I Love Nigeria…So Very Much!

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

For several years now my good friend Paul Adujie has been drumming it, telling all those who have the faculty to comprehend that Nigeria is the best country on the face of the earth. Day in day out — to the annoyance and consternation of millions of Nigerians — he has been at it. Well, I am now a believer, a convert. It’s been almost six months since I returned home and I can see clearly now. Without an iota of doubt, I am now convinced that Nigeria is better and greater than any other country. I love it here, I love Nigeria.

I love Nigeria for several reasons, least of which is the fact that the society allows you to get away with quite a lot of things, including murder. Above all, you have the license to steal, to mismanage; you have the license to be a fuckup, be a complete failure, be an ass; and you definitely have the license to be a dupe and a peddler. It didn’t take me long to realize all of the aforesaid. And so I am grateful, eternally grateful to my dearest pal, Paul Adujie. What a guy! Long before most people understood the concept of patriotism and or nationalism, Paul has been at it.

Common, what’s not to love a country where there is no concept of sexual harassment; and where women are just for the asking. How does a society thrive without deep respect for women? Isn’t it beautiful that I can promise job or promotion or better academic grade in exchange for sexual favor? Isn’t it great that I can talk to, talk at, and talk adown at almost any woman without any repercussion? What is there not to love about a society where, within a generation or so, illicit sex has become as common as beans and fried plantain? Gay sex, cross-dressers, sex with minors and incestuous relationship has become the fashion of the day.

What’s not to love about a country where everything is negotiable, including crime and punishment? So far, I have been able to negotiate with the police and security services, the immigration and custom services, and with lawyers and judges. The other day, I was so bold, so audacious that I even negotiated with armed robbers. Nothing is “black and white,” nothing is the way they seem, and certainly, nobody is above inducement. Don’t be surprised to know that nothing is free in Nigeria: you pay for sex, pay for friendship, pay for trust and pay for prayers. You’ll need lots of prayers from rental-pastors.

Because I love Nigeria I am not going to insult her and call her a failed state even though she is unable to provide basic human needs to the vast majority of the people. Nigeria’s loss is my gain: I provide all the services the government is unable to or has refused to provide, i.e. electricity, water and sewage services, personal security, tax collection, and law and order. I bill my neighbors for the use of my generators and boreholes and for other services. I rent out guns and goons and enforcers. Government is irrelevant, but I am not. I am the alpha and the omega of my neighborhood, above the law. I am the law.

Thanks to Mr. Paul Adujie, no one is ever going to be able to question my patriotism again. In the same stream, any one who calls into question the stated and unstated motive of our next president should be considered a traitor; any one who criticizes the acts and pronouncement of the President and the Vice-President should be summarily arrested and tried. However, you if want to criticize the Courts, please go ahead. We all know the Courts are corrupt and indolent and redundant, but not the presidency. You may also criticize and abuse and trample on the National Assembly, they are of no use, anyways. They are just a collection of Ghanagoers.

Something else: “Diaspora Nigerians making private and public pronouncements and proclamations in the name of Nigerians and Nigeria must ensure that they are not rabid partisans lacking in integrity, credibility, fair and balanced transactions in matters Nigeria.” They must desist from sending petitions, writing letters to criticize or engage in legitimate political acts. And indeed, such political protests “are not objective, neutral or dispassionate efforts. These are persons who are knowingly fomenting unsettling conditions, persons who are unwittingly being used by persons, agents and defeated political partisans.”

Professor Mobolaji Aluko, please consider this a warning! I hold the saying of Mr. Paul Adujie to be true and sacrosanct: You cannot be a critic and a patriot at the same time.

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Anonymous June 4, 2007 - 6:28 pm

well said Julius!

Julius June 1, 2007 - 12:36 pm

Thanks, I have tried to respond to Paul. But right now I don't have to anymore. I will never join people from other countries to castigate Nigeria, NEVER. But I will always stand for the truth in places like this where I know I'm communicating with my fellow Nigerians. I have said this thousand times, I don't need CNN or BBC to tell me about my country, I know all I need to know. Nigeria itself has not failed anybody, it is the rulers that have failed and continue to fail us. OBJ did 8 years, yet we are still demanding for light, water and good roads. Now Yar'Adua is on the move I bet another 8years. In response to comment #4, I don't want Nigeria to be another Somalia, Liberia or Sierra Leone, but I certainly won't mind a Jerry Rawlings approach. The fact that some people are pointing out the ills of our country doesn't mean they don't love their country, they do but the truth must be told. Kepp it up Sabella

Bennie Droese May 31, 2007 - 7:37 am


Loved it! Satire is most definitely your forte. Keep 'em coming partner 🙂

Btw, where are you? Really.

A Nigerian Patriot May 30, 2007 - 4:36 pm

The only truly perfect country/place I have heard of is Heaven. Nigeria like every Third World country has its teething problems. How many Third world countries e.g Bangladesh, Colombia, India etc do you hear cursing their country? Who will make it better for you? By hiding your head in your nice cosy cushy job in Minnisota or whereever you are, will that save your country? You can sit there and criticize. I dont blame you. Perhaps you will be happy to see your country be torn apart like Somalia, Liberia and Sierra Leone. When those countries had thier problems where were their so called white benefactors/former colonial masters? even US that created the former colony Liberia? But when there was problem in Serbia and Kosovo, what did NATO/America do? even when their help was not needed and even resented. When will we ever learn? The Western powers are not your friends. They are only interested in raping and gleaning what they can from your country. You side them and shun and condemn your county at your peril. They day they wake up and tell all black people to go back to thier countries of origin, you will know. Green card or no green card! Or you think they cant do it? My brother the US can do anything under the pretext of Nation Security/ Home Security. You doubt me? Did you ever believe they would set up Gitmo Bay? What will you do? Commit suicide? You had better learn to start loving your country coz it just might be the only one you have.

Rosie May 30, 2007 - 4:13 pm

Err…Sabella, yes you can! (be a critic and a patriot at the same time)

Adebisi May 30, 2007 - 3:43 pm

I love your sarcasm. Being patriotic is one thing, being silly and stupid is another. Ever since I was born I have always heard my parents say, "This country (Nigeria) will be good ONE DAY", that one day never seems to come. I am 36 now and have yet to experience that mythical and wishful "ONE DAY". I know there are many people who were born before me and have died in the hope that that "ONE DAY" was going to come. Young Nigerians have no hope and some have become so desperate that they literarily walk from one country to another in an attempt to "escape" Nigeria.

We cannot judge prosperity merely through the few palaces and mansions that dot some cities in Nigeria while millions are unable to have 3 square meals in a day.

Nigeria has the money, Nigeria has the human and natural resources etc how come none of these resources work for us? I am not talking about some few people but the masses of Nigerians who live as dwarfs in a country that used to be the giant of Africa.

The common man in Nigeria is hardworking, brave, can and has persevered for so long. When are we going to give the common man and woman a break? When are we going to start making our country more inviting and welcoming? When is corruption going to stop?

So rather than some of these writers coming up with some patriotic BS, why not come up with militant looking stance that tells those "paddy paddy" leaders of Nigeria to wake up and make the common man and woman a priority. These people are always either Alhajis, Alhajas, Church man or woman; when are they going to start fearing God? We have so many churches and mosques than so many countries in this world, yet our people suffer most. Our leaders and their so called blind patriotic followers need to wake up to the sufferings of our people. So patriotic writers, better start towing on Fela's heels and start representing the common folks

Chi May 30, 2007 - 3:11 pm

I am with you all the way on this one – Especially your warning to Professor Aluko. I don't know when he is going to understand that you cannot claim to be a patriot if you can't understand that "God has ordained Yar'Adua"


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