Jan 06 2010

Nigeria in the heart

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 6:46 PM

These are hard times for Nigerians in America. Embarassed by a failed suicide bomber from their homeland, Nigerians here are fretting about the heightened searches they will face whenever they pass through U.S. airports. Yet however poignant the melancholy Nigerians feel over the plight of their country, they remain staunchly optimistic about their collective future — if only a few bad apples would get of the way. Intense patriotism — and scant sense of responsibility for the state of their own country — is the sole currency of discourse among successful Nigerians who somehow endure the predations of a corrupt elite.

I am reminded of the classic expression of the Nigerian blame-and-shame game written in a column last year by Dele Momodu. He wrote without irony that:

“The problem is I love Nigeria too much despite our unending miseries. No nation in Africa should be greater than ours: I began to daydream, as usual. We are blessed with the largest population of black people on earth. We are beautiful and brilliant. We are confident, agile and hardworking. We are smart and intelligent. We are bold and ambitious. We are daring and adventurous. We are fashionable and trendy. We are religious and supposed to be God-fearing. We have been entrusted with everything – gold, iron, bauxite, coal, cocoa, oil, gas, bitumen, cotton, wildlife, groundnuts, most fertile land, awesome coastlines, vegetables and fruits, arts and crafts, brains and wisdom that should make everyone of us prosperous.

But our prodigiously wasteful and insatiably greedy rulers have chosen to throw us down, from the pinnacle of the temple to the bottomless pit of hell.”

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