hat has become evident is that Nigerians, particularly those from the south, are desperate to exit the country. Even the prospect of death is not enough to keep people away. They appear to believe that dying trying to get out of Nigeria is preferable to dying in Nigeria.
Nigeria has more nationals competing for other countries than any other country during the just finished Olympic Games dubbed Tokyo 2020, which were postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Nigerians were busy helping other countries win medals all around the world, from Europe to North America, Asia, and Oceania, while struggling to win medals for their own country.
From the look of things, Nigeria was portrayed as a slave woman maintained solely for the purpose of giving birth to children who would be sold into slavery to work for others. She would give birth to a child and then care for it. The infant would be sold after he or she was weaned, and she would be made pregnant again in order to “produce” another baby.
Despite the fact that Nigerians had previously competed for other countries in the Olympics and World Cup, the events at this year’s Olympics were more of an embarrassment due to the large number of Nigerians competing for other nations. It appeared to be a case of people who had no formal country and were distributed over the world, competing for other countries. Many even assisted in the elimination of Nigerian teams from events, such as Monica Okoye’s contribution to the Japanese women’s basketball team’s victory over Nigeria. Some countries, such as Greece, had two Nigerian brothers, Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, on their male basketball teams.
In the Tokyo Olympics, Italy won their first men’s 4×100 meter relay. Eseosa Fostine Desalu, a Nigerian, contributed to the team’s victory, which was won by 0.01 second over the UK squad. The UK relay squad included a Nigerian, Chijindu Ujah.
The awful situation of Nigeria’s “dispersion” was eloquently portrayed in a photograph that circulated on social media. The flags of two separate countries were draped over two victorious ladies. The one named Eze was draped in a British flag, while the one named Adeleke was draped in an Irish flag. They were conversing with one other. They had just been awarded medals for their adopted nations. The photo, however, was not taken at this year’s Olympics, despite the impression it gave. Tallinn, Estonia, was hosting the 2021 European Under-20 Championships. Joy Eze of the United Kingdom won bronze, while Rashidat Adeleke of the Republic of Ireland won gold.Adeleke’s gold medal handed the Republic of Ireland the record most back-to-back women’s 100-meter gold medals, having won the event for the first time in 2017 in Grosseto, Italy. Who do you think was responsible for the country’s first-ever gold medal? Another Nigerian, Gina Akpe-Moses, accomplished this feat for a country with a population of less than five million people.
Surprisingly, all of the Nigerians playing for foreign countries hail from the country’s southern regions. This is true in a variety of fields, including medicine, nursing, teaching, soldiering, and policing. Nigerians from the south make up the majority of those exiting the country to live and work elsewhere. The vast bulk of those attempting to travel into Europe via the exceedingly perilous desert route are from the south. The majority of sex slaves smuggled out of Nigeria comes from the south. The majority of those recruited by drug lords to operate as couriers, especially those transporting heavy drugs to nations where convicted traffickers face the death penalty, come from the South.
What has become evident is that Nigerians, particularly those from the south, are yearning to escape to other continents. Even the threat of death is ineffective as a deterrent. They appear to believe that dying attempting to flee Nigeria is preferable to dying in Nigeria.
Slave traders who took Nigerians away during the slave trade are documented to have used force. However, there is a joke in Nigeria today that if slave ships berthed at the various ports in the country, the majority of Nigerians would willingly board the ships to flee to servitude in Europe and North America.
Without employing force to drive Nigerians out, they are being forced out in droves in an indirect manner. The economy is the foremost factor that drives Nigerians to emigrate. Professionals and non-professionals began to leave Nigeria in quest of better prospects starting in the mid-1980s. Currently, millions of Nigerian graduates work as laborers in many countries, earning wages that, when converted into the Nigerian naira, have a great value.
Insecurity has emerged as a powerful cause pulling Nigerians out in recent years. Despite the fact that the economy has deteriorated, Nigerians fear for their safety as they go about their daily lives in poverty. Boko Haram’s threat was once confined to only a few areas in the North-East. In other parts of Nigeria, citizens felt safe. However, the introduction of merciless bandits and killer herdsmen into Nigeria’s security problem drastically changed the situation. In today’s Nigeria, no portion of the country can be considered secure.
Separatist agitations from the eastern and western portions of Nigeria have increased as a result of heightened discontent and the operations of merciless bandits and killer herdsmen, which have been awfully greeted with more violence by the military and police, making people feel more frightened. Whether you are on the go travelling or even at home, nowadays, it is common for the police to unjustly single out unarmed young men as terrorists and kill them on the spot without the benefit of a doubt. And when you hear the flimsy excuses the police give for killing these young men, you would be shocked to the bone. Most of them were murders in broad day light by members of the law enforcement agencies for “driving a fancy car, looking for and appearing rich”. So, an average policeman’s intuitive tells him that such a person is a fraudster and needs to be milked out for a piece of their share.
Those that refuse to “co-operate” (that is, give them what they ask for – huge money, usually in hundreds of thousands, sometimes, millions) are gunned down and labelled a hardened/notorious criminal. The dead cannot speak and eyewitnesses would not want to get in the mix either. So, the ones charged with protection of lives and properties are actually the ones taking away the lives and properties of innocent Nigerians. Raising young men in Nigeria has become a terrifying experience, as one is always afraid of hearing that one’s son, brother, nephew, cousin, friend or neighbor whether in or out of higher institution of learning, has been shot dead or arrested for possessing a laptop or a good mobile phone, which security operatives in Nigeria view as indicators that such youths are involved in cybercrime. The #EndSARS protest in 2020 was sparked by the same mentality, which was greeted with brutality by security personnel.
Lastly, mediocrity can be a source of irritation and frustration. In Nigeria, mediocrity is praised. It is enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution as the “quota system” and “federal character,” but it is amplified by tribalistic cronyism. When juniors and less qualified coworkers are promoted well above them, many people feel cheated and suffocated.
All of these anxieties and concerns have combined to convince many people, particularly in the south, that Nigeria is not a secure place to live or raise children. Physical insecurity is linked to a lack of access to quality education, health care, amenities, and justice, among other things. The other option is to depart Nigeria for a better and safer life in another country.
Nigerians appear to be fleeing for good, unlike citizens of other nations who appear to travel to obtain educational and professional skills before returning to their native countries to put those abilities to use. Anyone who successfully travels out of Nigeria is applauded and advised not to return to live in the country. Such a person is welcome to return for vacations, but not to live here permanently. These Nigerians apply for citizenship in the countries where they live. They believe that once that is accomplished, their future is secure. They begin making preparations to remove as many of their family members as possible away from Nigeria.
Nigeria’s treatment of individuals who represent the country in sports serves as a deterrent to those who want to do so. The video of Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, a Nigerian Olympic shot put finalist, washing his jersey since he only had one was embarrassing. It was also embarrassing how the Nigerian delegation arrived in Tokyo dressed differently. Nigeria is also known for leaving injured athletes to their destiny. What a shame!
The lack of sufficient tools and facilities is also a problem for Nigerian sportsmen. Many people have to train for competitions using their own money and resources. All of this makes it more appealing for many Nigerian athletes to leave the country and pursue opportunities elsewhere.
The worst part is that there is no indication that this unfortunate scenario will improve.