Monday 30 December 2019

Nigerians, I hail you

29 years already
I wrote a blog exactly a year ago and ended it with the paragraph below without telling that other story. I do not this blog would be the space for it either, it would probably go into my story, if I get the inspiration, motivation and will to take it beyond the chapters I have already written.
On the 30th of December 1990, I left Nigeria, on Nigeria Airways flight WT808 running almost 3 hours behind schedule. I had £15 in my pocket and a future ahead of me. That is another story.
I wonder why I commemorate the 30th of December, it has been 29 years since I left Nigeria, it is strange that if work commitments had not necessitated my travel to South Africa in 2015, I would never have set foot in Africa since I left.
Gone but not done
Like I would normally protest on Twitter, my having left Nigeria that long ago has not meant a disengagement from the country of my forebears. I cherish and guard my Nigerian heritage jealously as much I try to be informed and well acquainted with issues and events therein.
The contention with parents, relations, and friends is whether I can be persuaded to return for a visit. I have not convinced myself of the sense of security, safety, or comfort that this would afford me. Until I can get that sorted in my head, I can categorically say, it is not on my agenda.
The retiree then
We can only hope that the man who has negotiated for himself the best retirement package of his generation and peers soon moves on to a sort of retirement home. Our witness of his first regime in the 1980s is what ushered in the Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, the annulment of the 1993 elections and then Sani Abacha.
Whatever his plans were then appeared to be a systematic regimentation of Nigeria towards a North Korean style of socialist control of not just the systems but the minds of the people. Whilst we were not barred from leaving the country, the message was we shouldn’t. It is without a doubt that Muhammadu Buhari has some animus towards Nigerians based abroad, maybe because much as we can criticise him, we are beyond his junta-inspired grasp. [See the blog below.]
The retiree now
Meanwhile with his 1980s mindset, he rules the roost, retired of ideas, policy or direction much as we can recount that after he exited national politics he was involved in no activity until he rekindled his entitlement to leadership that he fought for thrice before winning. The people beguiled with the spectre of integrity that doesn’t appear to radiate beyond the man.
Now, he lives in the best residence gets the best medical attention in London that flounces off to at a whim, flies in a presidential jet arriving in countries where all courtesies to a head of state are a diplomatic necessity whilst the country teeters on the edge of incomprehensibility, the youth unable to adequately plan a future in their country of birth, they are leaving if they can.
Nigerians, I hail you
Yet, I must commend those who have found ways to thrive in that environment, but there is another wave of the Exodus like those of my generation who left about 3 decades ago and they are not planning on returning.
In my view, you can make a success of your life anywhere in the world if you have the drive, the ambition, the skills, and the sheer determination, by God, we have spunk. Many leave Nigeria and get to live their best lives. I just hope we have enough people left to really take the country forward, even those of us who have left, pray constantly for a better Nigeria.

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