CAN WE HIDE OUR IDENTITY FOREVER?
There are so many naija citizens that are scattered all over the world for difference purposes ranging from education, work, business and above all to make a better living. But the question is how did the host country see us? are we fully welcomed in those countries? Are they having some mixed feelings of distrust, dishonest, hate and doubt about us? This in no doubt the biggest challenge every Nigerian in diaspora is facing. As a citizen of Nigeria, have we ever take a pause and ask ourselves why we always receive such unwelcome attitude from other countries of the world?
However, we can’t deny the fact we are Nigerian, some people try to hide their identities, disguise themselves from being a Nigerian to other countries in other to get what they want, we discovered that among all the countries in Africa, Nigerian citizens find it more difficult to obtain anything in other country where they reside. As a Nigerian, you need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are who you say you are compare to our counterparts. For instance, the Nigeria birth certificate which cannot easily verify its authenticity because we don’t have a central system to verify it, unlike our counterpart Ghana who have a system that can be used to easily verify the authenticity of any certificate. these ugly situations made most of Nigerian citizen opt for passport from other African countries like Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, even Togo, just to find it more easier and convenience to move around. This is a national shame for us that we impersonate our identity and belittle and devalue ourselves to a country that depends on us for economic development and growth. Sometimes I asked myself how long these will continue. Many Nigeria citizens are tired of being a Nigerian.
We face so many intimidation and humiliation from other countries of the world the most annoying part is our other west African countries we feed and help to grow their economy. Those countries don’t have a single respect for Nigerians. Have you ever try once to cross the Togo boarder as a Nigeria? I tried it once and the frustration is too much. In October 2015 I flew from Germany to Nigeria for holidays, I decided to visit Togo and from Togo to Ghana, crossing immigration in seme boarder to cross over coutonu was more than a battle this is where you will see the power of connection and who know who and who can pay more. With my genuine documents, I was scrutinized like a common criminal just because they saw a visa in my passport. They doubted everything I presented to them, my passport, my visa, my name and where I came from, they even went to the extend to call the passport office to verify the authenticity of my passport I don’t want to mention their reactions and question I was asked for the visas in my passport. The annoying part is that other countries like Ghana and Togo are given a free way to cross even a white man was given a way to pass freely without any disturbances but all holders of Nigeria passport where packed one side. I manage to pass through all the screening after spending several hours and off course pay my way out. Now it’s time to cross the popular and notorious Aflawo boarder to enter Ghana, that is another round of thoroughly screening, I luckily pass the test and headed straight to Accra, I arrived Accra very late and needed to rest after a hectic journey I try to checked in to a hotel in Osu a popular and busiest oxford street in Accra. When the receptionist notice that I came from Nigeria through my passport and my intonation her mood immediately changed, she looked furious, I paid her the money for the room and she looked at the money I gave to her lift her eyes immediately and stared at me for a minute I was wondering if there is any problem, I asked her if there is any problem she didn’t say a word after two minute her colleague came to the receptionist and they started speaking in a languages I didn’t understand. Then the receptionist told me “oga we can’t take your money” I asked them why they can’t take my money she lift up her face and looked at me without uttering a word she was so unfriendly and rude to me, I repeated, then she told me that she is not sure if my money was real. I was shocked and dump founded I don’t know if I should slap her or punch her on the face. I was very angry and felt so embarrassed, something cross to my mind and that was to demand to see the manager of the hotel, I did so and in few minutes the manager was there. I presented the matter to the manger and he scanned me from head to toe maybe to know or see my worth before making a judgement he accessed the money and told the receptionist that she is so stupid to have mentioned that my money was fake, he apologize to me but I insisted and threatened to involve the police but they started pleading with me including the receptionist who was forced by the manager to tender an apology to me without wasting time.
If our fellow ECOWAS country can maltreat and humiliate us in this manner how much of other countries around the world? I have been in so many offices with some other citizens from west African countries here in Deutschland in search of job. those people where always chosen first before a Nigerian, I experience it more than twice, I want somebody to tell me any country in the world that fully accepts and welcome Nigerian citizens? How do we behave as a Nigerian when we are outside are home country? Do we break the laws made by our host countries? I left the question for our conscience to answer.
This is so annoying that we appear to be a public enemy in the society. We are paying for the sins of our fathers. Most of us are so innocent and clean but we pass through those humiliation and embarrassment especially at the airport when traveling to other part of the world. If the world reject and hates us a nation will we also turn back and detest ourselves? The latter is the case for Nigerians especially those of us living in diaspora. We are making the situation worst by not living an exemplary life to show and prove to them that what they think and the impression they have about our country is not the way they thought. As a Nigeria citizen living in diaspora there a need to come together lead by example and prove to the world that we are not that Nigeria of yesterday they use to know. We are new general with new mindset, new ideas and aspiration. We shouldn’t be punished for the sins of our fathers. How can we come together to face this reality as one nation? this is one of the most difficult thing if not impossible to achieve as we find it hard to manage ourselves since we can’t respect one another.
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