA demonstration will include the issue of the $15 million dollars fine, the cooking of accounting records by UBA, the role of Tony Elumelu and Andy Uba in Nigerian politics, Nigerian government and the administration of UBA.
At both Zenith and Guaranty Trust Banks, the customers were upset and apprehensive after reading the contents of the flyers distributed by the demonstrators. Many of them vowed to close their accounts thereafter. The group said it is not bothered about these banks losing customers because their goal is to hit the banks where it hurts the most – their pockets – and force them to close these foreign operations that are nothing more than money laundering operations.
The rational underlying the targeting of these banks by the demonstrators is that the banks are the ones assisting the politicians in laundering the money they steal from the treasuries. Without them, it will be very difficult for the politicians to move these funds around the world in hard cash. On whether attacking the banks would not affect Nigerians and the economy negatively, the demonstrators challenged us to tell them when the activities of Nigerian banks and government policies have had positive effect on Nigerians. They likened the argument to the same one made by supporters of apartheid in South African who argued that sanctions would hurt blacks as if there was ever a time when the apartheid system brought any form of succor to blacks.
They are also calling on Nigerians to stop fearing these thieves called politicians because outside the shores of Nigeria they become ordinary citizens. Their inability to give instructions to the police or ask them to arrest demonstrators was shown in Toronto, Canada and London, England where police officers who were called to arrest the demonstrators took time to educate those who invited them on the rights of the demonstrators. Any one interested in their world can contact them at email@example.com or visit thier blog at http://www.changenigeriamovement.blogspot.com/