Thursday, June 10, 2021
Lagos, Nigeria

ecently, a young couple, who actually are my relations, visited me. They asked me about the usual question I am always faced with, from numerous people, which is my opinion to relocate abroad due to the economic hardship in our land. I asked the couple to read my recent posts and listen to the audio broadcast on the topic "There was once a Country, Nigeria.

Let me answer the question of the young couple a bit and for the benefit of the numerous people who ask me the same question "Is there any Solution in Checking out of the Country?

Let us pray.

There is poverty in the land because either we do not know the secret to lock poverty out or we are too impatient to be educated about it or we see those secretes as too slow.

Most Nigerians; youth and even adults, will do everything it takes to relocate to the countries, where life is perceived to be good because they have witnessed their friends who relocate to those countries and within months, are already remitting money home. Unfortunately, they do not ask or reason out why that was possible. Secondly they do not inquire what a hell they go through in their overseas countries.

They are able to remit money home shortly after, because their host government do not wreck their economy. No individual is bigger than the country. No individual or cabal makes the public treasury his or their personal property. So the commitment of the people in the government was entirely to the development of the nation and welfare of the citizens.

Those countries do not use 80% of their wealth to service just the ruling class and the legislatives, which are just a small fraction of their population as it occurs in Nigeria. Their governments are always in the business of creating jobs.

The same was our situation pre-independence and for many years after until we derailed.

Nigeria was once a big tree where all kinds of birds from all over the world came to perch and where all animals came to take shelter; name it, Indians, Pakistanis, Egyptians, South Eastern Asians, British, Americans etc

When our country was economically buoyant, who ever thought of making his abode in those cold countries except to go and study and promptly return home?

The country was comfortably habitable that the thought of stay put overseas after studies was very remote. There was the eagerness to return home at the completion of one's study. Our money had good value. Even after we started to use the Naira, up to 1983, one Naira was almost double the American dollar and almost at par with the British pound. So Nigerians were accorded great respect wherever we went across the globe. The comity of Nations saw us as a nation with purpose. They saw us as a serious nation, which had a goal.

We lost that respect the moment our leaders lost focus, the moment they shifted commitment to the nation to their selfishness, thereby decimating the populace.

Poverty entered the country when it was possible for an individual, a Governor to pilfer Nbillions and several US dollars of the commonwealth into his private pocket and stashed in overseas bank and no one frowns, instead we hail him. His tribal people and his religious sect will even threaten any law enforcing agency who might want to apprehend him. So we are the enemies of ourselves.

Unemployment entered the country when it was possible for a Minister to acquire two private armored vehicles, without anyone blinking his eyes and afterward still able to sit in the organ of the government that makes laws.

Government and Private businesses started to collapse when Ministers and Senators started acquiring private aircrafts.

Hospitals became just a consulting clinic and our school buildings became dilapidated when Civil Servants, who are supposedly on salaries could own estates; things unheard of at independence and some years after!! Government money was sacrosanct in those years.

Citizens became decimated when the salaries and allowances of our Law makers' are un estimated, shrouded in secrecy and said to be the highest compared with salaries of other law makers on the globe, including the world's biggest economy; America, compared with 60 pounds, which was the monthly salary of Members of the Northern Region House of Assembly at independence, which was also the entry salary of a fresh University graduate.

All these are not hidden to the comity of nations and so we lost the respect, which we once had. Unfortunately, our leaders are not bothered so long as they are able to maintain their useless life of vanity.

Those of you who nothing else appeals to you other than going abroad, I want you to listen to me carefully.

I have come to realize that the status vis--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 the government that hosts him 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. This confirms a saying by the Yorubas that "Bi alaso ba se pe aso ni a un baa pee" meaning you are treated the way you are presented or the way, which you present yourself.

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, may 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 unable to do this easily often 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 of 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 other 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 common South African woman immigration officer do that to someone holding a British or American passport? Never. She will treat him 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?

I once worked in a certain foreign elite 400 bed hospital as the Radiation Safety Officer. The license to operate the big Oncology Department was granted in my name, being the Radiation Safety Officer. That is the usual practice worldwide. The X-ray beam, which is used to kill cancer cells is of very high energy, in millions of Volts. Such a beam is equally deadly. So someone highly skilled, a physicist, knowledgeable in the art of radiation safety, is he who the regulatory body of the country will issue license to before any practice can start. It involves a rigorous process. That was the position I held.

But you know what? At the end of the month, my Technician went home with money, which was a lot more than mine. Why? He is British, with British passport, while I held a Nigerian passport. In that particular part of the world, remunerations are decided by passport. Actually, he was the one who was initially offered the high profile job, but he was not capable. That was how I was brought in. If he was capable, I would not have been invited. The intervention of the godly Medical Director of the hospital changed my salary status a bit.

I once read an article of a Nigerian Radiologist based in the UK, some years ago. I know him with his family name. His family is famously known as one of brilliancy but this Radiologist wrote that, he was given a Consultant position, eight years after his contemporary had been made one.

These stories confirm the statements of one Mr. Fela Durotoye who says

i. Ordinary citizen of a great nation shall forever be treated better than a successful citizen of a failed nation.

ii. Individual success in the midst of collective failure will always be despised.

I hope those of you who all that you are laboring on, is how to check out of Nigeria are listening to me?

Nigeria has enough wealth and resources to make everyone, "everyone" I repeat comfortable on our soil without turning himself a stranger in a foreign land, where you are despised and accorded no respect.

Yes, only a lazy fellow will suffer in those strong economic countries but do you know that many of those your kinsmen and friends do not sleep in their homes for many nights but jumping from one place of work to the other? Do you not notice that when they visit home, it is usually brief because bills are piling up?

We can enjoy same in our own land, if we will only be wise to listen to my counsel and appeal of these several years.

The path, which we have been following has not helped us and it pains me that we do not give my counsel a trial in order that we enjoy the good of the land.

I continue to say it that if the youths of this nation, who are the ones to benefit more from my campaign, will give a tenth of the time they spend on European football league to my campaign, their woes would have been over long time ago.

We can bring Nigeria back to the path of honor, which we had in the past if you will not despise my campaign but cooperate with me.

Actually the path, which I want us to follow to regain our national prosperity is not new. It was the path, which the citizens tread at the beginning and which yielded positively. The prophet Jeremiah said,

"'When people fall down, don't they get up again?

When they discover they're on the wrong road, don't they turn back?

5 Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path? (Jer. 8: 4-6)

The prophet elsewhere said

"Stop at the crossroads and look around.

Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.

Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls (Jer. 6 :16)

If we are able to get our acts together and we are able to return to the original path, we can spare people from sleeping in prayer houses looking for miracles to be employed into none or few job openings unlike in the time past, when there could be hundreds of vacancies for a handful of applicants.

Let me state that these God's solution may not bring a fast desired result but it is the best option. Of course, they may bring the desired result very quickly if we believe in the prescriptions.

I will once more call a Town Hall meeting, where we shall be able to discuss these things in detail and we shall back it up with prayers.

Let us pray.