Desperate Moves

March 15, 2021


I learned a bitter lesson about money
when I was an undergraduate; when
you are in a desperate situation that
involves a financial need and you have
no legal means of raising the money
needed to meet the need, the best
thing to do is wait for a miracle or allow
the worst to happen.
Any other alternative apart from the
ones listed above will get you into big
No matter how desperate you are and
how appealing the alternative may seem,
it will never be worth it in the long run.
I had trusted in God for my school fees
from 100 level and he always came
Sometimes at the last minute and at
other times at the right time but by the
time i got to the second semester of
my final year, i had gotten tired of the
process of fasting and praying and
calling relatives and applying for
scholarships and writing letters to
The school fees was too much for my
mother to handle when it was Two
hundred and fifty thousand Naira
(100 Level fees) but by the final year,
the fee had practically gone up to four
hundred and fifty thousand
I kept telling myself, I should have
opened a shop with the two hundred
and fifty thousand thousand fees I
paid in 100 level instead of getting
such an expensive degree
Apart from the fee, I had to pay
departmental fees, project fees, group
assignments, transportation within
the campus, feed and buy recharge
card for my phone
I was using a “Tear your pocket”
(humongous in size)
Siemens phone I bought for 500 Naira
at Katangua market) at the time
I also had to keep my CGPA at 4.5 and
It was my main marketing strategy for
getting help from those I wrote to for
financial assistance
People see my grade and feel they
should contribute to my success one
way or the other
Keeping the CGPA up meant studying
day and night
I was a library rat and yes, it was
crazy studying that much without the
assurance that you were going to write
the examinations due to nonpayment
of fees
I was on the dean’s honour’s roll for
four years, won the “Mr. Brains” award
in my department for four years and
yet as examinations approached, i
would cry and pray and go out of my
mind with worry
I devised a method in my 200 level that
worked for some semesters
I stole exam cards from the Faculty office
and somehow always got them signed
I had calculated that it took thirty minutes
for the ID checks to start
The enforcement officers went to the
bursary daily to get a list of students
who had not paid and then they went
from one exam hall to the other trying
to fish out defaulters
I knew if I got caught I would be in
soup because they would discover that
I stole the examination card without
paying fees and wonder how I got it
The key was not to get caught, so I
would prepare hard for the examination
and answer all the questions in thirty
Before the checkers left the bursary, i
would have submitted and would be on
my way back to the hostel
I once wrote a three hours paper in
seventeen minutes because the
checkers arrived early and I was able
to submit and make it out of the hall
before they got to my table
That was quite a close shave but it
was a catch me if you can thing and
I had mastered it
The fees would eventually get paid
one way or the other and nobody
would be any wiser
But it was a high tension business
Like playing Russian Roulette, you
never can tell when the bullet will
be in the barrel
I really, wasn’t up for it in the final year
I told God he had to help me early or I
would help myself
The devil heard me loud and clear and
knew I was ready to be tempted off track
Three days after we resumed that
semester, I got a message that a guy
was looking for me at the school’s gate
I went to check out who it was
It turned out he had a babe on campus
who was a friend of mine
The babe told him I was a respected
fellowship leader and if he mentioned
my name at the school gate, the security
people will allow him access into the
I heard what the man had to say and
took him to the cafeteria
On the way to the cafeteria the man
asked me how come the security people
allowed him in at the mention of my
name, he said it was quite unusual
(The school was a private University
and entry/exit rules for students and
visitors was very strict)
I told him i am a member of the
student’s executive body and I have a
sterling reputation
(What actually happened was that
Punch Newspaper sent a report once
to the school to cover an event, i was
fortunate to be the first person the
reporter met and i took him round
campus until he got his story
When the story was written, my name
was written boldly in the news article
The vice-chancellor and other staff
members were very impressed
I was good PR material)
Then he said “I am a banker and my
bank just started selling some shares.
Is it possible that you can market
the shares, i will give you 25% of
whatever you make in form of
investment. I just want to leverage on
your popularity and reputation here
There is nothing illegal about it”
I told him I would think about it and left
him at the cafeteria as my guest
He met the lady and left about an hour
When I saw the lady later in the day, she
gave me two envelopes
One with 5000 Naira cash gift from the
guy and the other full of the shares
acquisition form
I took both envelopes to the hostel
My roommates saw the forms and
immediately signified their interest
Some took up to five forms for
themselves and their siblings
Within a week, I had sold off all the forms
The 25% i was promised was enough
to pay my fees
I deducted it from the money and paid
my fees
God has answered my prayers
I called the guy
His bank branch was in Oshogbo
He drove down within three hours to
collect the filled forms and the rest
of the cash
I had a victory dance in my hostel that day
I was smart but I dulled my senses to all
the red flags because it was convenient
to do so
I had a need and it had been met
I knew 25% of the cash didn’t make any
I had gone to check newspapers in the
library and verified that the issue of the
share was authentic
I had asked a few people who told me
shares are not sold that way
How can a marketer make 25% profit off
people’s investment before the investment
was made?
It didn’t add up but I was desperate
A week later, I found out the guy and his
family had relocated to a country in
Some of those who bought the shares
wanted to know when their certificates
would be ready
I called the man
His number was not going through
I went to see the lady that he was going
out with at the female hostel
The lady said he was not her boyfriend
like that
she was his side chick
She said she had been trying to get
across to him too but she had been
reliably informed by a mutual friend
that he had relocated with his family
the previous weekend
You need to see how my feet went
My sweat was chilling cold despite
the hot sun
I had desperately tried to help myself
‘and dug my way into a black hole
I didn’t know what to tell those who
bought the shares
The school fees i paid became irrelevant
I fell into depression
All i saw was a disaster
I was angry and defiant
I didn’t even bother going to God in
It was God’s fault
Why didn’t He help me right early as
the psalmist cried?
A lot of wrong decisions lies, and
half-truths followed until I finished my
final examinations and submitted my
I just wanted to graduate and run away
Of course, the students that were
scammed took the case to the school
I faced the SDC and my certificate was
withheld to date
At the time it felt like I should just die
Many years of testimony ruined by one
foolish move that a ten-year-old ought
to see through!
I eventually went back to God and he did
what he has always done for his prodigal
He took me back and led me into the
light by His Spirit
If I don’t tell the story, nobody would
know I went through such but I like to
tell the story as often as possible
Especially when I see desperate
people seeking a windfall
I was saved from going to jail by the
whiskers on the case I stated above
I had since restituted and cleared my
conscience with all those involved but
I knew the decisions I made that led
me down that path
Learn from this experience
Desperation is not an excuse in the
court of law

PS: I have a friend
He found himself in debt of N48 million
due to a business, he ventured into that
failed woefully
The person he was
owing told him the case will be reported
to EFCC My friend packed his toothbrush
and bathing soap in a small bag and
kissed his children goodbye
He said “I am waiting for his call and
ready to go wherever he desires to take
We prayed
The man he owed the money had
a rethink and gave him more time
to sort out the debt
When he told me the story, i started
laughing I couldn’t help but admire him
in many ways
He knew it was a hole he had to come
out of but he refused to dig more holes
by becoming desperate and trying to
cut corners in a bid to come out of
the jam I learned a lot from him!

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