Monday, 23 June 2008

Frankly, Madam Ambassador, I am not impressed

Belittled and patronised

You probably would not be able to get the thickness of a hair strand into ascertaining the difference between being belittled and being patronised.

I cannot say that the Nigerian Ambassador to the Netherlands has allowed herself the best start in representing us in the Netherlands, but I would not dwell on those matters that have come to my hearing.

The doctor’s dodgy medicine

Dr Nimota Nihinola Akanbi recognises her brief by committing to strengthen the relationship between the Netherlands and Nigeria and that is all well and good, whilst trying to divert the gaze from Shell’s activities she touted the statistic that 27 Dutch companies are fully operating in Nigeria.

Even I did not know that.

Then she called on Nigerians [Source - allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Envoy Pledges Cordial Relations With Netherlands] in the Netherlands to be law-abiding in their legitimate business and avoid acts capable of bringing disrepute to their home country as she presented her credentials [Source - The Embassy of Nigeria : News – The website needs a seriously radical professional and artistic overhaul].

Well, Madam, I take serious exception to the impression that Nigerians might fail to be law-abiding, be involved in illegitimate businesses and be involved in acts capable of bringing disrepute to Nigeria.

We do a lot more good than bad

Indeed, there might be a few black sheep that have been involved in illegal and criminal acts; they surely cannot be in the majority – I would contend that most Nigerians or those with Nigerian lineage are engaged in perfectly lawful business, we are productive and valuable members within the Dutch society - we should clearly be recognised as such.

We have been here for quite a while in many cases doing a lot to repair the damage done to the reputation of Nigerians, building positive alliances and displaying exemplary conduct that it is the just utterly condescending to read such statements from our honourable ambassador.

We are ambassadors too

I would have her know that Nigerians all, abroad, are already reluctant but able ambassadors of Nigeria without having the need for some figurehead apparatchik denigrate our existence with insensitive commentary.

The lady would do well to explore the possibility of meeting Nigerians from all areas of the country that are well into the work of ambassadorship that she has just assumed rather than pandering to clich├ęs and unfounded generalisations.

Frankly, Madam Ambassador, I am not impressed, not one bit.

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