An investigation by The Nation Newspaper says Nigerian participants in the popular Ponzi scheme, MMM, are losing patience with it, a week after resumption of service and promise to begin payment.
Although there was evidence yesterday that some participants had been paid ,thousands of others whose applications were yet to be attended to have been venting their anger on the brains behind the scheme for the frustration in accessing their funds.
They rage, curse and threaten unrestrained on the MMM Help platform after unsuccessful attempts to get response to their many inquiries on the status of their investment.
Typical of the threat message is this seen yesterday on the MMM website: “Hello Mavrodi. You can’t eat my money and go like that. See, let me tell you Mavrodi: my father is a native doctor. I give you two weeks to pay my money or my father will kill you in that Russia. I’m ready to kill anybody including my guider and referral. Make una no play with me ooo…If you like joke with me.”
One Hayat Mohammed said: “I really need help. I provided help of 50,000, now I made a request to get help. The request was processed, but I’ve not being matched with another participant who will pay me. They won’t even pick my calls. So my money is lost, isn’t it? Last time I checked, this was supposed to be a platform where we would be able to tender our problems for solutions. I guess they don’t care anymore since participants have grown in population.”
Harrison Ita Etim posted: “I am still in the same shit too till today!”
Owhotemu Maryjane said: “What is really going on with MMM? If it’s gone you should let us the participants know. And why is that when someone wants to GH it will show or create error? You guys had a month to sort this out during the so-called break! So what then is this so called withdrawal limit that you are now talking about?”
From Santos Maemi came this: “To all Nigerians, please wake up. This is totally a scam. Don’t be blind!!!” while Christopher Chinedu said: “If I knew that this would happen, I shouldn’t have become a participant. Let’s admit we have lost our money. That is business I guess, lose or gain. Somebody has been matched with different people, four, to be precise and they have not paid him now, many days and months after. Hmmm so who is going to pay who? I think I have cried enough, it’s time for me to clean my eyes now and forget my N700,000. This is not my end.”
A cross section of participants interviewed in Ado Ekiti fear that their money is gone.
Tope Aladeniyi, who said he was to be paid a day before the scheme was shut down in December, said he learnt some people received little payments, but he was yet to be matched for payment.
“At the moment, I have not been matched, and last year we were told that once the scheme resumed on January 14, they would be the ones to release those who were ready to be matched, even if you were due for payment,” Aladeniyi said.
Another participant, Sola Abidakun, who provided help in November and asked for help on January 13, said he was matched with four persons but only two paid.
“I was only paid N4000 and N10,000, leaving two failed transactions waiting to be rematched,” he said.
A top guider of the scheme, Bode Wilson, while explaining the reason for delayed payment, said that the number of people requesting for payment was higher than the number providing help.
“They have started matching people, but there will be delay in payment, especially for those that pledged huge amount of money. There should be enough money in the system before everybody can get paid. However, I’m sure we will all get paid”, Wilson said.
A lawyer, Femi Oyeniyi, warned that participants in the scheme may not be able to recover any money lost in the scheme because of the anonymity the business is shrouded with.
Oyeniyi said: “I doubt who do you sue, you don’t see the person you are doing business with, you can only sue the person you see and it is only the person you see physically that you can do business with.”
A broadcaster,Carol Oladeinde, said: “I have a relation who did the MMM thing and was benefitting from it before they went off. I do not think that we should condemn the financial scheme (MMM) because a lot of people have benefited from it. I am into another networking stuff. I am a member of another one and it is working.
“Yes, I will continue with mine because I know what I am benefiting from it. I can’t go anywhere to borrow money so if I am involved in a financial scheme where I see someone give me indirect loan and even increase my opportunity to get more, why won’t I continue?
Martins Okafor, a participant investor in Awka still believes in the scheme.
He told the newspaper that those who have not received any payment were those who have not been matched for payments, especially those invested shortly before the break.
Another investor, Miss Blessing Nwankwo, was also optimistic that her investment would not be lost
She said she was willing to forfeit N10,000 of the N20,000 she invested, adding that she had no regrets whatsoever.
Mrs. Chiamaka Udu, a participant in Port Harcourt, said: “ We thank God that we are able to be alive to see today.
“The last time when you came to my house to talk to me, I told you I was going to die, but I think there is hope. What is happening now is that those of us with big funds are not being paid now. They told us that we should wait; that after providing help for those with small amount they will consider us.”
Mr. Geoffrey Nnamdi said: “My brother, I ‘m yet to understand these people. Though they are paying some, when I clicked help they rejected my request, saying I should wait but I need this money.
Another customer, Mr. Davies Onyema reacted this way, “Please, I don’t want to say anything, I almost committed suicide last time. I was very happy when I heard the news of their coming back. I have entered forty days of praying and fasting over my condition with MMM. How can they return and tell me that they are not going to provide help to me, so when are they going to provide help?”