When I woke up it was just over 00:00hrs Nigerian time but 02:00hrs Kenyan time. Having gone to bed earlier than usual, I could no longer sleep beyond this hour. Besides, the weather was too chilly for my liking. Thus, I raised my head, stretched my limbs and decided on the next best thing to do – browsing the internet – one of my favorite hobbies.
One of the first pages I opened was the popular social network site “Facebook”. I love to keep abreast with the activities of family, friends, groups and discussion which I follow to.
Browsing the home page, I came about this post from a friend, posted at about 00:26hrs of this morning
Friend’s post “Just had a funny thought….what if the Federal Government decided to evacuate Nigerians living in London due to the unrest????..any takers???”
and the post generated these responses in a few seconds
1. I’ll bet a million quid no one will show up at the pickup points.
2. Lolz…. I would surely hide myself. No electricity in Nigeria.
Initially, I thought theses responses funny and I was almost tempted to add a comment of my own to the tune of
“and where exactly does he expects us to live? In the flood ravaged city of Lagos or the Boko Haram streets of northern Nigeria?”
but I decided against it at the last minute. Maybe it wasn’t a conscious decision I made not to post the comment because my phone rang at that precise minute, distracting my attention from the post on facebook.
However, on dropping the call, I suddenly had a change of heart about posting my comment. I don’t know what unconscious reaction had triggered the change, but it just so happened that I saw things in a different light.
Yes, quite a large number of Nigerians living abroad would share these same views of never wanting to return to a country where nothing seem to work out, nothing is certain and where a World Bank 2009 assessment of life expectancy is placed at 48 years.
We all want to be where things and conditions are better for us. No one can blame anyone for this, after-all as we say in Nigerian pidgin “who no like better tin?” meaning “is there anyone who does not like the good things of life?”
However, it is well known that no good thing comes easy. Many of us just seem to forget this fact. Ask any mother newly delivered of a baby and she will confirm this simple yet incomprehensible fact to you. We go to “Sokoto seeking what is actually in our sokoto” – another of Nigerian popular saying meaning “we run from pillars to post seeking what we can find at home”.
Just a two weeks visit to the beautiful city of Nairobi, in Kenya – Eastern Africa confirmed this to me. Here, Nigerians are something of a novelty. Everyone wants to be friendly with you. Why because they are so enamored with the product of our fast growing entertainment industry. Nigerian movies and music are best sellers here. They just love our artists, actors and actresses. On every corner of the street, in night clubs and social events, you hear Nigerian music taking the field. Perhaps it is true when they say a prophet is never appreciated in his hometown.
Moreover, I remember the advances we have made in communication with the introduction of Global System in Mobile communication during the tenure of president Olusegun Obasanjo in the year 2001 and also other advances in internet technology with access to the internet and billions of information now available to millions of Nigerians.
In as much as our craving for life’s goodies would push us to other countries, we must not forget that Rome wasn’t built in a day. We, Nigeria can get and will get there. We just need more people to commit to the movement for change because, I tell you, you have got so much more than you can ever imagine. So why not start utilizing them now?