We need Nigerian visa lottery

 By Casmir Igbokwe

 Published: Sunday, 7 Dec 2008

SEX toys, I understand, are in hot demand in Nigeria today. The majority of the users are said to be women whose husbands are overseas. There are no official statistics yet to prove this. But one could get some semblance of truth in the fact that some Nigerian ladies are getting wary of marrying men who live outside this country.

For instance, a friend who lives in Angola has been searching for a wife for sometime now. He said each time a prospective wife got to hear that he was abroad, the next thing would be, “Let me think about it.” The person will never come back.

Don’t blame the women. They are the ones who largely bear the brunt of the absence of their men at home. Last week, the husband of a relation of mine came back from the United Kingdom. For over two years that he was there, the wife was an emotional wreck. Apparently to entice the man and prevent him from thinking of ever jetting out again, the young lady has been spoiling him with sumptuous meals and some other things.

As we chatted over dinner the day the man came back, a particular visitor whose husband is abroad narrated her own predicament and said if not for her children, she would have done everything possible to join her husband in the UK. The story was also told of a particular lady, whose husband came back after many years overseas. The woman quietly collected the man’s passport, tore it into pieces and told him he was not going anywhere again. There are some, though, who are lucky to get family visas. For this set, there is no need for sex toys, as the couple live happily together in their host countries.

For many Nigerians, there is only one major prayer point: that God should bless their efforts to get the visa of the country of their dream. At the annual lecture of the Ajayi Crowther University in Oyo on December 1, Nigeria‘s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Christopher Kolade decried the increasing rate of migration of Nigerian elite to foreign countries.

He said, “In the last six or seven years, I have been able to interact face-to-face with Nigerian medical specialists, engineers, lawyers, accountants, IT specialists and other professionals who now live and work in the UK. I confess that the numbers were much higher than I had ever imagined.”

Cry not Kolade. We are the architects of our misfortune. As the former High Commissioner rightly observed, we don‘t value our human resources. Former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was frustrated out of the cabinet of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Today, she is the Managing Director of the World Bank. Mallam Nuhu Ribadu did his best to uproot corruption from our land. His reward lies in his demotion from Assistant Inspector-General of Police to Deputy Commissioner of Police. The power game meant to silence, dismiss or perhaps, frustrate him out of Nigeria is still on.

Weep not Nigerians. Granted that there is massive unemployment and poverty in the land, but how does one justify the killing of over 100 kids in Akwa Ibom State by a self-styled bishop in the guise that they were witches? How do we explain the production and sale of poisonous My Pikin teeth syrup, which has sent some innocent children to their untimely deaths? What do we call those who kidnap many innocent children in the Niger Delta? Who do we blame for the fate of some market women, who reportedly lost over N100m to fraudsters in Onitsha recently? And what do we say about the penultimate week‘s senseless killings in Jos?

The slogan of one of the political parties in the Second Republic was ‘One nation, one destiny.’ But are we truly one nation? Do we have a common destiny? What have local government elections got to do with burning of houses, cars, shops and places of worship as witnessed in Jos? Can we ever outgrow ethnicity and religious bigotry that continue to define our existence as a nation?

This is why I tend to agree with those who call for the abrogation of the National Youth Service Corps scheme. The programme is meant to bring the different nationalities of Nigeria together. But what impression will a young man or woman serving in Jos have of that city after the carnage? Three youth corps members – Messrs Akande Olalekan, Akinjogbin Oluwatosin, and Odusote Oluwole – went to Jos to serve their fatherland. Hoodlums killed them and over 300 others in the crisis. What can ever heal the wound inflicted in the hearts of the parents and relatives of these victims?

What will happen now is that many non-indigenes may want to relocate to other parts of the country. Some others may want to leave Nigeria for other saner environments. Ever wondered why people will prefer to die on the high seas in attempts to cross over to Europe to remaining in Nigeria?

I‘m afraid for Nigeria. I’m afraid for my children. I’m not being unnecessarily pessimistic. My fear is anchored on incontrovertible traits of a failing state staring us in the face. Every year, millions of Nigerians rush for the American visa lottery. Some of those who have the privilege of having that country’s visa plan their movements in such a way that they will have their children there so that the kids will become American citizens.

We go for American visa lottery because US citizens made their country attractive. They love their country and most of them are incurably patriotic. Just look at the smooth presidential election they had early November that produced Barack Obama as the next president of that country.

We need to cry for Nigeria. We need to do everything possible to salvage it. We need to lure our young men and women, who are abroad back to the country. We need to let those who are planning to check out know that there is no place like home. We need to save our young women from the trauma of loneliness occasioned by the absence of their overseas husbands. We need to make Nigeria attractive so that other nationals will start rushing for Nigerian visa lottery.

It is doable. But it takes a charismatic leader, who lives above board and disciplined followers who are willing to respect the laws of the land to achieve that.

3 Comments »

  1. This is very disgusting to see a nation with wealth in abundance to suffer in artificial and human error abject poverty. Like you rightly said Nigeria needed more attraction and to be made an envy of other nations. I have promised myself never to leave my dear wife behind in Nigeria and travel abroad, i have witnessed such trauma married and lonely women goes through. You can imagined the total number of married and lonely women who patronise certain website to get rid of their emotionally lackness.
    We strongly need a leader directly ordained and focused from Jah to save us from this calamity.
    Surely very soon, Nigeria is gonna be a country where people will be fighting for visa to enter and visit.

  2. 2
    IKECHUKWU Says:

    It is only God in Heaven who can save Nigeria out and when shall that be? that is what come into my mind always, whould that be when we must have sufferd finish with the present condition and die that God will send a good leader who will change the face of this country to good.
    I pray for it to happen soon because many youth are suffering and we need our country to change to good and let people that ignore Nigeria passport outside the country start looking for it as America and UK passport.

    But i will advise let start from telling the power sector to give us steady light as that will change a lot in the growth of this Nation to good.

  3. 3
    reginald Says:

    wow


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