by Nwachukwu Egbunike
The Advance Fee Fraud or 419 is a label that many Nigerians would wish not to be identified with. Unfortunately, the tag of fraud seems to be the ‘definition’ of Nigerians and Nigeria. From a clutch of a few clowns who yarn up fantasies about funds: luring the similar minded to bait by advancing some money to make more money. The number “419” refers to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code which prescribes punishment for the misdeed. How can one then rebrand such an image: can anything good ever be associated with 419? The 419Positive Project is about to make it a reality by sourcing for “four hundred and nineteen positive attributes of Nigerians and Nigeria”.
419, ’19 or yahoo yahoo mail are consistently tied a fund held up somewhere and pleads for you to help by sending some ‘little’ money to clear it. Once you are hocked that’s it. I got this email recently (most of these ’19 boys certainly need a crash course in basic English grammar):
TOP STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL :
I Am Mr.Yousef Safi, Manager Auditing and Accountancy Department Here In Bank of Africa(B.O.A) Burkina Faso. I got your email account while searching for a business oriented personality and you happen to be the one.
I bring forth a business proposal in the tune of ($22.6.million U.S.dollars) to be transferred to an offshore account with your assistance acting as beneficiary and next-of-kin to the Inheritance funds.
If you know you are capable of involving and partaking in this transaction, please send down the following personal details to me at my private email id account for briefing and more clarification:(mryousefsafi02@ gmail.com)
(1)Full names:…………………… …..
(3)Age and Sex:……………………..
(5)Private phone number:………………
(6)Current residential address:……………..
Noted; that every discussion is in the detail.
Against this background, it was pleasant to support this new project that hopes to tell the world that Nigeria is not inhabited exclusively by fraudsters or brimming over with cheats. Rosemary Ajayi, Project Creator/Director of The 419Positive Project explains further:
Kidnappings; Human rights abuses; Election fraud; Corruption; Internet scams aka 419. These are all labels commonly associated with Nigerians and Nigeria.
Inspired by the notorious 419 (pronounced four-one-nine), The 419Positive Project is an ambitious project in search of four hundred and nineteen positive attributes of Nigerians and Nigeria. This is no easy task, so we are asking you to help out by telling us something remarkable about Nigerians or Nigeria…
The project team will sift through the attributes received and plot them on a map of Nigeria which will serve as a compass on our road trip across Nigeria. We’ll share our journey with you – the attributes, the ups and downs, and the stories of people we meet – in words, pictures and video.
…There is no denying that Nigeria is facing many serious and urgent problems but it is equally important acknowledge that the Nigerian story is greater than the sum of the stereotypes. We hope that our effort might inspire and empower Nigerians of all backgrounds to participate in telling more robust stories about the Nigerian experience.
We also hope that this project will contribute in some small way towards promoting positive attitudes around issues of self-image, civic pride and national loyalty. We invite you to join us on this journey.
I am proud to support this project and I ask you to do the same!