Monday, 11 November 2013


This post is about the Nigerian who was killed in Goa, India almost two weeks ago and my thought on the event. Some say it was related to drug trafficking while others deny it. I would have had the post out earlier since I had it written in minutes after receiving the news but I had to stay my horses and carry out some research to gather good information so I don't end up acting worse than the people already involved in the mess. I visited both Nigerian and Indian news sites so as to be fair in drawing my conclusions.

Nigeria is the most diverse and divided nation I know or can think of right now maybe because I,m in the middle of the chaos. I believe our division is from our diversity in culture, tribes and religion. I'm going to give you a little history/geography lesson to show you the extent of the diversity and division before I go on with the main topic. So please bear with me. There are 6 geo-political zones in Nigeria but 3 main divisions by the rivers Niger and Benue and the tribes accordingly. They are the north, east and west. The northerners are generally referred to as the Hausas, the easterners - Igbos and the westerners - Yorubas. There are many more tribes and even more dialect within the tribes.

All these tribes seem to tolerate one another since they are afterall, all Nigerians. For example, the Igbos never seem to get along with the Hausas and the Yorubas. They have even gone as far as fighting for their independence in the Biafran war (1963). Same goes for the other 2 tribes. Among the same tribe, they discriminate amongst states. The man from Imo state doesn't want his child to marry from Anambra because he believes they are cunning while the man from Anambra state thinks the people from Imo are too domineering. Within a state, the diversity and division continues with people holding on to their beliefs concerning another from another local government area or just because the dialect is slightly different. Have you ever heard a Bini individual speak? it sounds like Esan but don't make the mistake of grouping them as one. By the way, the difference is in the dialect with slight changes in alphabets. Can you beat that? Same applies to the Hausas and the Fulanis. Until I went to the north for my NYSC I never knew the difference and that even more tribes existed in the north that wasn't Hausa.

Now, when it comes to religion, the Muslims and the Christians in Nigeria have never seemed to agree since I was born. There is a little quarrel in the north and the Muslims kill some non Muslims, the Christians in the south retaliate without much thought for the lives being lost. There is even some discrimination among people of the same tribe and different religion. *PHEW!* What a country! What is amazing to me however is the unity and bond formed by these same people if they happen to meet themselves outside the shores of this country. That is when you find two black men who find themselves in a strange land (one, an Igbo Christian and the other a Hausa Muslim) deciding that they are now brothers not just countrymen. LOL

You can now imagine my grievance when I received a call late Friday night and in the course of the discussion was told about how a Nigerian was brutally murdered in India almost two weeks ago and the incidences that ensued when the Nigerian community in India decided to act up and take matters into their own hands. My first thought was "INDIA? - no impossible" and the second was "Oh no, I love that country, WHY?". Some Nigerians were arrested following the incident and threatened with deportation. They have been released though. What provoked the Nigerians back home was the fact that the Minister of state for India referred to Nigerians as "CANCER!". That I take offense to, in the context which it was used. I believe it was in the wrong situation. If you refer to Nigerians as cancer because we are spread all over the world, it would be easy to swallow and even taken as a joke because it is true. But even at that the India would be more cancerous. If you are to find only 2 people living in Antarctica, they would be one Indian and one Nigerian doing some business or something. Calling Nigerians cancer under such tense situation wasn't a smart move.

Since Nigerians somehow skipped the lecture on peaceful demonstrations, the Nigerian ambassador also decided to sharpen iron with iron. He threatened that he will not be held responsible for the repercussions that may befall the Indians living in Nigerian. Not very fine tuned, wouldn't you say? Now to economics: 
  • Nigerians travel to India mostly for Medical treatment, tourism, as students then illegal occupants. We pay way more (5 times more) for medical bills than the indigenes. I was there, I experienced it first hand. There are no such discrimination in Nigeria for anyone from anywhere in the world who want to access services.
  • Who loses paying tourist? When we went to the Taj, while we were paying Rs 750, the Indians paid Rs 20. How do you reconcile that?
  • Nigerians don't own houses or business places in India even a place as common as the market. The Nigerian foods and products imported to serve our palates are sold to Indian shop owners. Here the Indians own vast properties. Many of them born bred here, never once experiencing any form of discrimination
  • Nigerians are heavy shopaholics even from their sick beds. Ask the Americans and the British. They don't shop for themselves alone, they have extended family members and they also want to make some profit from sale of some goods they buy and they come back for more.
  • The economy is booming, hotel owners and cab drivers, businesses flourishing. I know a few. They are still my friends on facebook and we chat sometimes.
  • The Indians have also helped in their own way to boost certain businesses to Nigerians like telecommunication and they have really helped us with medical care. My brother would probably be dead by now if we didn't go to India.
  • On the other hand, Nigerians are nowhere near sainthood. We have generally been known to cause lots of problems all over the world, getting involved in fraudulent and violent activities. Illegally entering countries and devising means to stay there all in the quest for greener pastures. (Article on "quest for greener pastures" coming soon on this blog). We have even been labelled a terrorist country courtesy of the boko haram sect.

After all said and done, my question is who stands to lose? My answer - BOTH. No man is an island, he cannot stand alone and no country is totally, absolutely independent of another. Let's live in peace and unity.
One Love!

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