419 Stands For

We have all heard of those famous three numbers, the ones that remind you about one of the things your people are known for. Someone relayed a story to me about an incident that happened in Michigan; there was a murder in the community and someone asked them to look for the suspect in the Nigerian community. It was at that instance that someone relayed to them that if you are looking for a murderer don’t look in the Nigerian community, but if you’re looking for a fraudster look in the Nigerian community. It is a shame that as a community we have that stigma; every time I relate to someone that I am Nigerian, some say oh the fraud people while others mention 419. Since I learned how to say my 123’s, I was already putting the numbers 419 together. However how many people know why it’s called 419; is it just a slang term that someone said after losing a set amount or does it actually mean something; 419 was actually derived from the Criminal Code of Act of Nigeria. Part 6 (Offences Relating to property and contracts), Division 1 (Stealing and Like offences), Chapter 38 (Obtaining Property by false pretenses; Cheating) is where the term 419 comes from. 419 is Any person who by any false pretense, and with intent to defraud, obtains from any other person anything capable of being stolen, or induces any other person to deliver to any person anything capable of being stolen, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years. Any person who by any false pretense or by means of any other fraud obtains credit for himself or any other person in incurring any debt or liability; or by means of an entry in a debtor and creditor account between the person giving and the person receiving credit. 419 is now more than just a code in the penal law, it is one of the things that Nigerians/NYGERIANS are known for, the younger generation have been spoon fed this idea that this is the only option to making it in this country. What about the value of education that our ancestors passed down from generation to generation; it makes no sense living this NFA (no future ambition) lifestyle when you are just taking a one-way ticket to jail and then deportation. I guess we will all learn someday, as for this NYGERIAN and countless others I know that all that glitters isn’t gold.