Issues  

When Naija seems like heaven – Part 2


I received interesting views from readers on this issue but the view reproduced below is a more eye- opener on the issue at hand.

“This ‘Europe journey’ isn’t a new thing.

It is a ‘two route’ approach for African migrants. Either through Libya or Morocco.

So many migrants are stranded there as we chat now. We just heard of this Libya issue but Morocco is the oldest route. You see some migrants spending 10 years trying to get to Europe from Morocco because Algeciras Spain has same boundary with Morocco. Many die on that journey.

“Having lived in Spain for five years opened my eyes to so many things about that (migrants) issue.
It is a lucrative business for some ‘Oga and thick madams’. Most of the girls are charged between 40 to 60 Euros.

“Mothers bring their daughters through that Senegal- Morocco route and charge them for the expenses made for their journey. Same with daughters bringing their own mothers over for prostitution.

“Most of their men in that trade are pimps… it’s called ‘purée’ here in Spain.

“This sh*t is deep. Deeper than what’s shown on the TV about this Libya thing. The victims won’t say much because they are scared. And most of them are under oath. Funny enough, nothing is happening in Europe. You see most of our men here dropping their wives every night at joints, train stations, etc- for prostitution.

I saw hell. Just travel and see!
It’s pathetic as you said or worse.’’

“In a way, everyone of us has a story or two to chip into this ‘abroad madness’.

“I remember there seemed to be a mass exodus of young men (a decade ago) in the South East…especially in my home-town. One particular December when guys from Germany and South Africa came home in droves and were throwing money about at social gatherings, the ‘home-based’ guys who probably felt that money is picked on the streets in obodo oyibo (abroad) also left home in droves in the coming year…a lot of them that didn’t end up dead are still serving prison terms. Some made it and legions became stranded over there.

“I traveled to India sometime back and couldn’t believe what I saw when a guide took me round to where some Nigerians were staying in Delhi. I didn’t really set out to look out for them. I got tired of living on chips and chicken nuggets, as I couldn’t ‘do’ spicy Indian meals, and asked to be taken to an African/Nigerian restaurant.

“So, I found myself in a setting that if I have to give an honest description of, I would say that even my village appears more AMERICA than that setting.

“I spoke to a number of them and couldn’t believe the level of ‘ignorance’ that would make anybody (in this age!) believe that places like India has anything to offer anybody who isn’t there for purposes of education, medical tourism, business, etc? that will benefit that society-primarily.

“The one that broke my heart was the young guy that gave his name as Emeka, who claimed to have sold his father’s only land to travel to India, only to end up washing plates at a restaurant that is owned by a lady from another African country…who seems to hawk (more of) her ‘big backside’ in the cubicle she called a shop.

Then, there came the real shocker!

“Once you walk into any bank in India to make Western Union Money transfer, for example, you are immediately asked which country you come from. If NIGERIA is the answer…they point you to a wall where a list of countries prohibited from carrying out certain monetary transactions in India is pasted. In that list, I saw Afghanistan, Pakistan, and a couple of rag-tag places like that. Nigeria was the only West African and second African country in that list. There were only two African countries in that list but I can’t remember the name of the other. That particular list had seven countries in all.”

In the words of a friend: “I don’t have problems with people seeking opportunities in foreign lands, but doing so with less than 30 per cent facts is against common sense. Most Nigerians have eyes only for the returns (profits) while completely blind to the associated risks. There are opportunities here, but most people are not committed to doing the right things and grow something from ‘small to big’. The irony is…as Nigerians are taking blind risks to go to other countries, Asians are hitting it big in Nigeria.’’

I do hope that all these teach us patience.

If you must travel, do it honorably…so that you still feel like a HUMAN when you get there.

Desperation is a sickness of the mind!

In this article:
Chukwuneta ObyNaija
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