The Diaspora Power

Nigerian-students-in-londonSir: Circumstance places me in a position to interpret the import of diaspora influence. The instinct for wishful thinking arises, especially when one is dwelling in a land where things work accordingly. One may genuinely intend to transport the normalcy of his or her environment to the homeland. Reality is that the home circumstance brings its own peculiar resistance. Inability to confront this situation forces many in the diaspora to choose not to return.

The intention of many Nigerians was to travel abroad to seek ways to better their lives and come home to enjoy their success with families. Only one who has not lived abroad for a long time or those who are nomadic by nature, will envy the disconnection from ancestral longing. No matter how well one is disposed to assimilate to another’s society; there remains that subtle reminder that one is an outsider. Loneliness during holidays because one does not have one’s family to celebrate with could be painful.

Further, economic progress in foreign countries has its limitations in many ways. Granted, the reason most Nigerians leave the country is to pursue a better chance at success, which the economic realities at home do not avail them. Efficiency of economies abroad leaves room to absorb ready and able workers. However, an immigrant’s ambition could be frustrated by habitual discrimination. The likelihood exists that posh jobs could be exclusively reserved for indigenes. This preferential treatment has a way of affecting the psychology of an immigrant adversely.

The lack of total acceptance of foreigners overseas is mostly what spurred the return of Chinese immigrants back to their country. It is not so much patriotism but the desire to use their acquired skills abroad to develop their own enterprise that motivated them. Zealousness of these entrepreneurs has turned the Chinese economy to a prosperous one.

Nigerians abroad complain of what is not working in the country. They expect anomalies in society to settle before they could land like a golden eagle to shine their expertise on the paved terrain. Unfortunately, time seems to be passing them by. The knowledge gap is being bridged by information revolution. The diaspora power is evidently diminishing.

If one has something special to offer, the land is fertile. One should come prepared to improve on the rawness of the society, it will be challenging. But look at the glowing advantage, a Nigeria you can be proud of.

•Pius Okaneme,
Umuoji, Anambra State.

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