A Rejoinder to Mr. Fela Durotoye's submission/Declaration at the Nigerian American Forum -part 1:
his article "Why 'am so Concerned about Nigeria is in four series, all, which had been previously published by the nigeriaworld.com early in 2012. The part 2 of the series, which I am requesting the publisher to kindly re-publish at this time was published on Tuesday April 17 2012 (https://nigeriaworld.com/feature/publication/aweda/041712.html
It was also the content of my sermon, broadcasted on certain radio stations in Nigeria about the same time.
Reason for publishing it again:
My Engineer Pastor friend, last week forwarded to my 'whatsapp' a video clip of Mr. Fela Durotoye's address at a Nigerian American Forum. I do not know the date (s) the forum was held but I can guess it must be recent.
My friend certainly forwarded it to me because Mr. Durotoye's submission is in tandem to and in perfect agreement with my campaign in the last nearly twenty years, which he himself is part of anyway, which is to make Nigeria great.
Mr. Durotoye, looking at his appearance in the video clip, his utterances and composure depicts certainly that of a successful, prosperous man. But in spite of his intimidating credentials, he was treated differently, call it 'despised' at one time when he wanted to board a US upper class flight from Gatwick airport. He then saw the frustration of being a citizen of a failed nation even when personally he has prospered and henceforth decided to work for the greatness of Nigeria.
Reflecting on the experience, he wrote two heart rendering statements bordering on one issue that has consumed me in the last nearly twenty years:
- Ordinary citizen of a great nation shall forever be treated better than a successful citizen of a failed nation.
- Individual success in the midst of collective failure will always be despised.
Now compare what you are about to read with Mr. Durotoye's experience.
Why 'am so Concerned about Nigeria---(2)
Last time, I started to answer the enquiry I constantly receive as to why I am so concerned with the backwardness of our country and the hope that I have that Nigeria can get over the myriads of her problems. I will give more reasons today as to why I am so concerned.
Let us Pray.
Why 'am so Concerned about Nigeria.
When Jesus commissioned His followers as recorded in the book of the Acts of Apostles chapter 1 to go into the whole world to make disciples, they were instructed to start at their home, which was Jerusalem. Nigeria is my own Jerusalem and I cannot have peace nor keep still; I cannot remain silent nor stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch.
I cannot have peace until Nigeria becomes like one of the Nations, which I have lived for about 30 years, where we all want to live, where it is so difficult to distinguish the rich from the poor.
I cannot have peace until Nigerians living at home dwell in habitation that is worth living by human beings. Most people at present live in dirty dwellings bearably suitable for goats. This is not the way God wants it. We are created in God's image and we deserve some dignity.
I cannot have rest until Nigerians are treated with dignity in the countries abroad where they reside.
Nigerians are in several jails abroad with offences, which if committed by other citizens of other countries other than those from Africa, will be pardoned or given a little punishment. This is because Nigeria as of today in the year of our Lord 2012 does not command the respect of the comity of nations.
The world is aware of our natural and human resources and are at a loss why Nigerians cannot live in comfort in their own country. We are seen as an unserious nation, who cannot manage her wealth to the benefit of her citizens.
I cannot have peace until Nigerians are able to live in Nigeria and sustain themselves without having to parade embassies of other countries for visa or taking dangerous paths that are risky to their lives to escape to countries where they can make their living.
Every day, hundreds of Nigerian youths flee the country to places where they can earn a living, with many unable to reach their proposed destination but perished in the Sahara desert in their bid to cross to Europe through Morocco. Many who reached Morocco have perished inside the Mediterranean sea while trying to cross from Morocco to Spain.
Hundreds of Nigerian youths are in jails all over the world as illegal immigrants.
It is unfortunate that in spite of our God's given wealth, we cannot measure up to other countries of the world, who do not even have our kind of wealth and so we are ridiculed everywhere we go. The quality of the lives of the majority, living at home is among the worst in the world, yet some of us are among the wealthiest in the world. What an irony!
We chastised the Whites for taking away our kinsmen centuries ago in chains, but now we beg them with cap in hands to allow us go there to serve them, to do their dirty jobs. Yet the visas are obtained with all difficulties and insult.
I have come to realize that the status vis-à-vis- respect, abuse or insult any citizen of any nation receives outside his country depends largely on what goes on in his country e g, the strength of the nation's economy, development on the ground and progress of development, industrialization, general welfare of the people etc.
If someone is a stranger in a foreign land but comes from a strong economy nation, where there is steady development in his country and the citizens of his country are not wallowing in poverty, then he will be accorded the deserved dignity by his host. But if his host recognizes that his people at home are wallowing in poverty and his government back home do not care for the welfare of her citizens, then he receives no respect from his host but insult and inhuman treatment.
One of our career Diplomats working in a certain country once confessed to me a few years back that what other embassies from the countries that command respect, will achieve with their host Government on the phone, it will take them several visits, without even having the audience of anyone on occasions.
While the Embassies among other things are set up to look after the welfare of her citizens in that country, the Nigerian embassies are often unable to do this easily and this is the reason why Nigerians rot away in jails of foreign countries and even executed on flimsy charges without even a prior warning to the Nigerian Embassy in that country; things that will never be tried with citizens of countries that command their respect.
Sometimes in 2008, The News agency of Nigeria carried a report that some of our big men were ridiculed and humiliated in South Africa by a common South African woman Immigration Officer. In fact, The News agency of Nigeria described the treatment as "ignominious". We are talking of personalities involving a former High Commissioner to the same South Africa and two serving Senators. The intervention of the serving Consul-General of Nigeria in Johannesburg and other top Nigerian personalities of our Embassy could not help matters.
While the humiliation is for us all Nigerians, I hope those VIPs did learn some lessons that their brag, importance or VIP status ends the moment they jet out of Nigerian air space. If they think they are important or have any respect outside Nigeria, that thinking is only a brash, self-deceit, self-illusion and delusion. It is all hallucination. And if they fail to be truthful to themselves, they will always learn it in a humiliating way by the likes of that common South African Immigration woman Officer. It was a signal to them that "Nigeria is not a nation that commands their respect"
If they want to be accorded the respect of a Statesman outside Nigeria, they should start to repair all things, which their greed and selfishness have destroyed. They should start to place the nation above their self-interest and personal greed.
Would that South African woman immigration officer do that to someone holding a British or American passport? Never. She will treat them with lots of respect, dignity and decency.
And why should she accord respect to our Nigerian big men? Does she not see the way Nigerians struggle to enter her country? Does she not see the hell Nigerians go through in the bid to escape out of Nigeria, with many dying in the desert and others perishing in the seas while trying to escape?
Does someone now see why Nigeria's situation is so much of concern to me?
In future, I will give more reasons, why I am so concerned with the nagging poverty and backwardness of our nation and after that answer in detail the hope that I have that Nigeria can get over the myriads of her problems that prompts me to commit so much of my energy and time towards having a better Nigeria.
So announce the hour of this broadcast to your family members and friends. With God on our side, Nigeria will become a habitable place, which can sustain those who want to live a godly life.
Let us pray
To be continued