To further demonstrate how rooted corruption has become in Nigeria, another story trended recently. A public official was asked to account for a missing money in her custody. She replied that she couldn’t find the money because a snake had swallowed it. She looked everybody in the eyes and said a mysterious snake swallowed a sum of ₦36m. In words – thirty-six million naira. How brave!
It happened at the national headquarters of the examination body, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). They noticed some money was missing and they tried to make an inquiry into what happened. Then this woman came up with this. If you think this is some fiction or fairy tale, a video link has been attached towards the end of this article.
This has got 200 million Nigerians talking. Social media has exploded. Everywhere you go, Nigerians are talking about this incident. Meanwhile I discovered that many people talking about it don’t have the full details of what happened. Once again, there’s a video at the end but before then, let me point out 4 things that the people talking about this might not have realized.
1. The ₦36m was only in Benue State
Most people commenting on this think the ₦36m is missing from JAMB headquarters or from JAMB as a whole. No.
JAMB has an office in every state of the federation and this ₦36m was the money missing only in the Benue State office. Monies were missing from other states too and this panel was looking at the states one after the other. This woman was the official representing Benue State and she just happened to trend because of her comical story of a snake swallowing money. So in essence, till we have what got missing in the other states, we can’t quantify the extent of corruption that has transpired in this government agency.
It’s also important to note that ₦36m wasn’t the total money embezzled in Benue State alone. For online registration for the exams, candidates purchase scratch cards. This woman is the one that collects the proceeds from the sales of the scratch cards. She is meant to deposit it at the bank at the end of every business day. So the money missing is for scratch cards only. Who knows how much is missing for other things?
2. The snake didn’t swallow the money all at once
Most people commenting on this think the ₦36m was together in one sum when the snake swallowed it. From the video below, this is not the case.
According to her, she went to deposit the money at the bank everyday. However whenever she got to the bank, she would discover that what she had in her hands was far less than what she had made for the day. She was always confused. This happened over a long period of time. By the time the calculation was done, the total deifict over the period of time amounted to ₦36m. So according to her, the snake swallowed it piecemeal on a daily basis. You know you can’t finish the meat of a whole elephant in a day but if we sum up all the meat you have eaten your whole life, there’s a chance you might have eaten meat the size of an elephant. Now you get the gist.
3. She claimed to have received the revelation during prayer and witch confession
Many people think she just made this up. No, she didn’t. This was revealed to her in a church.
When she took stock and noticed the enormity of the problem that had persisted in her life, she decided to seek spiritual help. All the way from Benue State, she travelled to Jos to meet a powerful man of God. She travelled in the company of her househelp whom she had been suspecting. While in the church, prayers began and the power of God manifested in a mighty way. The power of God then revealed that her househelp was a witch. Sounds familiar? Remember I once wrote about how to identify witches. Click here to read the article.
Then the power of God pushed the young lady to confess her evil deeds. That was when she said she (the househelp) was the one sending a spiritual snake to sneak into madam’s drawer in the office and steal the money piecemeal. Madam still don’t know the destination the snake was taking the money to but she was convinced this is the source of her problem. It was a spiritual problem. She returned with this assurance to face the JAMB panel of inquiry.
4. There’s nothing special in what she said
It’s a surprise that nobody bought her story. I’m happy that people didn’t buy the nonsense but I’m surprised. Why didn’t Nigerians buy her story?
There’s the joke that’s circulating. It says something like people who believe that a snake talked in the garden of Eden should’ve believed that a snake swallowed money in Nigeria.
I’m of the opinion that people are doubting her perhaps because her story wasn’t written in an ancient book like the Bible or the Quran. Otherwise people could’ve believed her. The same way people wouldn’t have believed today if they were told that a snake had a conversation with a woman in a garden. Another angle is people are doubting her because she’s not a big pastor. After all, our big pastors have said more unbelievable things and people didn’t doubt them. How many people doubted Pastor Adeboye when he said he drove over 200 km on an empty fuel tank?
All of this is by the way. This is who we are as a people. We are people who have strong spiritual beliefs. In Nigeria, we believe that someone can steal your genitals just by talking to you or touching you on the street. A video once circulated about how an evil woman consistently swallowed a bride’s pregnancy for 5 years just because she (the evil woman) got to touch the bride’s tummy on the wedding day. Maybe the househelp has done the same thing to her madam? We believe that if you don’t pay tithes, a devourer can enter your business and magically deplete your bank account. Maybe this woman’s snake is her own devourer. Who knows?
We believe money rituals are effective. There are many ways they purportedly work. One way is by spirits invisibly stealing money from other people and bringing them to you. Maybe this woman is a victim of the money rituals of someone else somewhere far away. The spiritual snake could’ve been stealing the money from her drawer and depositing it in someone else’s wardrobe hundreds of kilometres away. My people believe that if a market woman receives money from a money ritualist and she mixes the money with the rest of her money, all her money will disappear from her purse and appear in the ritualist’s house. Why are the same people who hold these beliefs doubting this JAMB woman?
Most Nigerians believe that witches can confess and their confessions are true. Why aren’t they believing the confession of this househelp here? In many pentecostal churches, people (mostly women) confess their evil spiritual deeds. There’s a popular video of a young woman in TB Joshua’s church confessing that she’s the spirit of illuminati and that she killed Michael Jackson and Dagrin. Why is the case of the househelp of this JAMB woman different? Don’t we believe that fervent prayers of a genuine man of God can make witches confess?
Anyway, I don’t believe all of her story. I think she should be prosecuted according to the law. However I can’t but say this is the result of the beliefs that are prevalent in this society and it’s not a surprise that our nonsensical spiritual beliefs have found their way into public service and government circles.
Below is the video of the woman’s testimony at the panel.