Blog Post: My Tsunami by @MrOdada

It was a wonderful day in December the whole world was in a festive mood owing to the Christmas ‘merry’ season, the 26th (Boxing Day) is a day set aside for exchange of gifts amongst family/friends and peer groups. Suddenly at exactly 00:58:50 GMT on Sunday December 26th 2004 (boxing day) nature decides to surprise us with a gift; an undersea mega thrust 9.0 magnitude earthquake that swept through the Indian ocean taking along with it over 200 lives and leaving hundreds homeless with houses destroyed. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in history its impact had psychological/emotional/economic/social/environmental and political implications on the people of Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and India ; the rest of the world was awaken to grief, turmoil, sorrow, pain, suffering and death all thanks to the boxing day gift… ‘Tsunami’.

What is a Tsunami? According to the Wikipedia, a tsunami is a Japanese word that translates into English as a “harbor wave”. However, a Tsunami is not just one wave but a series of waves sometimes referred to as ‘tidal waves’…in actual sense then we can therefore describe a Tsunami as a series of ocean waves with very long wave lengths (typically hundreds of kilometers) caused by large scale disturbances of the ocean such as an
earth quake. Therefore, to a lay man a Tsunami simply means a destructive force/body of water that is capable of sweeping away an entire village/environment causing severe economic and human damages faster than the ray of light!

I first stumbled upon the word TSUNAMI” in my university days at IFE, it was synonymous with the ‘White House’ and the incessant wave of failures that swept through the faculty of science. Whenever academic results were released it was a norm for word to leak around campus that it was by far another ‘wave of tsunami’ signifying mass failures in Physics/ Chemistry / Mathematics / Biology and other Pure Science(s) courses offered by the faculty.

The next time I would come across the word would be in 2004 after the actual natural disaster occurred (as described in my introduction above). By February 28, 2010 there was another massive tsunami that hit southern Chile killing about 78 people, by this time I had just finished training as an ‘executive trainee’ with one of the leading financial institutions in the country (or so we all thought *sighs*) and 3 months prior to the tsunami in Chile I experienced first-hand Tsunami as it entails in the banking industry;

The Nigerian banking industry took a of turn events in 2009 with the introduction of some banking reforms by the newly appointed CBN governor  Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in June, his predecessor Prof. Charles Soludo had already announced in July 2004 that there was to be a consolidation plan designed to reform and grow in capacity the Nigerian banking industry, he postulated a theory that if his remarks were anything to go by, it is safe to say that; he (Soludo) could be the guy who would take care of business in the banking sector…those were mere theories, because 5 years later the business of banking as it were witnessed a major Tsunami. The incumbent CBN governor (Sanusi) decided that ‘to catch a rat he had to burn down his whole house’, he fired 5 banks MD’s for lack of corporate governance and doctored balance sheets. That singular effort by Sanusi marked the beginning of the end of the erstwhile instability that existed in the going concern that is OBIN thus creating more cracks on the wall and avenues for Sanusi to flex his macho-egoistically again!! This Tsunami swept away the MD of my organization within a short lived banking career of mine and I thought to myself at that time; “it’s time to look beyond distance and see life as a short race…I had to make a move and make it soon.”

MAllam Sanusi Lamido

Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was appointed governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on June 3, 2009 he had in his coffers decades of experience as a banker having worked and held high positions in old generation Banks (UBA & FBN) in Nigeria. Within months of assuming office the CBN governor sacked the bank chiefs of Intercontinental/ Afri / PHB/ Spring and Oceanic Bank, again throwing the fate of staff members in disarray as no one knew what to expect from the CBN appointed MD’s and ED’s that were saddled with the responsibility of turning things around in the rescued banks.

By December 2009, I knew it was real…another TSUNAMI…a lot of my friends were affected, colleagues, bosses and even subordinates. Going into the New Year my prayer request was different;
“I asked for strength that I might achieve…
“I asked for health that I might do greater things…
“I asked for riches that I might be happy…
“I asked for power that I might have the praise of men…
“I asked for all things that I might enjoy life…
…I received nothing that I asked for/ all that I hoped for; yet all my prayers were answered for he said “I know the thoughts that I think towards you saith the lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Between 2010 and 2011 there were about 2 more Tsunamis that swept away a lot of staff in the banking & financial institution industry…by this time we had all gotten used to it that is why it was no longer awkward that yet again in 2012 on #Valentines’ Day “love letters” were distributed again. And to whomever it concerns if you get struck (love letters) by cupids arrow this period remember that you have been hit with a different kind of sorrow; desire, affection, strength, passion, beauty, prosperity and posterity all carried in a wave of undying love…adieu TSUNAMI it seems you won’t stop until you have washed us all away.

By: @MrOdada

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