Nigeria is a home of good opportunities. It is a good tourist area. Also Nigerians are humble and hospitable. Nigeria is a democratic State and a member of the United Nations Organization (U.N.O.) with its charter on human rights. Since Nigerian independence from British rule in 1960, the country has helped many other African States to gain independence, for example Angola. The country also helped to fight the defunct apartheid regime in South Africa.
It is sad to say that despite Nigeria’s contributions to Africa and the whole world, including contributions to the United Nations Organization, Nigerians are treated unfairly in many parts of the world. Some people reportedly see Nigerians as generally corrupt people and swindlers and this affects the way they treat Nigerians. It applies to the individuals of those countries as well as to their governmental officials. They discriminate against Nigerians.
It is true that some Nigerians engage in nefarious activities. But this does not apply to the majority of Nigerians. On the other hand, Nigerians are like people in other lands. There is a world-wide bankruptcy of good morals. But this does not make people of other lands to be discriminated against in foreign lands. If you reached home after going out and discover that your umbrella slipped from your hand and fell away, the odds are that you would not find it when you went back to look for it. It would be stolen. This applies to all countries of the world because of fallen moral standards. Of course, there are also Good Samaritans everywhere.
On the other hand, Nigeria is made up of divergent ethnic groups and many of these people are hard-working and go all out to make a living. Some people travel out and on returning home they come with large fortunes that inspire others to travel themselves also. As a result, many people transverse the length and breadth of many places in search of fortunes. For example, many people are traders and make profits wherever they go.
But, as is also true of any land, some people are not honest and they adopt many dishonourable practices. Hence some Nigerians have duped some of their foreign counterparts in business and made away with large sums of money or goods. A few have swallowed drugs which they hoped they would egest when they reached their destinations. Others carry contra-banned goods across national borders.
But it is only a minority of Nigerians who engage in most of these negative activities. Many Nigerians go abroad on genuine business. Some study overseas and obtain degrees of tertiary institutions from foreign countries. Some have obtained scholarship.
It is all these people that are branded as corrupt people and swindlers because they are from Nigeria. Hence they undergo many inhuman treatments in foreign airports where Nigerians are searched by methods that other foreigners are not made to undergo.
In view of the plight of Nigerians in the hands of foreign people and their officials in government, something must be done by Nigerians if they are to redeem their image in the eyes of foreigners. No country of the world will accept to have their country men and women treated as sub-humans and discriminated against.
The Nigerian image should improve from home and government officials should set the example. Something should be done so that government officials will show accountability to the people. Those that governed well should be compensated by their successors after they have shown how accountable they were in governance.
Poverty and desperation make many Nigerians to view their country as not fit to be inhabited. As such they seek refuge in foreign countries where many social amenities are available. If these things are provided in the country, many people will like to stay, and besides foreigners will be attracted to the country and many Nigerians will not go all out to find treasures. There should be improved judicial system free of bribery, corruption and partiality.
Nigerians at home can also help the situation by not inducing those that travel abroad to make money at all costs. Through their utterances and otherwise, they should make everybody aware that a good name is to be valued more than large sums of money. Those that are caught in untoward activities and are sent back from foreign lands should be seen as bringing reproach on themselves and others.
People should value their lives and those of other people. Those who do will not engage in the business of illegally carrying drugs because of the money they will get from such business. Some prisoners who engage in such business should be sent to rehabilitation homes where they will learn the virtues of human living.
Nigerians should be proud of themselves and go about their business in a legal and peaceful manner. Nigerians enjoy a variety that is not available in many parts of the world. The climate here permits free movement throughout the year. Many villages in Nigeria, especially, enjoy an air free of pollution or such phenomenon as acid rain. By decent living, Nigerians will come to have a high esteem among foreign nationals.
FROM EPHRAIM ELOMBAH