Nigerians and the search for ‘greener pasture’
When reports emerged that 26 Nigerian women and girls were found dead in a migrant ship on their way to Europe, I was not surprised. But I have always wondered why some Nigerians choose to continuously embarrass themselves by embarking on dangerous journeys to other countries which often turn out as a metaphor for great ills.
Often times, people who embark on such trips all in search of better life, never get to their destinations and even when they do, they are disgracefully repatriated, assaulted or even killed.
The belief that the current state of the nation’s economy is propelling the recourse to such adventure is a very lame one because even the economies of the countries they struggle to enter, are suffering.
Besides, if all Nigerians of productive age decide to escape to other countries, I wonder who will remain to develop the country. Many countries that are rich today passed through one hard period or the other. China, which is today a country admired by many was once under the control of stronger nations.
They were paying taxes and other levies to stronger nations who subjected Chinese nationals to inhuman treatment, but gradually, the people of China struggled to build their country into what it is today; the world’s second largest economy, one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, and a country where other nationals aspire to visit.
There are several other countries like that. Even in Africa, Rwanda, which suffered a horrendous genocide in the early 80’s, has grown to become one of Africa’s success stories, same with Botswana and Namibia among others. Why then should Nigeria, considered a big power in Africa, be made to carry the shame of her citizens trudging out to other countries in search of better life?
I am not holding brief for the government, but I consider it a manifestation of laziness to tie such shameful journeys to government’s inability to provide jobs for the citizens. Even in the countries that they run to, they are generally not employed by government, but hang out for menial jobs and prostitution in some cases.
Citizens of those countries are themselves looking for ways to improve their lives, and at times, vent their anger on foreigners who they claim are taking their jobs, example is South Africa, where several Nigerians have been killed in the recent past. It is therefore important for fellow Nigerians to strive to remain at home to cut a living for themselves, no matter how modest, instead of trooping to other lands.