4. Compromise, Never.

He liked the idea from the first time the promoter explained it all to him. He gladly agreed to chair the Board. He never liked to be idle, and the prospects of starting a new commercial bank in Nigeria appealed to him a lot.


It did not start off quite rosy at all, however. Many became quite disillusioned with the dream when, after two years, the bank had still not been granted a licence to operate. He had maintained a strong stance against bribing any officials to ease up the process. A two-year wait was the price to pay.


When the licence finally came, he was overjoyed.


For two years, the bank excelled in its operations. The operational model he had helped set up, as well as the liberal regime of the government worked together to propel the bank towards the forefront of the banking sector.


It was not long though before he began to perceive certain discomfiting signals in the bank's operations. His internal alarms were ringing out loud, and his experienced mind could not fathom the new direction. He decided to take the bull by the horns, and asked the relevant questions. He got no answers.


One day, he arrived for a meeting of the board and found a resolution which, despite its elaborate disguise, was glaringly designed to remove him from his position. It was clearly because they knew he would not agree to engage in practices that would make him compromise his integrity.


No. They said it was only to make the chairmanship rotate at regular intervals. He did not fall for the trick. He needed no more signals. He resigned, despite the board's attempts to prevail upon him to remain on the board. He made them understand that it was not about his position, but that he could not be a part of the many irregularities in the bank's operations. It was untenable for him to continue on the board and lose his integrity.


The bank collapsed soon after. It was truly a timely decision to resign, he reckoned.