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  • Sunday, 22 May 2022


Anayo Nwosu


Chief Uwaezuoke could no longer bear his grief. None of his kinsmen came around for his son's burial, the third to die in two years. “What manner of wickedness is this?" His people were asking. "How can a man be so callous to be sacrificing his children one after the other for earthly riches?" They queried.


Nobody in the town except the priests and the medical professionals believed Chief Uwaezuoke's claim that his children were dying of sickle cell anaemia complications. We thought he was lying because he was a wealthy man.


As a growing child in Nnewi, a town with the highest density of self-made millionaires per hamlet in Nigeria, I was convinced by the fables and the queer behaviours of the wealthy indigenes that there was something or a kind of juju behind any stupendous wealth.


Stories abound how the rich sacrificed their manhood, children, parents and spouses to Satan to get and remain prosperous. Some other wealthy men, we heard, were members of a powerful Yoruba and Benin controlled secret cult or fraternity.


My proof of the wealthy's satanic link is their reluctance to give money easily as a help to their downtrodden relatives who they deemed failures. They would instead empower outsiders who also work for them. I believed that the rich man was a treasurer of his kinsmen and should disburse the money on request to relatives.


Though I coveted the allure of riches, I was not ready to spend eternity in the hell our village priest painted. What would it benefit a man to enjoy in this short world and spend eternity in hellfire? Our parish priest would ask to drive home the fear of hellfire.


When I landed a banking job after my postgraduate education, I decided to make a systematic study of my wealthy customers to ascertain if there were things other than satanic powers that made them so wealthy. Where else can one gauge the size of the wealth of the rich than from their bank account activities?


Applying research tools, I perfected in the university; I profiled my customers and selected the top ten of them for analysis. I was shocked to find out that many of the rich in the records of the banks I had worked in were heavy borrowers. They borrow billions to trade or as working capital to run their factories and businesses. I also noticed that any of them that failed to repay the loans as and when due would be blacklisted, and their property or collateral pledged to secure the loans would be sold by the bank to cover the gaps.


Could that be the reason why the rich would not bring out money to share or would surround themselves with value-adding staff irrespective of nativity? Could it also be why the rich would not keep funding their relatives' pleasures; otherwise, they would not be able to repay their loans? Many of their close relatives, except their mistresses, complain of the rich man's tightfistedness.


I was to find out that very many rich people invest properly. They buy stocks, property and build linkages. They also have excellent customer service culture.


Many of the rich are ultra-committed to their businesses. They have a near-perfect understanding of how their businesses work and quickly identify threats to their existence and address them.


The wealthy do not play with legal advice as they always have reasonable legal minds as friends. They are ahead of government regulations and know how to gain from any government policies. They play with news, information and would pay a premium for their competitor's strategies. These guys would do anything to remain in their bankers' good books as they know that the banks are the source of their oxygen.


Still not convinced, I hitched liberty to confront one of the richest Nnewi men, my customer and my friend. I asked him if he had ever used human parts for rituals to make his money before he became large enough to attract banks' assistance. The man was happy that I asked the question as he could now understand why I would never agree to eat in his house. I never believed that a man could be that rich without supernatural support. I did not want to die young.


The wealthy man told me how many businesses he had done before, the ones that failed and how huge money he had lost in failed investments. He said that nobody could make a dunce or a fool rich, not even Lucifer himself. He also told me that none of the people who won huge lotteries became the richest in their cities. My friend attributed his success to his "never quit" mentality. He keeps trying until he succeeds and would always seek experts’ advice, which saved him a lot of money. That got me thinking.


I have concluded that the juju that creates and sustains the rich's wealth are intelligence, diligence, hard work, good interpersonal skills, good credit rating, wise investments, eagerness to seek good counsel, ability to identify talents and use them, stubbornness and self-belief.


Even with my little progress in life, a woman last year December returned the gift of money I gave her son, a university student. I felt scandalized. The woman was resolute and did not leave me in doubt as per the clear message she intended to pass. And I got the message. She did not want anybody to steal or covert her son's destiny or "akaraka". She begged me not to ever give money to any of her children, and God would prove Himself if I ever did.


I could hear the woman say in a low tone, "ndiogwu ego", meaning "ritualists", as she jammed the door of my living room after her. The fearful or suspicious woman, though semi-literate, was a new convert to a nearby Pentecostal church. She had acquired the powers to confront the devil himself. I was for her, a small case to handle. Her pastor had urged them to be wary of the suddenly rich men and their destiny twisting antics.


But I was wrongly classified as a rich man because no employee like me could be said to be rich. A sack from the paid job changes everything. The woman had an optical illusion of my actual net worth. My employers had recently changed my status car to an SUV, and the news circulating among my folks that I had visited India sometimes ago did not help matters. Nobody believed my story that I was sent to India by my employers for training. I could tell that to the marines!


The locals in my town believed that India was the headquarters of juju and that anybody who went to India had acquired a very potent juju. What a retribution or payback for joining the multitude to accuse late Chief Uwaezuoke of sustaining his wealth by a sequential ritual sacrifice of his children! But I did that in ignorance. For this and other slanders I had committed against the hard-working rich men in Nnewi and elsewhere, Lord please forgive me. Amen!

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